When Yvette Rodriguez-Schmidt moved to Pittsburgh, she fell in love with the Mount Oliver community, but she craved the delicious Puerto Rican food she was accustomed to in her native New York.
As the pandemic hit in early 2020, Yvette and her husband Victor Schmidt, a professional chef, were inspired to open Flavor of Puerto Rico and share Yvette’s mother’s authentic recipes with their neighbors in their adopted city.
When you visit, the journey to the island begins with a beautiful mural of old San Juan as you walk in the door. Then come the aromatic flavors of savory Boricua food as you pick out a seat. The back of the restaurant, with its rich burgundy paint, plants, and decor, transports you to your tia’s marquesina (aunt’s patio) in the Caribbean countryside.
At Flavor of Puerto Rico, portions are large and prices affordable. We tried the Puerto Rican favorites — arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and pernil (roasted pork) — and they were delightful. A side of tostones (fried green plantains) included over four large pieces with two dipping sauce options, garlic or mayoketchup.
A slice of tres leches cake completed the comforting meal.
Rice, beans, bistec encebollado (steak with onions), pork chops, and stewed chicken are part of the weekly menu. Treats like bacalaítos (cod fritters) and empanadas are also available as are vegan options.
It’s been challenging to find Puerto Rican food in the Steel City, but now, nestled in the main street of Mt. Oliver is a little slice of Borinquen for Pittsburghers to enjoy. Flavor of Puerto Rico is a family affair dedicated to sharing the amazing taste of the island’s recipes to our community with love.
Our meal scored top marks and guaranteed a return visit.
Flavor of Puerto Rico. 160 Brownsville Rd., Pittsburgh. flavorofpuertorico.com.