Dive In to some Puerto Rican food
Written and photographed by Beau Gustafson
Gabriel (Gabe) Marrero moved to Birmingham from Puerto Rico with his wife around four years ago. He is an environmental engineer and consultant in addition to working for non-profits. “I have always had my own businesses and noticed that though Birmingham is a great food city, it was not a diverse food city,” Marerro says. “I thought it was a good time to open a restaurant focusing on fresh, all-natural foods—Puerto Rican foods with paleo and vegan options. After opening up a few pop-ups shops, we opened up this restaurant about one year ago.” Tropicaleo serves up tasty options for everyone, including empanadas; mofongo, a traditional dish with mashed, fried plantains; chicharrones, a fried boneless chicken with testones; and amarillos, fried sweet plantains. I had the tropibowl with chicken along with the rice and plantains, and finished them off with some flan that was incredible. They have also teamed up with artists who have painted some great murals that make the atmosphere fun. So if you are craving a new taste adventure from the island, make your way to Tropicaleo.