Spotlight on Pub 6T5 – Short rib pizza, lobster roll and pulled pork

Here’s a look at the wine marinated short rib pizza, lobster roll and pulled pork sandwich topped with onion rings at Pub 6T5 on 736 Ashley Blvd in New Bedford.




VIDEO: Restaurante Algarve – Portuguese boiled lunch/dinner

Ever had a Portuguese boiled lunch/dinner? Joe, a New Bedford Fisherman, cook, and owner of Restaurante Algarve (128 County St), shows how they make it. Served from 9 am to 10 pm ONLY on Saturday and Sunday!




New Bedford Southcoast Open Air Market combines farm-fresh local produce and meats, handmade goods, handcrafted foods, and live music, July 20

The Southcoast Open Air Market’s goal is to provide a gathering point for our town and surrounding communities, centered around everything fresh, local, and handmade. We feature a rotating selection of handmade goods, handcrafted foods, fresh produce and meats, and live and local music. Come check us out on July 20th at the Custom House Square from 10:00am-3:00pm!

See a photo gallery that shows the amazing variety of produce, artisans, and more.

Custom House Square

21 Barkers Lane,
New Bedford, Massachusetts

Website: southcoastopenairmarket.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/SouthcoastOpenAirMarket/
Facebook Event Page: facebook.com/events/641939862996065/




VIDEO: Linguiça rolls at The Donut Factory in New Bedford

Grab a Linguiça roll and a small iced or hot coffee for $4.99 at The Donut Factory at 102 Rockdale Ave. in New Bedford.




Foodie’s Guide to Regional Gastronomy: Kale Soup or Caldo Verde or Caldo Gallego or Minestra Maritata

Series Introduction (Move down if you’re familiar with the thread or don’t care)

In this series, we hope to highlight and showcase in as interesting a way as possible, the stories behind our favorite, mouth-watering local dishes. While we’ll focus on greater New Bedford and the South Coast, we will occasionally “travel” to places like Plymouth, Providence or even Boston. I will attempt to keep it light-hearted, fun and easy to read. While I can’t promise to keep you compelled and pull you along with prose – that would take a professional writer – I will promise to be liberal with the drool-inducing images of these dishes.

As always, feedback is encouraged. Anecdotes are wanted. Discussion is paramount. Please join in!

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Oh, the ways we love you kale soup. You warm our bones on a cold day, bring us back to our childhood and fond memories with our avós, and feed our souls. I don’t know about you but just seeing or hearing the words evokes the aroma!

My landlady is from the “old country” and when I come home and walk into my apartment and get whiff of kale soup that was evidently simmering on her stove for hours it shifts my assemblage point. It pushes the worries and stresses of the day away from my mind, the tension in my shoulders loosen, and I get happy.

Of course, I’m hoping that she will hear me come home and soon I will hear a knock on the door and she’ll offer me a generous bowl of soup. One thing you can rely on with those from the “old country” is that when it comes to homecooked food they are always generous, so that knock always comes – but just in case she doesn’t hear me I’ll be extra heavy with my footfalls, maybe “accidentally” bump my elbow into the stairwell’s wall.

While I didn’t grow up with the aroma of kale soup cooking in the house, I had many friends that were Portuguese and the idea of their generosity came from the fact that those Portuguese friends consistently brought me batches of it when their avó or mãe made some. Why didn’t the avô or papai ever make some?

While considered to be Portugal’s national dish, Kale Soup, Caldo Verde (meaning “green broth”) or Portuguese Sausage Kale Soup for you non-Portagees, there is little history about its origins. When this is the case for something historical – whether an invention, discovery or creation of a dish – it typically means the origins are from another nation and that would ruin any claims. For example, ask someone where Baklava or Falafel came from and a half dozen nations will raise their hands, all claiming to be the originator and all claiming to make the best, most delectable version.

First of the problems is that the soup, or at least most of its primary ingredients coming together in one place, are also found in Italy and Spain. I’d imagine that Brazil has a version, but I know very little about Brazilian cuisine. This is because the core of the soup is linked to farmers and the ingredients were readily available or inexpensive. One could say it’s a quintessential “poor man’s soup” comprised of ingredients that cost little but filled the belly for a day’s work and for most of that day. In my book, “poor man’s” anything is a code word for mouth-watering and delicious.

Italy has many regional variations from the “old country” all the way to Italian-American neighborhood: Minestra Maritata or Italian Wedding Soup. The “married: bit is a reference to the mingling together of greens –torzella or kale, escarole, broccoli rabe, endives, chicory or even lettuce – with meat, which can be Italian sausage, guanciale, pork ribs, ham hocks or meatballs. Of course, these are accompanied with pasta (ditali or any of the pastina is best) or potatoes for starch, cannellini (white) or kidney beans, carrots, and red pepper flakes swimming in a rich broth.


Forget the bread to sop up and get hurt, buddy.

Spain has its version in Caldo Gallego. This version is different in that they are heavy on the amount of beans, in this case, white beans. The last difference is a slight one in that is the selection of meat: chorizo as opposed to linguiça or chouriço. Otherwise, caldo gallego is the same as kale soup, and does not have the astounding variety that you’ll find in the Italian version. Don’t believe me about these two “imposters” or “wannabe” kale soups? Only one image in this article is of kale soup and the other two are of Minestra Maritata and Caldo Gallego.

The Portuguese standard has room for variety, at least here on the SouthCoast. The only wiggle room that I have encountered is whether there is pasta or not and the pasta is inevitably elbow macaroni. Now, I haven’t the faintest idea if this ties into differences among the island, e.g. Azores, St. Michael, Madeira, just a variety from household to household, or is specific to the Portugues here in the New World. You would know better than me.

One thing I do know is that there is quite the debate about whether the elbow macaroni belongs and whether linguiça, chourico, ham hock, or even paio should be used for the meat. In fact, I can picture the avós fistfighting about what real kale soup is and what the ingredients are supposed to be. The only thing I can think everyone agrees on is that it must be served with some Portuguese bread, preferably a Papo Secos or pao or as the gringoosh say, a “pop.”

This is apparently a “thing” in greater New Bedford. We all have our favorite restaurant or two, bet if you ever say your restaurant is best or *gasp* authentic be prepared for flushed faces, loud voices and declarations like “That place doesn’t serve genuine Portuguese food, just fake dishes for Americans!” Is there a Portuguese equivalent for gringo? Pronounced “gringoosh” I’d imagine? If so, I’d imagine that is bantered about too.

The reality is that I haven’t come across a bad Portuguese restaurant and maybe I and disqualified to judge because I’m a gringoosh, I don’t know. Does authentic or closest to the “real thing” really matter? What is the real thing? Can anyone say “I have this recipe I found from 1452 that states ‘My name is Manuel Gomes Fernandes Pereira Ferreira Da Silva Silva and I invented kale soup! Here’s the recipe.'”?

Again, does it really matter? Would you turn down anyone’s kale soup, Minestra Maritata or Caldo Gallego. “This aroma has my belly growling, my mouth watering and looks sensational but sir, I am affronted by your use of Italian and Spanish words so I must refuse!!!” said no one ever.

When I hear the words Kale Soup it conjures up childhood memories of curling around a hot bowl on a winter day after snow fights, sledding, and building snowmen. My Portuguese friends will mention the history and family members that trace back to Portugal for generations and the various family members that make a “mean” bowl.

At the end of the day, it’s about what the bowl of soup does for you, what it means, how it makes you feel, the memories involved and how it brings together family and friends and unites people regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, skin color, political affiliation or any other petty nonsense. That’s what food does. I believe it was Samuel Clemens that said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

Maybe that’s the key to world peace and the end of all this toxic political disagreement that now characterizes America today? What if we had some 80-year old avó from a tenement in Fall River or New Bedford who has been making kale soup for 65 years, force everyone to sit down a hot, fresh bowl of “happy” from the “old country” before they got to talking?

I bet you it would put a smile on all the gringoosh’s faces and they would all lighten up.

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Who makes the best kale soup in your house? Do you know of a restaurant that is as good as your avó makes it? Have a recipe to share?

If you enjoyed this type of article and are foodie who wants more you can read the other ones in the series here.




VIDEO: Homemade waffle cone at The Donut Factory in New Bedford

Here’s a look at the Reeses Pieces and peanut butter cup waffle cone at The Donut Factory at 102 Rockdale Ave. in New Bedford.




New Bedford Festival Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a sizzling production of the musical sensation MAMMA MIA!

New Bedford Festival Theatre celebrates its 30th Anniversary with a sizzling production of the musical sensation MAMMA MIA!! to be presented at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center. Come fall in love with this feel-good show, dazzling the Zeiterion stage from July 19th-28th for 7 amazing shows.

Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show!

ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A large cast, non-stop laughs and explosive dance numbers combine to make Mamma Mia! a guaranteed smash hit. A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget!

Such memorable and danceable ABBA hits as “Money, Money,” “Dancing Queen,”, “Lay All Your Love on Me,” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and the title song “Mamma Mia” wrap-up the story in brilliant musical numbers and energetic and spirited choreography that will lift the spirits and hearts of all audience members.

With splendid settings and costumes and a full orchestra, the multi-talented cast of 24 will have the audience singing along and dancing in the aisles to such ABBA hits as “Money, Money,” “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” “The Winner Takes It All,” “Take a Chance on Me,” and “Does Your Mother Know.” Don’t miss this spectacular summer celebration that will have the entire South Coast buzzing with joy! Dates are July 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 at 7:00 pm and July 21 and 28 at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are available at the Zeiterion box office, by calling 508.994.2900, or on-line at zeiterion.org/nbft-mama-mia/. Group discount rates are also available. To purchase tickets for groups of 10 or more, call 508-997-5664 x123 or email dlegge@zeiterion.org.

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New Bedford Festival Theatre

684 Purchase St
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Phone: (508) 991-5212

Email: newbedfordft@aol.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NewBedfordFestivalTheatre/
Website: nbfestivaltheatre.com/
Event Page: facebook.com/events/688291891591185/




Annual Play in the Park and Summer Food Service Program offers FREE, healthy lunch and activities to New Bedford youth all summer long

I’m a firm believer that genuine deeds of kindness, selflessness and generosity deserve to be recognized. While most people I know that possess these traits aren’t looking for the recognition, I think it is important to share because it not only shows the community the good that is therein but will become infectious. This is important for others to see, because it can soften the heart of the adult cynic, and will certainly be powerful in forming young minds and personalities.

Did you know that there is a program in the city whereby our youth can gather all summer to take part in supervised, safe and fun activities and also eat healthy meals to fuel up and have even more fun? There is and many aren’t even aware of it.

The “Play in the Park” summer food service program that the New Bedford Parks, Recreation and Beaches operates is an absolutely stellar and generous program that has a powerful impact in the community. Promoting health, wellness, nutrition and outdoor activities are just a few of the objectives. What does that specifically entail for youth in greater New Bedford through the coming summer months?

It means that with over 20 outdoor sites throughout the city and new ones coming, there are many fun, safe, structured recreational and educational activities they can participate in and also enjoy a free lunch. The goal is to get youth outside, stay active, make some new friends, sharpen social skills, and eat healthy during the summer months.

This year a new dinner program called Summer EATS will be introduced. As part of the Summer Food Program it will be running on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 4:00pm-7:00pm at Montes Park. Izzy’s Food Truck will be giving out free dinner to anyone 18 and under and there will be arts & crafts, games, and a free Ben Rose Recreational Basketball clinic during the dinners. The dinner program is rain or shine at Montes Park!

There is no need to sign up for anything – the only requirement is to be 18 and under and want to have a blast. Simply make plans and show up. These free youth activities take place at a variety of sites throughout the city that are strategically located in neighborhoods to maximize access for youth and/or are operated in collaboration with community partners who serve youth across the city. Want to plan to participate but concerned about rain? Not a problem as there are half a dozen indoor and covered sites. So, if you are a parent or guardian go right ahead and plan out the summer.

What I love about the way that the program determines the curriculum of a site’s activities is that they are not rote pre-determined activities, but the staff is so packed with creative ideas that they vary the day depending on the group of kids that show up that day. I call it “structured spontaneity” and it is a sure fire way to create a fun environment. A variety of crafts, games, and sports are utilized so as to appeal to every personality and interest. Even if your child is a bookworm there is something: the Art-Mobile and Book-Mobile also make visits to many of their sites.

A program of this caliber has to be spearheaded by people who care about the community and have a deep love for it. That way those characteristics trickle down to everyone involved. Like attracts like and if you have ever participated in any of the “Play in the Park” programs over the years, you know how evident this is and if you are planning on participating, you will find out.

“All of the staff in our program are New Bedford residents and it allows us to offer many summer positions and job training to them, especially to the many teenage employees we hire. For some of them this is their first job experience and then year after year they tell us how much they love working in our program and being able to give back to their community,” states New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches programs and events manager for Alexandrea Matthews.

The program which facilitates and operates over 65 food sites throughout the city has been a smashing success by serving tens of thousands of meals to low-income youth since it has been running – in 2018 alone they served well over 82,000 meals. Think about the impact on the community this outreach has considering that for many kids it is the only real nutritional meal they will have all week.

While the Summer Food Service Program runs throughout the country, here in New Bedford the program is called “Play in the Park” and it has been running since at least the 1960s. “We strive to reach more families and give out as many meals as possible,” explains Mary Rapoza, the Director of New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches. ”

Parents and grandparents come into our office all the time and tell us their first job was working in “Play in the Park” and let us know about all the great memories they still have of working in the program or they’ll tell us about their favorite thing they used to do with the staff as kids participating in the program.”

The powerful effect of a program that gets the local youth together, gives them an outlet, way to have fun and get fed can’t be stated enough. “Many of the kids that show up at our “Play in the Park” sites come every single day and form a close bond with the staff in our program. It gives them a good role model to look up to and learn from. The staff knows most of the kids who come to their sites by name and what their favorite sports or crafts are and by the end of the summer the staff are always sad when the kids have to go back to school.”

This highlights their “Of the community, for the community, by the community” ethos that drives everything that the program and everyone involved with it does.

Like last year, there will be two big events to kick-off the Summer Food Service Program/Play in the Park. The first will be on Thursday, June 27 at Montes Park from 4:00pm-7:00pm and will feature Izzy’s Food Truck who will be providing the mouth-watering food FREE of charge to all youth 18 and under from 5-6PM. There will be Basketball from 4-7PM with a recreational coach from the Ben Rose Recreational Education Center plus lots of arts & crafts as well as games.

This day will provide the community with a glimpse at what every Tuesday and Thursday will be like through August 22nd, excluding July 4th: FREE meals for kid & teens and lots of fun and healthy activities. See the flyer here.

The second on Friday, June 28 at Brooklawn Park from 11:00am-2:00pm. The special details of these kick-off events are yet to be declared but we’ll update this article as soon as they are announced.

Added this year during the lunch program there will be free lawn bowling program at Hazelwood Park, Mondays and Fridays. The Hayden-McFadden Elementary playground will be the site for the gardening program, a great way for the kids to get their green thumb.

As always, there will, of course, be plenty of activities like face painting, henna tattoos, caricatures, arts & crafts, sports, games and all kinds of hands-on fun at both kick off events!

“We have so much going on this year at our kick-off events and we hope that lots of families will be able to come out and enjoy them!” enthused Alexandrea Matthews. I am confident that anyone that shows up for these kick-off events will get a glimpse of that enthusiasm which is shared by everyone at New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches. Once you get a taste of the kick-off events, you will be starving for more and your kids will be tugging at your coattails to make sure plans are made for the summer involving the “Play in the Park.”

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Annual partners in the Play in the Park and Summer Food Program are the Mayor’s Office, the New Bedford Public Schools Department, the New Bedford Housing Authority, the Boys and Girls Club, the YWCA, Community Boating Center, Trips for Kids, and many other community-based agencies. For more information about the program contact Alexandrea.Matthews@newbedford-ma.gov 508-961-3015.

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New Bedford Parks, Recreation & Beaches
WHEN: Monday-Friday from June 19-August 23
Lunch: Monday – Friday from 11 am to 2 pm
Dinner: Montes Park Tuesday & Thursday 4 pm to 7 pm

WHERE: It will be held at parks, playgrounds, and housing sites across New Bedford. *Locations subject to change.

• Ashley Park
• Brickenwood Housing
• Brooklawn Park
• Buttonwood Park
• Clasky Common Park
• Dottin Place Housing
• Harrington Park
• Hayden-McFadden Playground
• Hazelwood Park
• Gomes School Playground
• Montes Park (Dinner Only)
• Noah’s Playground
• Nashmont Housing
• Parkdale Housing
• Presidential Heights Housing
• Riverside Park Playground
• Roberto Clemente Park
• Ruth Street Playground
• Satellite Housing
• Shawmut Village Housing
• Westlawn Housing

On rain days meals will still be provided at Andrea McCoy Recreation Center, Brooklawn Park, Montes Park (dinner), Roberto Clemente, Riverside Park, West Beach Pavilion.

Phone: 508-961-3015
Website: www.NBPRB.com
Facebook: facebook.com/NBParksRecreationBeaches/
Email: infoprb@newbedford-ma.gov

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Empire Ford in New Bedford – Service Department

$9.95 oil changes?! Here’s a look at Empire Ford of New Bedford’s service department – now open to 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursday. Oil changes are $9.95 between 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Call 888-693-0925 to make an appointment.




Foodie’s Guide to Regional Gastronomy: Dominican Republic’s Mofongo, Chimichurri and Pastelitos

Series Introduction (Move down if you’re familiar with the thread or don’t care)

In this series, we hope to highlight and showcase in as interesting a way as possible, the stories behind our favorite, mouth-watering local dishes. While we’ll focus on greater New Bedford and the South Coast, we will occasionally “travel” to places like Plymouth, Providence or even Boston. I will attempt to keep it light-hearted, fun and easy to read. While I can’t promise to keep you compelled and pull you along with prose – that would take a professional writer – I will promise to be liberal with the drool-inducing images of these dishes.

I grew up in a Sicilian household where everyone – man, woman, child – was participating in preparing meals. It was a “trick” to get everyone together, talking, laughing and of course, the occasional heated debate. Food was a huge part of our identity, where we came from, who we were. There was something special about the atmosphere that revolved around a meal that we prepared.

This is certainly not unique to an Italian or Sicilian household. Every ethnic group in the country has a proud culinary tradition that they grew up around. You can easily replace “Sicilian” with Irish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Ethiopian, Greek or anything else. This is why food as a topic is always so popular. We humans love our food and that passion goes beyond the gustatory or taste – we crave the aromas, delight in the presentation, are fueled by the atmosphere, and relish – pardon the pun – discussion about our favorite dishes, restaurants or cuisines.

One thing that is often not discussed – is glossed over, or barely touched upon – is the history or background of these dishes. Now, to some, this conjures up the voice of the guy from the “dry eyes” commercial. The terms, for many, are synonymous with “boring,” “dull,” or “It’s time to go.” However, the background can be interesting, fun, or funny and it can be so without being facetious, dumbed-down or popular. I will make every attempt to maintain a fresh balance with those elements in this series.

As always, feedback is encouraged. Anecdotes are wanted. Discussion is paramount. Please join in!

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There are many cultures that have contributed their cuisine to greater New Bedford. While the most known are Portuguese and French-Canadian, the various Latin American cuisines from the Hispanic world when combined is one of the greatest contributors in the region and the nation, for that matter.

While the language may be shared (though some native Spanish speakers may accuse other nations of not actually speaking Spanish!) the cuisines can have some astounding, stark differences. Having said that, nations near each other geographically cam often have variations of one particular dish – often claiming to be the originators.

The Dominican Republic has a relatively large presence in greater New Bedford and has brought a number of mouth-watering dishes. The Caribbean island nation shares the island with Haiti and is east of Cuba and Jamaica. That will give you a sense of the influences on their cuisine which comes primarily from Spain, but also has strong influences from the indigenous Taino, the Congo in West Africa and Levantine Middle East.

While nothing is ever better than home cooking, there are restaurants in the region that either specialize or offer a few dishes: La Candela, Celia’s, El Caribe and Panchi’s here in New Bedford and the aptly named Dominican Restaurant and Latino in Fall River. I have eaten quite a bit at the first three places, never at the others. I’ve also eaten at restaurants around the country and been privileged enough to have eaten home-cooked Dominican food from co-workers while working throughout New Bedford.

Mofongo and Mofongo Relleno

I will state from the get-go that Mofongo is one of the greatest dishes ever created on this planet. While Mofongo is considered by the majority of the Spanish speaking world to be Puerto Rican, it is, in fact, a dish that has its roots in West Africa’s Fufu, and when combined with Spanish influences became common throughout the Carribean.

So, what is the manna, this food dropped from heaven, this dish so good every bite is life-changing? Its base is mashed and fried plantains seasoned with garlic, salt and oil, and throughout the Carribean that is about the only thing they agree on. Plantains are native to Asia but made their way to West Africa before the Carribean where they are a staple to both.

Now, when it comes to things we foodies love, the word “juicy” is quintessential and pretty much describes everything that has ever been delicious. We need “juicy.” I will go into a cry-closet and not come out if something is dry. I will have temporary PTSD. The founding father Patrick Henry actually said “Give me juicy, or give me death.” and only through Chinese Whispers has his original historic statement been lost.

The plantains’ purpose is to absorb all the mouth-watering juiciness that comes from the meat and sauce that is poured over the top so we can enter foodie Nirvāṇa. An upside down bell is formed with the mashed plantains and then flipped onto a plate before being smothered with sauce and your choice of meat. The sauce is typically a chicken-based broth, garlic, olive oil, and the standard meat is chicken, shrimp or beef but can also be octopus, bacon, or chicharrón (pork cracklings).

In my opinion, the only thing better than that is the mofongo relleno or stuffed mofongo. Before flipping the shell you load it with sauce and filling, cap it off with more mashed plantain, flip it over and smother it with sauce and meat.

I have seen variations – mostly food stalls and food trucks – that leave the upside down bell in a plastic bowl and then they pour everything inside the “bell” and served.

Since we live in a melting pot of a community, I would love to see a fusion with Portuguese cuisine – a mofongo stuffed with shrimp Mozambique, pork Alentejana, or linguiça, anyone?

Pastelitos and Pasteles en Hojas

Pastelitos or Savory Turnovers are common not only throughout the Latin world but all over the world. You’d be hard pressed to find a culture that didn’t have some version, whether savory or sweet. Each culture has a different preference for the filling and even the name – pastelitos, pastelillo, pasteles, empanada, empanaditas, pastie, croquettes, dumpling, calzone, et al are used synonymously. Often the difference in a word is just the size or which preference a region or country has settled on.

Whatever you call them, planet earth and earthlings have a love affair with them. While they can be baked, they are typically fried to get the dough to be crispy and flaky and then stuffed with a delectable sauce and diced, chopped or ground beef, chicken or shrimp. Some can even have some melty, gooey cheese. My first foray into the Dominican version was simple ground beef and spices cooked by someone’s grandmother. If you have had one, you know that you really don’t need anything more than perfectly, lightly seasoned fresh ingredients and a crust that was fried until it was golden crisp. Simple ingredients, culinary works of art.

I have heard that some blasphemers will dip them in ketchup. If you witness evil in this form, please call your local police department and report it.

Pasteles en hojas is the use of grated plantains, on occasion cassava or potato, seasoned, mashed into a paste, shaped and stuffed with meat. They are then wrapped with a banana leaf and boiled. Sound familiar? Yes, it is akin to the famous Mexican tamale.

What makes these varieties of pasteles so popular beyond their tastiness are their utility: you can grab one on the go. Or if you are so predisposed, grab 2,3 or 8 on the go.

Chimichurri Dominicano or Chimi Hamburguesa

Like the pasteles, the Chimichurri Dominicano or Chimi Burger, is extremely popular among street vendors, trucks and stalls, perhaps even more so. There are even Chimi Trucks specializing in just this one iconic dish.

This sandwich is symbolic of much of Dominican cuisine – it takes the best of a few cultures and makes it their own. You have one part hamburger, one part Argentinian chimichurri, and one part Puerto Rico’s pan de agua bread. The meat is ground pork or beef, chimicurri is chopped garlic, fresh parsley and oregano, olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, and the bread is a sort of baguette which is crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Like red sauce with Italians, each cook makes their own special recipe and hungry foodies all swear their favorite variation is best of all. As you well know, there is an astounding variety in Italian sauce with just tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic which everyone claims is distinctly different and superior to everyone else’s. So you can imagine the variety and claims to superiority that the Chimi Burger comes with. In fact, just look at how zealous people can get in America when you ask them who makes the best burgers. A few ingredients prepared a particular way to differentiate it.

Honorable Mentions

Chicharrón de pollo (or puerca) Dominicano or chunks of fried chicken which can be eaten alone or used as a filling or topping are incredibly popular. A dish that sounds strange is Spaghetti a la Dominicana – spaghetti cooked with…milk, garlic, onions, peppers, olives and oregano covered in a salami based tomato sauce. I’ve never had it, so can’t vouch for it.

Of course, you’d have to live under a rock to have never heard of or tried tostones which are sliced plantains fried, removed from the oil, slightly flattened and then fried again. Salt and/or lightly season, serve still warm and you have a delicious snack.

Sopa de mondongo is a diced tripe (cow stomach) slow-cooked soup with vegetables, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, bell peppers, garlic and cilantro.

When it comes to desserts, the Dominican Republic makes a rice pudding (Arroz Con Leche) and Dulce de leche (with pineapple jam) that rivals anyone’s, but probably most popular and know the world over is Arepa a dense cornmeal and coconut cake. It is considered a “poor man’s” dish because of the common, few and simple ingredients (water, milk, sugar, egg, butter, cinnamon) and it is so easily made that kids often make it. Think of a moist cornbread with coconut and a hint of cinnamon added.

This was not meant to be an exhaustive list, so if I didn’t include something it is because I am unfamiliar with it.

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Do you have a favorite among these Dominican dishes? Or is your favorite not one that is mentioned? Do you make any of these dishes or know someone that does? Have a recipe? Let us know in the comments!

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