There’s something special about home-cooked meals, especially when they remind you of family, smiles, and good times. That’s what Boricua Restaurant in Northern Liberties is delivering to neighborhoods in our region this summer!
Following a delay in hosting a Grand Opening because of the pandemic, Jazmin Serrano of Juniata Park and her brother Hector Serrano opened their authentic Puerto Rican Restaurant featuring family recipes that will brighten your day and enliven your taste buds!
Jazmin and Hector are known for their kiosks serving delicious food with their mother, Iris, who delights festival-goers each summer at the Penn’s Landing Multicultural Series.
Iris, an experienced chef, has used her authentic recipes to bring family and friends together. “She would serve 50-60 people on holidays,” said Hector. Her roast pork with yellow rice and beans is always a hit. Now, with Boricua Restaurant, Hector and Jazmin are bringing that joy to the community.
“They’ve embraced us very well, with open arms,” said Jazmin of the Northern Liberties area they serve at 1149 N. 3rd Street. She is excited to bring her culture to the neighborhood, and the response has been wonderful. A senior citizen home of 152 people nearby includes about 95% Puerto Rican natives, and one remarked of the restaurant, “We finally have a place to call home!”
The restaurant planned to open in March, but the pandemic put a hold on that. With 3 months of revenue lost, they needed a bang-up start to play some catch-up. Fortunately, there hasn’t been a down-time as people have been excited to order take-out from their authentic menu. Open Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm, delivery options including GrubHub, DoorDash, Uber Eats and BitesCourt have made it possible for them to keep busy in the kitchen.
“El Boricua Sandwich” is the restaurant’s signature sandwich. It took many trials, but with the help of brother in-law Francisco Cruz, and nephew, Francisco Cruz Jr. reviewing the taste, they arrived with a huge success. The carefully roasted pulled pork with locally baked bread satisfies any hunger! The food must also pass the test of their mother Iris. “She’ll still let us have it at 70 years old,” Hector said lovingly.
Customer satisfaction is crucial to Jazmin and Hector. Jazmin has a background in helping others as a consultant for undocumented immigrants, and has assisted to numerous local political campaigns to support those who will help the community. She’s been a resident of Juniata for almost 24 years. “I love my neighborhood and I like making a difference. Keeping her block clean and respecting neighbors is a no-brainer. Improving people’s lives is part of who she is.
In the same manner, Jazmin and Hector want their customers to get quick, excellent service from Boricua — no waiting, with a family welcoming atmosphere for every client.
Hector told the Juniata News that providing great service is enjoyable, but he has a new respect for business owners. It’s exhausting. “We come home like zombies.”
Sure, Hector jokes that he and Jazmin want to kill each other 10% of the time, but that goes with the business! They love and respect each other, which makes getting through tough times easy. A close-knit family, they have complete trust in each member. “It’s all about trust,” Hector said.
Family and faith play large roles in both their lives. Hector said they struggled for 17 out of 22 years. After seeking God, doors began opening, and they received one Blessing after another. “Each day we pray over our food and for our customers,” he said.
If you’re not ordering through a delivery service, Boricua Restaurant offers easy curbside pick-up. You can call 267-269-7934, place your order, and then just call when you arrive for pick-up. Your order can be placed right into the back seat of your car.
The menu, besides “El Boricua Sandwich” includes Roasted Pulled Pork, Chicken Breast with Gravy, Yellow Rive with Beans, Potato Salad, and Mixed Green Salad.
If you’re lucky, you’ll order early enough to get a container of their very popular seafood salad — for just $5.00 — it sells out every day!
1149 N. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(Corner 3rd & Cambridge St.)
Monday – Saturday
11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Delivery through DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub and BitesCourt