First off, Carlos, welcome to San Francisco. We're happy to have you.
Now that you're here, we have to make a confession. San Francisco is no New York -- in terms of quantity, S.F. simply can't produce the never-ending list of Puerto Rican restaurants you probably took for granted when you played for the Mets.
Now, as a native Puerto Rican, you may be starting to feel nervous, suddenly far from the small comforts that probably reminded you of home. So before you panic, we want to let you in on the city's Puerto Rican offerings -- the list isn't long, but, trust us, it's tasty.
For something traditional, something that will help stave off the homesickness, check out Sol Food in San Rafael. A few of the dishes may seem less than authentic, but all you have to do is order the chicken thighs with garlic and oregano, the deliciously creamy pink beans and rice, and the fried plantains. Top it off with the sweet and satisfying tembleque -- coconut pudding with mango sauce -- and you'll forget you ever left.
If you want something a little closer to the stadium, head to El Nuevo Frutilandia, a tiny Mission favorite that combines Cuban and Puerto Rican cuisines. Specialties include the roast pork, ropa vieja, carne guisada (beef stew), and the fried calamari and prawns.
Lastly, if you want to try something new, something that isn't quite as authentic but will help you embrace your new locale, try out Parada 22 in the Upper Haight. Don't miss the pernil (roasted pork leg) with habichuelas coloradas (red beans).
We know that you don't have to stay past this season. But if you do well here and aren't sure, we promise we'll buy you as much delicious Puerto Rican food as it'll take for you to make up your mind. We'll even deliver it to the stadium to sweeten the deal. Just sayin'.