San Pedro Cafe offers Caribbean food in Hudson

A taste of the Caribbean: Yucatan pork stew with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and peppers.EXPAND
A taste of the Caribbean: Yucatan pork stew with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and peppers.
Yael Grauer

San Pedro Café is a Caribbean-themed restaurant in charming Hudson, Wisconsin--about a half-hour drive from Minneapolis. Named after the town of San Pedro, on an Island off of Belize's mainland, the restaurant's Caribbean flair extends to the bright and colorful décor. There's a 100-gallon aquarium with marine fish and reef and tables made from jobilla, a tropical hardwood from Belize. Each table has rainbow-colored salt shakers and Marie Sharps hot sauce, which is made in Belize. And there's a wood-fired brick oven, used to prepare foods ranging from mildly to fiercely spiced. San Pedro also offers a nice selection of drinks, including margarita mix made daily with freshly squeezed limes.

When the weather starts to chill, the food at this out-of-the-way cafe can bring a bit of tropical sunshine to Minnesotans. Here's what we found on a recent visit:

Soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and a variety of wood-fired pizzas are a mainstay, but the specialties are really where it's at. Slow-smoked meats and various types of seafood (salmon, snapper, scallops) are available, served with rice and beans, a delicious salad with mango vinaigrette and jicama and carrot shavings and, of course, ciabatta bread.

San Pedro Cafe offers Caribbean food in HudsonEXPAND
Yael Grauer

Making a selection off the menu is quite challenging, but we had to go with one of our favorites--Yucatan pork stew. This is a pretty spicy stew; the wood-smoked pulled pork shoulder is simmered with potatoes, onions, tomatoes and peppers.

The other dish we selected was a daily special. These are usually off of the menu, and this one seemed particularly off the beaten path--chorizo scrambled eggs and poblano pepper taquitos. It sounds like an odd combination, but the flavors melded perfectly, and the four taquitos disappeared off my plate quite quickly.

San Pedro Cafe often has off-menu daily specials, such as these taquitos.EXPAND
San Pedro Cafe often has off-menu daily specials, such as these taquitos.
Yael Grauer

Like any good Caribbean eatery, San Pedro has a huge variety of alcoholic beverages. Aside from a full selection of red wines, white wines and even a few sparkling wines--and beer, of course--it is the mixed drinks that have always caught my eye. Try the Golden margarita, or the café blanco, which is a White Russian with a Caribbean flair. Mojitos, various coffee-based drinks and martinis are also served. The horchata coffee, which combines coffee with rum and chocolate liqueur, and the Island coffee (brandy, kahlua crème de cacao and coffee) are particularly dangerous.

Creme brulee is one dessert option.EXPAND
Creme brulee is one dessert option.
Yael Grauer

And then there's the desserts. The crème brulee flavor varies, and San Pedro is currently serving rum and cherry. Various cheesecakes, chocolate cakes (including a spicy chocolate-jabanero cake), a tart key lime pie and banana bread pudding are all available. We had to go with the chocolate-caramel cake, a very generous portion with a side of whipped cream.

Entrees run from $14 to $24, though the soup and salad combos and selection of pizzas are around $10-12. Desserts generally cost around $6.50.

San Pedro is open late for Hudson--'til 10 or 11 each night--and is the perfect place to tap into island living with good food, good drinks and good friends. The restaurant is also open for breakfast on weekend mornings.

San Pedro 426 Second St., Hudson, Wisconsin 715.386.4003, San Pedro website

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