We're OpenTakeout Tuesday


At this Virginia Beach restaurant, a Puerto Rican-style good time is in the name

D'Chinchorreo 2.jpg
Posted at 8:43 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 09:41:29-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Music, color, flavor.

D'Chinchorreo is a place that hits all your senses; a good time promised in name alone.

"Over here we consider bar hopping? That's what we call 'chinchorreo' in Puerto Rico," said Prentice Rosario, the restaurant's owner. "A whole bunch of family and friends and having a whole bunch of fun."

D'Chinchorreo 3.jpg
Prentice Rosario, owner of D'Chinchorreo, keeps a close eye on what's coming out of his kitchen.

Rosario was born and raised in Guayama on the island's southeast coast. The food at D'Chinchorreo is the food he grew up eating.

"Rotisserie chicken, we do mofongos, all kinds of mofongos, empanadas, alcapurria..." and the list goes on.

D'Chinchorreo 2.jpg
A plate featuring a pulled pork shoulder dish called pernil with two types of plantain dishes and potato salad.

The Army veteran tells News 3 he moved to Virginia 20 years ago and came up with the idea for his own restaurant while finishing up a 15-year career at a local shipyard.

Rosario says he saw the Hispanic population growing in Hampton Roads, but too few spots serving Puerto Ricans.

But getting started wasn't easy as Rosario faced struggles professionally and personally.

He says his father passed away in 2017 when the category-5 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico.

Two years later, his restaurant's opening was delayed and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. By the time D'Chinchorreo opened in June 2020 near Lynnhaven Mall, getting anybody to stop by the hole-in-the-wall location was hard.

D'Chinchorreo 4.jpg
D'Chinchorreo features a colorful interior accented by nods to Puerto Rico.

But good food has a way of making itself known.

"It's been a struggle, but on a daily basis, somebody always new comes through that door and thank God for them," said Rosario. "Every time I give somebody a sample of whatever the dish is, it's just the first time experience, the first reaction. (That) is what is gratifying for us."

Those samples turn into full meals and then return customers. Despite its early struggles getting foot traffic, D'Chinchorreo holds a perfect score on review website Yelp.

But the recipes don't belong to a five-star chef, they belong to Rosario and his family. Eating at his restaurant, is like sharing a meal at their home.

Still, Rosario says his little spot can be even better.

"We're going to be doing lechon asado, which is the roasted whole pig, in the parking lot area. Also we're going to be doing shish kabobs in the outside grill, which is the pincho, traditional from Puerto Rico," he tells News 3.

A true celebration of Puerto Rican culture. A 'chinchorreo' that's open to everyone.

D'Chinchorreo is located at 2720 North Mall Drive, Ste 160 in Virginia Beach. It's open Tuesday-Sunday.