I have been to Mr. Pio Pio, and I have seen the light. Actually, I didn’t really need to see any lights, because when Celina Bean waxes so poetically about fried snapper, how else can you feel by “Oh my gosh I need to get there.” ?
To make it even better, I got to have lunch with Miss Celina Bean herself. One heck of an introduction, if there ever was one. We pretty much settled on the fried whole snapper. Celina loves it, and I had to order it after reading so much about its deliciousness from her.
But first there were chicharrones. Oh, where there chicharrones. $2.90 gets you a side dish of heaven on a plate. Crispy fried bits of pork belly. So crunchy. So fatty. So good. They were out of the red sauce, but had a green avocado sauce on the side. I could slather that sauce on just about everything, and it would be fine with me.
It comes with this tomato-onion slaw on top, and plantains & yucca. We asked for extra yucca on our dish subbed in for plantains, and got them no problem. Yucca > Plantains any day in my book (sorry plantains. You’re good, but no match for fried yucca). So good! I think this was about $20, but it feeds two people.
It doesn’t come with a side, so if you want rice & beans or a little something else, you’ve gotta order it as an extra. Celina got some rice & beans (~$3). I’m not a big rice fan, so I stuck with the chicharrones because I am very healthy like that.
So deep fried snapper is awesome. I mean, it’s seafood, so it’s inherently awesome to begin with, but fried… oh. So good. And it didn’t taste greasy. Like, at all. It stayed light and crispy through the whole meal. Moist, tender fish, crispy outsides. What’s not to live? That tomato-onion slaw was awesome, too. A little tart kick to go with the fish.
Celina was also awesome and let me crunch away on the tail. The ends were so fried they were like a crunchy little snack! Yum, yum, yum.
Under $30 (pre-tip) for a huge lunch for two people? Oh heck yeah, sign me up.
Well, now I’ve got to go back to try the red sauce and the chicken dishes.