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Lynn, Lynn, City of Really Good Dominican Food

StriperGuy Nov 24, 2008 07:27 AM

Was going to hit Mittapheap on Sunday, but was sort of driving around Lynn when I looked into the window of D'Leomar Restaurant, a cafeteria style place in Lynn. Very authentic looking Dominican food in the heated chafing dishes.

Very, very local crowd inside. Other then the staff, all men, all obviously knew each other. They greeted me and my dining companion when we came in. They were all watching the Patriots game and eating Mondongo, fish soup, and other interesting looking fair.

I had the braised pork ribs with pidgeon peas and white rice. My DC had little meatballs, eggplant white rice, and red beans.

All I can say is wow! I grew up in a very Dominican neighborhood in NYC and D'Leomar made some of te best, most home made tasting Dominican food I had ever tasted. Neither the beans or the pidgeon peas were "out of the Goya can" as is often the case these days. In fact I think the pidgeon peas had some coconut milk in them.

The pork ribs were braised to savory perfection. Wish I had some more for lunch today. Even the meatballs, which I thought would be a boring choice, were amazing. Both me and my DC were thrilled at the find and promised to return.

Great neighborhood vibe, decent amount of seating. Not a bad place for a chowdown. The people were so friendly.

D'Leomar Restaurant
228 Union St
Lynn, MA 01901
(781) 595-6114

Further note: there was another place across the street that also looked Dominican, but the cooking looked less interesting. There are also a half dozen other places nearby that look worth checking out: Mexican, Vietnamese, El Salvadoran, etc.

  1. Bob Dobalina Nov 24, 2008 07:53 AM

    Striper, thanks again for another true chow find.

    1. galangatron Nov 24, 2008 08:16 AM

      had a nice goat stew at d'leomar last year. came with arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), habichuelas guisadas (stewed red beans), and molondrone (okra in tomato sauce)

      there are a bunch of other good dominican restaurants in lynn. el tipico, la fe, pare y coma, and rincon macorisano to name a few. most of them are cafeteria style and get pretty crowded around lunchtime

      lots of other options in the area too. pho lynn and pho minh ky (vietnamese), el pulgarcito and topacio (salvadoran), jamaica flavor (jamaican), cali sandwich (sinh to and banh mi), mi guatemala bakery, etc

      5 Replies
      1. re: galangatron
        hiddenboston Nov 24, 2008 08:33 AM

        Lynn is in some ways like East Boston---lots of interesting ethnic restaurants, most of which are completely unknown. I definitely hope to do a food trip there one of these days...

        1. re: hiddenboston
          StriperGuy Nov 24, 2008 08:38 AM

          I don't think they are unknown to the people who eat there every day ;-).

          1. re: StriperGuy
            hiddenboston Nov 24, 2008 08:47 AM

            That'd be a good trick! :-D

        2. re: galangatron
          StriperGuy Nov 24, 2008 08:41 AM

          Saw that Jamaican place... actually had a nice cafe con leche at the Guatemala Bakery. They had some very nice chile's rellenos on the counter too. And a couple of guys were eating what looked like roast pork sandwiches. The baked goods were the usual central american fair rolls and other plainish cookies, but there was some bread pudding in a case that looked promising.

          1. re: StriperGuy
            opinionatedchef Nov 24, 2008 09:29 PM

            striper,
            is the guatemala bakery called Mi Guatemala, on union St. just down from la Fe?
            tell me about the chiles rellenos plse: fried, w/ tomato sauce? the only great chiles rellenos I've had in New Eng. are served at Penny Cluse in Burlington Vt. Perfection.

        3. opinionatedchef Nov 24, 2008 08:59 PM

          I do a La Fe take-out trip a few times a year and stock my freezer with some of their roast pernil (pork shoulder),arroz con giandules (rice with pigeon peas), habichuelas guisadas (stewed red beans), and molondrone (okra in tomato sauce. Their eggplant w/ pork is also luscious.(offered on alternate days w/ the molondrone.) All freeze quite well independently except the pork which I mix with the habichuelas before freezing so that stewy sauce surrounds the meat.

          Very cheap and satisfying comfort food. I have also tried everything else at La Fe, but unfortunately do not care for any of their fried things or other stewy dishes. But the above is plenty to make one appreciative!

          I'm on my last container of molondrone (I wonder when New Englanders are going to wake up to the glories of stewed okra!) so I'll stop by D'Leomar when I next visit Lynn. Thank you for the tip.

          11 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef
            galangatron Nov 24, 2008 09:35 PM

            had the pernil at la fe and agree that it's good. especially if you ask for the crispy fatty skin. they also have lots of homemade juice and beverages. my favorite is morir sonando (orange juice, evaporated milk, sugar, and vanilla)

            1. re: galangatron
              opinionatedchef Nov 25, 2008 10:09 AM

              hmmmm. a liquido dreamsicle! what an intriguing name! does that translate as "to die dreaming"? itaunas- are you out there?

              1. re: opinionatedchef
                Aromatherapy Nov 25, 2008 10:41 AM

                Yes, die dreaming

                1. re: opinionatedchef
                  galangatron Nov 25, 2008 08:17 PM

                  correct. it's a popular dominican drink

              2. re: opinionatedchef
                StriperGuy Nov 25, 2008 06:25 AM

                Did not realize I would awaken the Dominican food loving contingent. I agree the roast meats at La Fe looked promising. The stewed stuff at D'Leomar were the winners in that realm; I almost had the goat that Galangatron mentioned. D'Leomar also had a really amazing looking seafood salad.

                Also about a mile away I noticed another Dominican place that from the car seemed more of a sit-down place but mentioned lots of fried stuff on their sign.

                To OC's question above the rellenos were dry, the dipped in egg-batter variety and looked very promising. A HUGE tray of them were on the counter.

                On the Okra front, I am a huge stewed okra fan, make it often myself, and I prefer not to cook it for so long (I like it when it is still a bit slimey.)

                Finally, forgot to mention also hit a great, very tidy Cambodian grocery store:

                Full Moon Market
                369 Summer Street
                Lynn, MA

                Great Asian stuff. Really interested Cambodian desserts, steamed buns, and things wrapped in banana leaves. I tried a rice ball dessert with yellow bean inside, black sesame outside in syrup, and then in the container with the dumplings and the syrup was a little bag of coconut milk. The lady in the store said nuke it for a few seconds, burst the bag, and eat. It was delicious! Would love to go back and try some of the other items they sold.

                Much as I love Eastie, honestly

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  opinionatedchef Nov 25, 2008 10:18 AM

                  striper,
                  is' the guatemala bakery' the same as Mi Guatemala, on union St. just down from la Fe?

                  btw, okra is slimey whether you cook it long or not. that quality never goes away once it's cut and stewed. a quick and delic recipe i made up: saute the whole okra in some evoo, pour over it a jar or 2 of good tasty salsa, with corn and black beans (unfortunately,TrJs doesn't sell theirs anymore ) or a jar of TrJ Mojito sauce,. cover and simmer til okra is tender. freezes great.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    StriperGuy Nov 25, 2008 11:39 AM

                    Guatemalan bakery is one and the same.

                    My experience with Okra (I make it rather often) is that it definitely peaks in sliminess in the first 5-10 minutes of simmering and that over time the sliminess breaks down. If you cook it for 1/2 hour or so on relatively high heat 90-95% of the sliminess has broken down. I did a little googling and apparently a polysaccharide (long chain of sugars) is responsible for the slime. It makes sense that these polysaccharides break down with long exposure to heat.

                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      opinionatedchef Nov 25, 2008 01:26 PM

                      thanks striper. i def'ly want to get some of their chiles rellenos. re: the okra, very interesting but i've never NOT had slimy okra and I thought I had surely 'overcooked' it accidentally before. hmmmm.

                      what did you think of the recipe; might you try it?

                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                        StriperGuy Nov 25, 2008 01:55 PM

                        Recipe sounds tasty; might just give it a whirl.

                        On the slimey okra front, try just sauteeing it for a brief 3-5 minutes, you'll get slimey for sure.

                  2. re: StriperGuy
                    galangatron Nov 25, 2008 08:22 PM

                    full moon market is on commercial street. the cambodian dessert sounds like nom bon skor (glutinous rice flour balls filled with yellow bean paste in sweet syrup topped with coconut milk)

                    there is another cambodian grocery store on essex street called new angkor thom market. it's a lot smaller and doesn't offer quite the same selection though

                    two other spots in the area: further down commercial street (towards market sq) is the lynn location of taqueria mexico and around the corner from full moon market (on summer street) is cielito lindo, a mexican/salvadoran restaurant

                    1. re: galangatron
                      StriperGuy Nov 26, 2008 12:17 AM

                      Also in a previous thread I mentioned Pailin Market up near Mittapheap. Nice Cambodian store that always has their own roast duck in the window.

                2. h
                  hungrycollegestudent Dec 2, 2008 08:49 PM

                  Anyone been to the Salvadorean place? I've been kind of desperate for Salvadorean food ever since I emptied my fridge of the goodies my parents brought back...

                  And does anyone know of other Salvadorean places? perhaps closer to Boston and Cambridge?

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: hungrycollegestudent
                    hiddenboston Dec 3, 2008 04:28 AM

                    For Salvadorean food near Boston, the original Tacos Lupita is located in Somerville near Porter Square.

                    1. re: hiddenboston
                      StriperGuy Dec 3, 2008 06:23 AM

                      Yeah but Tacos Lupita does not have a lot of real Salvadoran specialties, it really is a Taco place (a good one) run by Salvadoran's not a full blown Salvadoran restaurant. No stewy dishes, etc.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        hiddenboston Dec 3, 2008 12:35 PM

                        You got me there....hmmmm, there is a place in Chelsea called El Santaneco that might be worth checking out. I haven't been yet, but the menu looks pretty good.

                        http://www.elsantaneco.com/

                        1. re: hiddenboston
                          e
                          El Guapo Dec 3, 2008 01:28 PM

                          What about El Buen Gusto in Eastie?

                          1. re: El Guapo
                            hiddenboston Dec 3, 2008 07:10 PM

                            Is that the place near Jeveli's in Day Square? I haven't been there yet. What's the atmosphere like?

                          2. re: hiddenboston
                            galangatron Dec 3, 2008 08:07 PM

                            haven't been to el santaneco but metapan restaurante on broadway in chelsea is a good salvadoran restaurant. and, as a bonus, it's right next door to tito's bakery

                      2. re: hungrycollegestudent
                        galangatron Dec 3, 2008 07:57 PM

                        been to el pulgarcito, topacio, and cielito lindo. el pulgarcito is my favorite. lots of soups, stews, and grilled dishes. they also have pupusas made with both corn flour and rice flour

                        topacio has an equally broad menu and is the sister restaurant to the one on meridian street in east boston. cielito lindo has a much smaller menu and is more centered on mexican/salvadoran food. there is also another mexican/salvadoran restaurant in market sq called salem tipico II

                        for a salvadoran restaurant closer to boston try el buen gusto in day sq, east boston. highly recommend the pupusas revueltas and tres leches cake for dessert

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