A Damn Good Sandwich at Barra Payan

“You know what I like. I like a late night counter packed with locals, where I can get some meat. And maybe a little grease or fat. And some cheese, preferably melted cheese. And maybe some other stuff, in between some good bread. That’s what I like.” I was following in Bourdain’s footsteps when I…

Chicharron and Presidente: The Dominican Way

When I think of Santo Domingo I think of a colmado bar. I picture a brightly lit corner-shop with a long counter, and behind it shelves stacked with cans, bottles, boxes. Ketchup spelled “catsup,” sweet and sticky Carnation®, economy-sized packs of sanitary pads and toilet paper, cheap vodka, cheap rum. In the middle there’s a Presidente beer cooler…

Sancocho and Mofongo at Adrian Tropical

I asked several Dominicans for advice on where to try good traditional Dominican food in Santo Domingo and they almost unanimous responded “Adrian Tropical” without a moment of hesitation. This place is a fiercely beloved institution of which locals are extremely proud. Brightly illuminated on the Avenida George Washington along the tourist-friendly Malecón boardwalk, the restaurant is relatively easy to find.…

Gnawing on Sugarcane in Santo Domingo

Guiding us back to Santo Domingo after our day at Juan Dolio beach was our Dominican friend Benjamin the sunglass salesman who took a rainy, warm afternoon off to show us around his hometown and to make sure we get back to our hotel unharmed. Before getting on the bus, he had taken us to try yaniqueque…

Mangú for Breakfast

Breakfast at our all-inclusive luxury resort in the paradisical coast of Punta Cana was a leisurely and drawn-out affair. Greeting us in the restaurant was an endless array of anything and everything we could possibly imagine craving from 7:30 to 11:00a.m. before a day spent lounging by the pool or beach. There was a bar of fresh fruit…

Frituras for Breakfast in Santo Domingo

I had done my research. I already knew about the frituras. But to test the accuracy of this suggestion, that the traditional grab ‘n go breakfast in Santo Domingo is actually fried slices of bologna with plantain and, in some cases, spaghetti, I asked the dudes seated outside our neighborhood colmado. They had, after all, proven very useful as bullshit detectors before.…

In the DR, it’s yaniqueque…

Fried dough. Just about every cuisine in the world has its own version. Call it fry-bread, call it beignet, call it a buñuelo or puri. In Hungary it’s lángos and its sacred. No summer afternoon at Balaton Lake is complete without it. It’s almost always the cheapest snack a region can offer, yet it is also often…