I have one more highlight to share from my trip to Puerto Rico. We ate at a lot of wonderful restaurants, but one that I keep thinking about is Marmalade Restaurant in Old San Juan. In education, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles that emphasize giving all learners an equal opportunity to learn. At Marmalade, Chef Peter Schintler has created a space built upon a Universal Design for Eating. Many restaurants have a specialty, a lane, and they stay in it with one or two options for everyone else. Even when I visit my favorite “vegan” restaurant, I feel guilty for the meat eaters who are with me. No need for guilt at Marmalade. Chef Schintler finds a way to delight all who visit the restaurant.
I ordered the four course tasting menu and asked them if they could accommodate that many vegan options. When they assured me that there was plenty to choose from, I asked them to surprise me with each course. I wasn’t disappointed. The first course was the Heirloom Chioggia (sweet candy stripe beets shaved paper thin and seasoned with verbena oil tangled with fresh raspberries, crushed pistachios and micro mint). It was light and fresh. Even if you don’t think you like beets, you would enjoy this delicate opener.
For the second course, I had the Spaghetti Squash (poached in coconut water scented with ginger, orange peel and cilantro alongside spiced cashews resting beneath an espuma of yellow curry). Like the beet dish, this dish was delicious and left me inspired to experiment with the ingredients at home.
The entree was the Vegan Quinoa Poblano Relleno. Chef Schintler explained the inspiration for the dish was to create a lighter version of a traditional Puerto Rican dish. I loved it!
For dessert the carrot cake was a lovely finish to an incredible meal designed with many types of food preferences in mind. My only regret was that I couldn’t eat at Marmalade again before I left PR!