PUERTO VIEJO – BROOKLYN
Cuisine: Dominican Republic
Average price pp: $18 -$25
Located on a corner of a cross road in busy Brooklyn, Puerto Viejo prides itself
on delivering not only authentic Dominican cuisine but giving its diners the ultimate
On entering, the colours of brown and grey created an ambience that was very laid
back and chilled. I was seated at the bar area where I waited for the owner. I did feel that
staff did take a while to ask if I wanted anything to drink.
When I met the owner, Maritza, she was very amicable and welcoming. Maritza and
her brothers took over the family business 10 years ago from their parents. The bistro has
been there for 35 years in total. We had conversations about various topics and I was informed
that Dominican cuisine varies depending on what part of the island you are from. The family
The Morir Sonando, a yoghurt-like drink made up of milk, orange juice, vanilla and
ice, had a great consistency and the flavours had been blended well. The translation from
Spanish to English is “to die dreaming” which I presume is an emphasis on how tasty
this drink is. I was pleased. It was simple drink but tasted good.
A spicy pork empanada followed. Similar to the Jamaican patty, only the pastry was
crispier than your average patty. There was a lot of the shredded pork filling , which meant
that every time I took a bite I got this generous amount of meat. Furthermore, the
pastry had a rough texture, it reminded me of some apple pies that I have had in the
past. A delicious vinegar and red onion dip, offset the spiciness of the pork and gave it a sour
twist. I have to admit I that I enjoyed the dip so much that at certain points, I was eating
it alone. My first impression of empanadas: Yum!
A side of yuca fries also known as cassava fries, came next. They were cut thick and
displayed like the board game Jenga. I found these to be more filling than the usual
potato fries. They were starchier but not as heavy as potatoes. There is also a light
sweetness to the cassava that made it more pleasant. The garlic dip was good but I would
have preferred if the taste of garlic was stronger.
For my main meal, I had a sancocho: a soup with many ingredients but the main ones I tasted
was chicken, plantain and potato. I was amazed to see how similar this was to the soup that
my Mum cooks. The chicken was delicate yet, it had a great firmness to it. I liked this soup but
would have liked it more without the cilantro as I am not very fond of this herb.
You can also add avocado slices and rice to this meal for only $4. After I had finished the soup
I realised that I had eaten it wrong. You’re meant to put the rice in the soup or at least scoop the
rice then scoop the soup so that they are all on the same spoon. I did the latter a few times,
however, I preferred the rice, topped with alfalfa, alongside the avocado slices which had been
drizzled in olive oil. I don’t really like the taste of salt and could sense it in the
rice so the avocado balanced this perfectly.
- Food presentation
- Food quality
- Service & Organisation
I would have liked to have tried more dishes but weirdly, I was so full. On a whole, I enjoyed what I ate at Puerto Viejo. I wanted to try foods that best represented the Dominican Republic and after looking more into this cuisine, I believe this goal was achieved. The restaurant had a great setting and minus the delay in the beginning, service was good. Now I can go back to London and say that I have eaten authentic Dominican cuisine. *coolface*
Spicy pork empanadas