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Edible Puerto Rican primer



Don't be put off by the location of Pioco's Chicken on West Colonial (2107 W. Colonial Drive; 407-481-0806). In front of the Magic Mall and just past several giant car dealerships, it's an easy place to overlook as you zip out toward Pine Hills, but you'd be overlooking a treat.

The menu over the counter might be troublesome if you can't read Spanish, but just ask and you'll be guided through a primer in Puerto Rican cuisine that includes roasted pork and freshly made empanadillas filled with chicken, beef or pulpo (squid). And then there's the national dish of Puerto Rico, called mofongo, made from green plantains and a whole lot of garlic.

The rotisserie chicken isn't like anything at Publix; Pioco's signature bird is shot through with herb marinade and slightly lemony, the skin crispy and full of flavor. It's a little place that's worth a quick trip.