In my last post about my adventures in Santo Domingo, I made a reference to an unnamed place where my friend Hector took me to grab a bite to eat. Well, it's time to name this unnamed place and tell you exactly what it was I ate.
The place is called La Markesina, and they specialize in serving chimi's.
What's a chimi you ask? This is a chimi:
To the naked eye, it looks like any old hamburger. Well, as far as I'm concerned it's probably the best damn hamburger I've ever had. This thing could easily out sell the Big Mac if you ask me.
Anyway, my personal taste buds aside, a chimi is the Dominican version of a hamburger. It's full name is chimichurri, not to be confused with the Argentinian salsa of the same name.
Let's talk a little more about La Markesina.
La Markesina is a very popular place in Santo Domingo, but it's not a regular hamburger place like here in the US. It's an outdoor "restaurant" if you will. Actually, think of it as more of a puesto de hamburguesas - hamburger stand.
I was only thinking about stuffing my face when I was there, so I didn't take a photo of the place, but luckily I found some photos on their Facebook page. We'll get to the pictures in a minute, let's talk about the process of getting your hands on one of these delicious hamburgers.
First you have to place your order. The menu is pretty extensive.
I had the #4, El Doble Full de To' or The double with everything. To' is short for todo.
After you decide what you want, you give your order to the guys working the grill.
Once your order is in, you have a seat and they bring your food to you when it's done.
As you can see, the seating is outside. You basically just hang out and shoot the breeze. At night it's a virtual party. People are everywhere, not to mention the music. If the music isn't coming out of a boom box then it's coming out of a car stereo. You can even have a nice cold beer while you're relaxing and enjoying your chimi.
I gotta say, if you go to Santo Domingo, La Markesina is place you just have to go to. If even if you don't, you have to try a chimi, no matter where you get it from. Add it to your list of things to do, you won't regret it.
You can find them on Facebook if you want to take a closer look at what they have to offer.
While the chimi was probably the highlight of my food adventures, there was one other thing that really got my attention, and it's called a yaniqueque.
I saw my first yaniqueque on the beach in Boca Chica, which is about an hour away from Santo Domingo. You may know a yaniqueque as a good old Johnny Cake. Personally I had never heard of them in English either. Anyway, people were walking around the beach selling them all day long.
After you buy your yaniqueque, add ketchup to taste and have at it.
I have to admit, my trip to the beach was pretty interesting. Aside from trying a yaniqueque, I tried coconut milk straight out of a coconut for the first time, and I believe I even saw a few sanky panky's appling their trade.
What's a sanky panky you ask? Well, a sanky panky is a guy trying to find female tourists willing to pay him to spend time with her and wine and dine him. Some sanky panky's are looking for something even bigger, like finding a woman willing to marry him and take him back to her country. In fact, there was even a very popular Domican movie about sanky panky's, not surprisingly called Sanky Panky. It's in Spanish, and it's kinda cute. If you've got a few hours to kill and want to practice your Spanish check it out.
That's it for now. I've got one more post to make to bring you 100% up to speed on my Dominican adventures, so stay tuned!