Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Dominican Experience

In my previous blog, I spoke of our ride up to Washington Heights neighborhood, which included the getting lost in the Bronx debacle. We weren't just riding for riding sake. We had a higher purpose, food! Shawn was leading us north to meet up with our friend Dana, to sample what turned out to be an amazing Dominican restaurant.

With the help of Dana and her fluent spanish speaking skills, we navigated our way through a menu full of Caribbean tasties such as tostones (fried plantains) and mofongo con purco (a mountain of mashed plantains and pork). Being from a tropical island, they love plantains! Their true specialty is pollo (chicken). We ordered a whole chicken, roasted rotisserie style as well as sides of ensalade de aguacate and rice and beans. We drank Presidente Pilsner Cerveza. The bottle reminded me of the only beer we had in Ecuador, which had a copper label reading only Pilsner. You could get Heineken some places if you were lucky, but in most places the only beer was Pilsner.

Everything was delicious. The beans were left whole with a more liquidy sauce. The chicken was tender and falling from the bone. It was served with a lime garlic sauce, which complimented the well-seasoned meat with a tangy sweet and sour zing.

The tostones were fried just enough to be crunchy but not too greasy. The mofongo was a happy medium between having a nice mashed texture without being too starchy or too slimy. It was served with an excellent slightly sweet tomato based pork sauce, which complimented the more savory flavor of the fried pork and plantains.

(Although Dana appears to be disgusted by the Mofongo, she is really disgusted that we haven't started eating it yet.)

We had a great time. With Dana ordering for us, we were saved the awkwardness of attempting to communicate in broken spanish. We ate family style which enabled us to have more or less of anything we particularly liked or disliked. I ate everything with gusto and felt totally destroyed afterwards.

The price of five hungry youngsters eating to the point of destruction, all the above mentioned foods with two rounds of cervaza only cost $10 each. What a deal! Especially when you consider, this is New York!!!

The Malecon Restaurante on the corner of 175th and Broadway gets a happy pat on the pocket book, a contented growl from my overworked intenstinal tract and three delightful yum yums from my tongue.

Afterwards, Dana took us to a benift for the Washington Heights Cultural Center. Their space was a very interesting multi-level gallery space.

Musical performances where being conducted on the first floor and a display of local artists photography and paintings were visible in the lofted second floor space.

We drank more cerveza and mingled, but did not stay too long because our huge dinner was causing a food coma induced sleepiness.

No comments: