I cannot really say if international traveling makes me suffer from jet lag more or if it does wicked things to heighten my appetite. Having returned from a long trip, where I stood up for a friend in his wedding, I have been waffling between napping, unfolding, and hunting for something to fill my jaws. Honestly, that’s routine for me every weekend, but globetrotting really spikes my want for putting my feet under the table and making magic — making food disappear.
Now, I am not a fan of denying myself a proper breakfast. And my friend’s uncle and aunt, who was hosting a group of us, cooked a Dominican breakfast that left me a tad bit rumpled with a constant smile. Their desayuno was exactly the hint I needed to find myself venturing towards the southern end of Logan Square to Punta Cana Restaurant at 2200 N. Kimball Avenue. Small, quaint, family style, and with the kitchen viewing distance from the seating area even for those with nearsighted vision, I was at one of the tables having a Dominican staple of mangu, eggs, and fried cheese. Sprung!!! When your hunger actually has a voice, trust me when I say that a plate of mashed plantains, eggs sunny side up, and fried cheese will satisfy your craving. And with a cafe con leche in hand — Starbucks what? Intelligentia where? Dunkin Donuts huh? — I was very much in my happy place.
A few days had passed and I returned. I was curious as to whether they had a certain staple in the Dominican diet that Dominicans enjoy during the weekends. I wanted some sancocho. Wouldn’t you know that as soon as I got through the door, there were others sitting at the few tables with their faces hovering over bowls of the soup? I must have been a bit too overjoyed because a few seconds had passed before I registered that the woman at cash register had asked me where I was from because my Spanish was so fluent. If I don’t know anything else in any other language, I have a comfort ordering food. And believe me when I say that you, too, will speak Spanish complete with accent and inflections once you start slurping some sancocho. ¡Aye, Dios mios!
When I made the first pass over the alphabets for the blog, finding a country representative of D was challenging. There was one Dominican restaurant that I did stumble upon. With these recent visits to Punta Cana Restaurant, I have a feeling there may be more. I shall have to hunt for them because it may be some time before I get back to Dominican Republic. In the meantime, it costs me far less to walk or bike to Punta Cana Restaurant for some more mangu and sancocho. Gino, your plate of food is in la concina.