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Terruño: An artisanal twist to the kiosk folklore

The culinary offer includes various rabbit-based dishes 

April 17, 2024 - 11:00 PM

Terruño opened its doors in October 2011 and is recognized for its warm colors and the flamboyán tree in its logo. (Xavier García)

Lee la historia en español aquí.

Luquillo.- Drawing from his extensive experience as a merchant, Héctor Morales Rodríguez from Fajardo arrived at Luquillo’s famous kiosks with the goal of crafting a distinct culinary space within the folklore that characterizes this area.

That is how he chose to break the mold in terms of food, ambiance, and design of his establishment to offer visitors a unique culinary experience. Then, Terruño began to take shape as a restaurant that highlights our homeland’s gastronomy, imbued with an artisanal touch that captivates the palates of tourists and locals alike who venture to the Luquillo coast in search of good food and a beachy atmosphere.

“The reality is that I had been searching for a place to open a restaurant for a while. I looked around Fajardo until I reached the Luquillo Kiosks and I liked the hustle and bustle there. This particular kiosk was up for sale, so we bought it and completely renovated it because I wanted to create a concept that was more restaurant-oriented. I wanted to depart from the typical kiosk design, so we set out to work on it,” explained Morales Rodríguez, who has been a merchant for 26 years and previously managed a check-cashing and communications business.

This is how he inaugurated his restaurant in October 2011. It is located at kiosk #20 and is recognized for its warm colors and the flamboyán tree in its logo. Embracing artisanal cuisine, its menu specializes in rabbit prepared in four distinct styles, ensuring a novel and health-conscious gastronomic experience..

Héctor Morales Rodríguez, owner of Terruño.
Héctor Morales Rodríguez, owner of Terruño. (XAVIER GARCIA)

“Terruño is a very Puerto Rican concept, I would say 80% Puerto Rican. Rabbit is our specialty, we prepare it in empanadillas (turnovers), cracklings; we also offer a boneless half-rabbit grilled dish and the classic rabbit fricassee. The fricassee, turnovers, and the half rabbit are popular choices among our customers, which is a nutritious meal because rabbit meat is very lean, boneless, and we grill it without using oil,” detailed the 55-year-old man, who is also the owner of the Boronía restaurant in La Placita, Santurce.

Terruño’'s menu also features various cuts of meat, seafood, fresh fish, and a tank with live lobsters “All of our seafood is fresh: carrucho (conch), octopus; we don’t buy anything frozen. We also offer steak and the Pechuga a la Terruño, which is very popular because it’s a chicken breast stuffed with amarillo (fried ripe plantain) and wrapped in bacon,” mentioned Morales Rodríguez.

¡Viva la tradición! La historia de los kioscos de Luquillo

¡Viva la tradición! La historia de los kioscos de Luquillo

Descubre por qué este lugar es considerado un paraíso gastronómico.

Among the appetizers, Terruño offers a mini piononito (small pionono, a dish made with fried ripe plantains and ground beef) that deviates from the traditional, yet still resembles the customary dish often found in the kiosks’ display cases. “This mini piononito is our signature appetizer and stands out because it has shrimp and steak, topped with white sauce and eel sauce. We also have another popular appetizer, stuffed squid with lobster, and we recently added shark nuggets to the menu, which are very tasty,” highlighted the proprietor of the establishment, which also boasts a cocktail and wine list.

In addition to its diverse culinary options, Terruño attracts diners with its ambiance and live music. Accompanied by the sea breeze, this combination turns evenings into flavorful experiences.

“We always wanted to create a concept that blends food with music, which is why we have music every day. That’s why we’ve been hosting Lunes de Cultrua (”Culture Mondays”) for 10 years now, every last Monday of the month. We have a varied musical lineup because there is an abundance of artistic and musical talent in Puerto Rico. We bring in young graduates from the Conservatory of Music and provide them with a platform to play their music, allowing our customers to enjoy their talent,” explained Morales Rodríguez.

Terruño is open the public every day except Wednesday, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. There is live music daily from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. For more information, find them on social media as Terruño Comida Artesanal or call 787-889-8989.

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