My Dad was up for trying out a different than usual restaurant near home and I initially thought this might have been a mistake on my part, after driving through the dated and depressed industrial section of Springfield that this is located in. Furthermore, there was some ongoing road work on the street in front of this place, that caused us to detour an extra mile out of the way, instead of the 30 feet it would have been otherwise.
But once we got there, we saw a well-lit, clean and cheery oasis.
Their bakery serves a wide selection of baked goods, ranging from cookies and donuts to puddings as well as some other things with which I'm unfamiliar.
The hot foods are served mall-eatery buffet style, sitting in tubs behind glass. There's no menu or prices anywhere, but a guy behind the counter spoke English and was both enthusiastic and helpful.
Chicken soup - potatoes, gizzard, red and green pepper dice, celery, spaghetti - heartier dark meat flavor - which I'm guessing is the result of the gizzards (or perhaps they just use dark meat). Came with a couple slices of daily-baked bread, which was light and tasty. All around decent stuff. Not ground-breaking and I suspect perhaps not the healthiest, but tasty, homey, rich.
Ribs w/ fried rice & beans - Ribs in barbecue sauce were tender, but oily and flavorful in a simple barbecue sauce way that would be familiar to those with less adventurous American palates. The rice & beans probably had been fried or had sitting over a heater too long and some rice bits parts were dry/crunchy/blackened.
Prices weren't quite clear - together with a bottle of juice, we paid $16, so I'm guessing the ribs and soup were each about $7-8.
All in all, it was a tasty (the soup more so than the ribs) meal, if nothing fantastic. I did think that the ribs almost came across as Americanized and it made me realize that I would probably give more leniency to a Puerto Rican restaurant, just because they are more difficult to find, than say an Americanized Chinese restaurant.
That aside, this one meal isn't quite enough to review this place, with it selection of other dishes and many baked goods that we didn't get to try. But for those in the Pioneer Valley, it might be worthwhile knowing of some of the dining options you have. (Fyi, there is also a Puerto Rican place in Holyoke that some folks on Chowhound like too.)
Puerto Rico Bakery II
214 Armory Street Springfield, MA 01104 (Map)
Puerto Rico Bakery
2917 Main Street Springfield, MA 01107-1514 (Map)