Puerto Rican Food from The Shining Star

The Shining Star restaurant serves Puerto Rican food in North Philly. I couldn’t help comparing this visit to when I ate at Freddy and Tony’s, who serve amazing Puerto Rican food one mile north, especially since we ordered similarly (fried things +pork). Note that there are two menus, one in English and one in Spanish. If your food Spanish is halfway decent, stick with that menu, since the English translations were confusing.

To start, some chicken and beef empanadas and papas rellenas. The potato ball was more enjoyable than the empanadas, which didn’t have enough filling, but was not as good as the one from Freddy and Tony’s. Sauce makes a difference.

Then we ordered a half pound of pernil ($7.50), having seen it glistening in the window. The flavor of the pork and the skin were very good, though I like my pernil a little more moist and greasy.

Shining Star has a list of seafood mofongos that were all over $10, so we tried to get creative and asked for mofongo with carne frita. We were hoping they would be combined in the pilon, creating a plaintain-meat fusion, but instead they were served separately. Thus, the plaintain mush has a nice nutty flavor, but did not get the added fat it needed from the crispy meat.  Though the carne was quite good, perhaps we missed out by not getting a signature seafood mofongo. Next time.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Cheap, puerto rican food

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Freddy and Tony’s wins at the pernil and papas rellenas game

 The Shining Star,  2460 N 5th Street, 215 423-8506


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