So another day rolls around and I’m the only member of my lunch crowd that’s “in the office”. Not in the mood for the any of the regular spots, I open up my “lists” to see what is near the office. Every restaurant on the list appears to be Asian and I’m just not in the mood for rice or noodles or sushi. Then I found Cafe Restaurante Dominicano on the list from the AJC’s March 2012 Spring Dining Guide. Dominican food? I don’t know that I’ve ever had it. What is it? I don’t know. Why the heck not?
As I entered, the front of the restaurant was all tables (save for a small stage in the front right corner) with a steam table (pictured above) in the back left and a bar in the back right. I walked up to check out the steam table and asked what was being served. The first server deferred to another young lady, and she explained that the table contained steamed chicken, steamed goat, steamed pork, steamed bananas, oxtails and about half a dozen other dishes.
I decided to order from the menu instead and ordered a grilled chicken breast (which was served with an unexpected and unannounced salad), along with
mofungo and maduros. We had mofungo when we were in Puerto Rico and I recalled it as being quite tasty. And I love maduros.
The chicken was nicely seasoned and the mofungo (which is made from fried plantains which are mashed into a mortar and pestle and served with a side of chicken broth) was the perfect accompaniment. The maduros were long-sliced, instead of cross-sliced, and weren’t as deep-fried or sweet as they are in most Cuban restaurants. I cleaned that bowl.
The two most amazing things about this place:
- there was a constant flow of people. In the fifty minutes or so that I was in there, there must have been at least eighty folks come through, of all ages and from all walks of life. Businessmen, families, old couples and blue collar workers; eating in, mostly from the buffet, and carrying out; and everyone talked to everyone; and
- no one but me spoke English <g>.
This place seemed to be the focal point of a community (like Cheers, but no one yelled “Norm”, or if they did I didn’t understand them) and the food was excellent. And reasonable – all that food was right at $10.00 and the steam table was less. I’ll be going back.