Destination: Santiago, Dominican Republic
We are driving from Santo Domingo to our next destination Puerto Plata while passing by the towns of Bonao, la Vega and Santiago de los Caballeros.
It is time for some refreshments. In a case like this I prefer to stop at a small, simple, authentic roadside restaurant where you literally can sense and taste some of the local flavor. We park our car beside a super clean “Parada” located in a small building that is in dire need of some repairs. “Parada” is the Dominican name for road stop restaurant. Here you can eat or drink something and – in some cases- buy some souvenirs or household items. We are welcomed by the two lovely Ladies, who are operating “our Parada” and apparently have been busy in their tiny kitchen all morning, preparing chicken legs and other delicious looking snacks. My driver and I order two cups of coffee, a bottle of water and two pieces of brown roasted chicken which we consume outside the restaurant, while standing at the high tables and taking in the view over the provincial road. Delicious! The encore consists of two more coffee’s that are being served with a big smile at our “open air bar”.
During my trip through the Dominican Republic I realize, again and again, how friendly and polite the Dominican people really are. The women running this small “Parada” are no exception. This simple yet excellent meal and service with a smile, costs less than 3 USD. It was the tastiest chicken I have eaten during my 3-week journey. In addition, the service and kindness of the “Parada Ladies” was one of the best and most sincere I ever experienced. This gives me ample reason to ask myself why I am going to check-in into a Playa Dorado resort for three nights. The Dominican Republic has so much more to offer than the popular All-inclusive packages.