The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Courtesy photo.

Fuego Bar & Grill

Where: 138 Main St., Nashua
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 1 a.m.
Visit: or call 589-9228

Tastes of the Caribbean
Puerto Rican, Dominican dishes at new Nashua eatery

By Matt Ingersoll

 Multiple facets of Caribbean culture — food, drinks, music and entertainment — come together under one roof at the new Fuego Bar & Grill, which opened in Nashua in October in the former space of Vietnam Noodle House.

Owner Enrique Marrero is no stranger to the food business in Nashua; his resume includes a stint as owner of Gate City Pizza on West Hollis Street, and he managed take-out operations at Nellie’s Mart & Deli on Burke Street before that. 
The menu at Fuego, though, is made up of authentic Spanish dishes influenced by recipes from Marrero’s native Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean islands. 
“We want to bring the real Caribbean atmosphere here,” said Marrero, who moved to Nashua from the San Juan area at the age of 12. “We were doing some Spanish food at the pizza shop, but they had already had the pizza oven there, and my first job as a kid was at a pizza shop. [But] our main dishes here are all Spanish dishes.”
The restaurant seats about 92 in both its bar and dining area and is open for lunch and dinner. Marrero said its appetizer menu is great for people who may not necessarily be familiar with Caribbean options. The mofongo balls, for example, can be ordered as an appetizer for six smaller portions or as a full meal with either chicken or pork or on a pizza.
“Mofongo is very traditional in Puerto Rico. It’s basically mashed plantain with … fried pulled pork inside of it, and it has a little bit of butter and garlic,” he said. “We have the mofongo dinner, but then also an appetizer, which is smaller balls. So maybe if you come in with a few friends and you’ve never had it so you don’t want to risk [ordering] it if you don’t like it, then you can just try it as an appetizer.”
Other appetizer options include beef and chicken empanadas, fried pork and plantains, and meat and vegetable fritters called alcapurrias.
Main entree dishes include the pork shoulder, the pork chops, fried pork, chicken stew, a ¼-pound rotisserie chicken, and steak tips, all of which come with your choice of three sides, like white or yellow rice and beans, plantains, potato salad, chicken pasta salad and more.
“All of these are in our style that we do,” Marrero said. “The pork shoulder … is a four-hour baking process of the [meat] and then marinated to our seasonings.”
The jibarito, a sandwich made with fried plantains in place of the bread, is a popular lunch item Marrero said you can order either with pork, chicken and bacon or steak. The same ingredients can also be ordered as regular hot subs.
“We usually put it with … lettuce, tomato and a special sauce that is kind of like a mayonnaise ketchup sauce,” he said. “We sell a lot of those.”
And for those who want to stick to something more familiar, the restaurant offers several traditionally made American subs like steak and cheeses, turkey clubs, BLTs and hamburgers.
“We understand that sometimes a group comes and not everybody would like to eat Spanish food, so we have some kind of alternative,” Marrero said. “It’s there for that particular person who can’t eat Spanish food for whatever reason or doesn’t like it, so that you don’t have to go here and then go to another place.”
Marrero said he’s focusing on putting out a relatively small menu for now to see which foods people respond to more than others.
The drink and dessert menus are still in the works, but some options are currently available, like the tres leches — a cake made with condensed, evaporated and whole milks — and the flan, a caramel custard. The bar menu includes several domestic and imported beers and wines, as well as Puerto Rico’s national drink, the pina colada.
Marrero’s vision for the restaurant includes live entertainment. In fact, the bar as well as a small staging area was built to accommodate the city’s nightlife population.
“For right now, we’ll be open Fridays and Saturdays to 1 a.m. and then we’ll usually have a DJ and sometimes a band,” he said. “I also want to do a comedy night and an open mic night as well. … You know, you go to Puerto Rico, or the Dominican Republic, or Colombia, or any of the Bahamas, and it’s all about entertainment. So that’s what we want to bring here.” 

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