Rincon Criollo always looking for new ways to bring flavors of Puerto Rico to Northeast Ohio: Best Caribbean Restaurant

Kelsey W. Popham


CLEVELAND, Ohio – Getting rid of a career can be nerve-racking for anyone, especially for a youthful male recently married.

For Papo Ruiz, it was the commencing of a profession alter he by no means observed coming.

Ruiz experienced discovered the essentials of cooking from his grandmother as a child. Immediately after remaining laid off from the car entire body task he was functioning, he desired to contribute at home though hunting for a new position, so he would make evening meal for his wife, Nydvia, every day and have it ready when she arrived dwelling from operate.

With limited qualities in the kitchen area, he was soon on the mobile phone with his mother.

“I acquired fatigued of earning fried rooster each night, so I named my mom and requested for some recipes,” he explained. “From there, I taught myself.”

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Papo and Nydvia Ruiz homeowners of Rincon Criollo Choose #2 found at 7403 Denison Ave.

To rejoice National Caribbean-American Heritage Thirty day period, we asked our visitors where by to uncover the ideal Caribbean food stuff in Northeast Ohio. Nominations speedily stuffed our inbox, with Rincon Criollo acquiring an too much to handle amount of nods.

Ruiz observed cooking extremely gratifying, and he was soon advertising his dishes from his dwelling kitchen. It did not take very long for friends and family members to begin encouraging him to open up a restaurant. He and Nydvia did just that, using around Rincon Criollo in Gordon Square in 2006.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Mofongo con camarones (mashed seasoned plantain ball with shrimp) you can pick your selection of meat – hen, pork skins, chops, beef stew, steak and shrimp) at Rincon Criollo.
– Photo courtesy of Papo Ruiz of Rincon Criollo

Rincon Criollo was one particular of the initial businesses to plant roots in the Gordon Square Arts District on Detroit Road before it grew into the West Aspect enjoyment location it has grow to be.

Rincon – which translates to ‘the corner’ — is a tiny town in Puerto Rico – aptly named due to the fact it is situated in the prime corner of the island. Criollo translates to ‘homemade.’ “I phone it the ‘corner of the great things,’” Ruiz reported, laughing.

“We were being there prior to Gordon Sq. exploded,” Papo spelled out. “Everything that is there now, wasn’t there. It was variety of a ghetto with all types of questionable persons on the avenue. When we commenced, not a good deal of families arrived around. But minor by small, they fixed the full road and now all the things is generally open, and organization is hopping.”

Currently the loved ones operates two destinations — the first in Gordon Sq., and a 2nd location across town on Denison Avenue

Ruiz was born in Puerto Rico and was introduced to Cleveland as a child. Nydvia was elevated in Northeast Ohio.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Bacalao con malanga y yautia (cod fish with root greens) from Rincon Criollo Choose #2 situated at 7403 Denison Ave. in Cleveland.

Both of those grew up having the common dishes of their families’ homeland – and are proud to share that flavorful heritage with the increasing Puerto Rican populace in Northeast Ohio – which Papo claims “come in wanting for a flavor of home” — or with indigenous Clevelanders searching for anything a tiny diverse.

Every single dish is built with their selfmade spice mix, which they promote at the eating places.

Lots of of the dishes are family recipes, though other individuals are dishes he expert when touring, which he adapted to his own design of cooking. All ingredients are domestically sourced.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Jibarito sandwich from Rincon Criollo
– Photo courtesy of Papo Ruiz of Rincon Criollo

Ruiz’s signature dish “jibarito” is a steak sandwich, but rather than wrapping the meat in bread, it is served up between two slices of plantain.

Most dishes at Rincon Criollo are hefty on the meat – pork, steak and beef – although there are a lot of seafood and veggie-primarily based objects to fulfill all those seeking for lighter fare. Adventurous eaters will want to check out the stewed pigs ears, served around rice – which is 1 of the restaurant’s top rated sellers — or conch and octopus salads.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Arroz con gandules y chicharrones (yellow rice and beans with pork skins) from Rincon Criollo Just take #2 located at 7403 Denison Ave. in Cleveland.

Three a long time in the past, the Ruizes determined to grow when the operator of their favourite taco joint, on Denison, was on the lookout to retire. Rincon Criollo Consider 2 was born.

“We resolved to choose it around and alter the whole notion of our other put,” explained Nydvia. “At initially, we had a great deal of issues from regulars at the Gordon Square place simply because it was so different, but that was the whole position. Alternatively than a sit-down restaurant with confined parking, listed here we have a lot of parking and we cater to all those personnel who have a confined time for lunch.”

Rincon Criollo Take #2

A lot of products to choose from at Rincon Criollo Get #2 located at 7403 Denison Ave.

More of a cafeteria-model restaurant with constrained seating, shoppers have loads of parking and can get a fast lunch in a issue of minutes.

In addition to the food stuff support, Rincon Criollo Acquire 2 has two personal rooms available for occasions – a person which characteristics a stage and with the coming approval of a liquor license will aspect a compact bar. In addition, the Ruizes are discovering the notion of total pig roasts for the duration of the summer season months at the Denison site as perfectly as including a travel-thru window in the in the vicinity of future.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Arroz blanco, habichuelas, con pernil asado (white rice, beans, with roast pork) from Rincon Criollo Choose #2 situated at 7403 Denison Ave. in Cleveland.

Ready to grow again – Rincon Criollo is functioning with the Dave’s Grocery store on W. 65th to open up a kiosk in the drop, which will be termed Rincon Criollo Specific. The kiosk will offer you a cold deli and normal sides, but, will only provide 1 entrée a working day.

Papo Ruiz even hinted at the risk of a food items truck in the near foreseeable future.

Rincon Criollo Take #2

Arroz blanco, habichuelas con bistec encebollado (white rice, beans with latin model steak and onions) from Rincon Criollo Just take #2 located at 7403 Denison Ave. in Cleveland.

How do they juggle all of this? Nydvia says “I try to eat and I clean up, he cooks.” Their 3 children are also involved in the working day-to-working day functions of the household small business — with the center son, Ricardo, next in his father’s footsteps as a chef, whilst oldest son, Ivan, and daughter, Aria, are extra fascinated in doing the job in the entrance of residence with prospects.


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