The Port Of Silver

Brilliant colors and people flood this beautiful city.

Unable to cook  my Carpel Tunnel Surgery has me down but not out. I am taking this time to reflect and share some of my past adventures. Food related of course. I didnt take that many food pictures on this vacation as I was staying in town and not at a resort. Evidently it’s quite rude to film food. Anyway I didnt want to upset anyone so I gladly ate and drank with my camera off (for the most part).

Puerto Plata, really a lovely city, with wondrous sites and culinary delights. There was much to see, eat and do while I was there. Sadly the major port to Puerto Plata had been closed because of their lack of upkeep. I did see and hear of brighter days ahead. They were trying to clean up the port area so cruise ships could set anchor. Tourism would definitely give this city a nice boost.

Christopher Columbus was said to be the first tourist of Puerto Plata in 1492.  In 1496, Columbus brother Bartholomew officially founded the city, naming it San Felipe de Puerto Plata. Now tourists flock to this less expensive tropical paradise to spend their vacations.

I went with a friend David who was also a lover of travel. We decided to find an apartment in the city instead of life at the resort. We both spoke Spanish. Well Dave spoke Spanish I spoke mostly Spanglish derived from kitchen Spanish. I understood more than I spoke anyway. Anyhoo, upon arrival we asked our taxi driver to recommend a place, in which he immediately said Lomar. we took this as a good sign and the driver speed off toward our new home for 2 weeks.

Aparta-hotel Lomar

It was rather cool being immersed into the city. I wandered around and eventually rented a moped to see more of the sites. The neighborhoods were tight but fairly clean. The people from the area were very nice. I was surprised that no one was asking me to by anything. Probably as surprised as they were to see a white boy walking around by himself.

There was beauty everywhere I looked in this concrete jungle.

This vacation was taken back in 2007. At this time the best pizza I have ever had was at a little place on the boardwalk (maecon) called Pizzeria Portofino. Ijust googled it and it is in fact still there!

Portofino Bar

portofino-pizzeriaI ate here quite a bit. Everything was good here including the scenery, staff and music.

The Tam Tam

Another great place was the Tam Tam also right on the Boardwalk. This is where I had my afternoon caf’e each day.

The Old FortAquaceros Barcoconut

Egg Boy

My favorite place to relax and watch the world go by was Comacho Restaurant right next door to Aparta-Hotel Lomar. This place was the bomb-diggity! The staff was so nice. Their Chef/server/host/everything Maria was kind enough to tell me about all of the various island specialties and pretty much cooked me whatever I wanted. My friend Dave became very close with her.

serious discussion

Morning Views

Dusk

All-in-all I recommend you visit this place. It has a bunch of character. You don’t have to be like me and rough it in the city, you can stay at Playa Dorado. This is a mega resort. Nice beaches (I snuck onto a few) and great golfing. You will also find lots of Americans their. I actually bumped into an old-timer who was nice enough to take me on a small tour and to his home. he and his wife had retired there years ago. he was very informative about the do’s and dont’s. So if you like the beach, good people,  food and drinks, and all at a reasonable price….book your trip now!

There were so many delicious things I ate while on vacation but for some reason what I had for breakfast EVERYDAY is what really resonated with me. It’s called mangu. This is basically boiled plantains all mashed up. It is served as a side. i had it with eggs over easy and toast. The first time I had it, it was topped with red onions simmered in a vinegar. Maria was kind enough to let me change it up a bit. I asked her to make as normal but instead of the onions on top, I asked if she could caramelize them ahead of time and add them to the mixture. She obliged and it was YUMMMEEEE! Here is a recipe!

Mangu

Ingredients:

  • 4 unripe plantains
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rough chop cilantro
  • 1 cup of cold water
  • salt
  • 3/4 cup of caramelized onions

Before Starting to Cook:
Peel the plantains and cut into 8 pieces.

Caramelize onions

Method:
Boil the plantains adding 2 teaspoons of salt to the water. When the plantains are very tender turn off the heat.

Take the plantains out of the water and mash them with a fork. Add the butter and the cold water and keep mashing until it is very smooth. mix in the onions and cilantro & serve with scrambled eggs or deep-fried slices of salami.

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