Latino-owned restaurants represent Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Chicharrones and other Cuban classics are first on the menu, served at Gustazo in Waltham, then Mofongo and Pollo Frito at Merengue in Boston

Updated: 8:04 p.m. EDT May 5, 2021

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AND WE LOVE OUR FOOD HERE AT CHRONICLE. ♪ >> GUSTAZO MEANS GREAT PLEASURE IN SPANISH AND THE OWNER OF THIS RESTAURANT WANTS A MEAL TO BE ONLY THAT. >> THAT’S THE QUINTESSENTIAL CUBAN DISH. Slow-roasted pork with rice, caramelized onions. >> SHE WAS A PROFESSIONAL DANCER BEFORE LEAVING CUBA WITH HER MUSIC HUSBAND AND MOVING TO MASSACHUSETTS IN 2001. >> THE COUPLE HAPPENED TWICE FROM THEIR STAY AND OPENED A SECOND LOCATION IN CAMBRIDGE. >> I’m interested in keeping the basic core flavors of the kitchen, but I also hope to be creative and discover new things. >> SHE MIXES CLASSICAL DISHES WITH CONTEMPORARY GARNISH. THERE ARE ALSO HAM CROQUETTES WITH A SINGLE AND BABY BACK RIBS WITH PUREE PINEAPPLE WITH PICKLED BEETS. >> THERE’S MUCH MORE THAT GOES BEYOND RICE, BEANS, PLANTS AND PIG. >> THE KITCHEN CURES IT WELL, DE LA VEGA GIVES HIS PASSION INTO THE DESIGN OF THE DINING ROOM. MOVIE POSTERS CREATED BY CUBAN ARTISTS SENT THE WALLS AND SUPPORT COLUMNS ARE WRAPPED LIKE CIGARS, YOU WOULD >> A CARD OF CUBA CIGARS. >> A map of Cuba back. THE LEAVES REPRESENT THE MOST PROMINENT TOBACCO PLANTS IN THIS PROVINCE. >> THESE CREATIONS ARE ALSO SENTIMENTAL. >> TOBACCO HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MY LIFE, BECAUSE IN A THOUSAND ONE, MY HUSBAND AND I HAD CAMANIC CIGARS AND SOLD THEM AND THAT’S THE MONEY WE HAD. >> WHILE YOUR NATIVE COUNTRY REMAINS IN THE PAST, GUSTAZO HELPS KEEP YOUR CONNECTION TO THE PRESENTATION OF CULTURE. >> I got closer to these prices through the food. >> MERENGUE IS HECTOR’S HOMAGE FOR THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. >> IF PEOPLE WANT AUTHENTIC DOMINICANS, COME TO MERENGUE. >> IT OPENED A SMALLER VERSION IN 1984 AND MOVED FAIRLY TO THIS LARGER ENTRANCE IN 2001. MERENGUE IS THE FIRST OF THREE RESTAURANTS THAT HE OPENED IN BOSTON, EACH SUITABLE FOR A SPECIFIC ISLAND KITCHEN. VEJIGANTES IS A FLAVOR OF RICO. HABANA IS CUBAN. IT’S ALSO THE FIRST LATINO’S OWN RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL IN MASSACHUSETTS. >> WE REALLY TRY WHAT WE DO TO BRING THE AUTHENTIC. >> THIS AUTHENTICITY IS ON THE PLATES AT MERENGUE PALPABEL. STARTING WITH THE MAFANGO. >> IT IS A CONZOCTION OF PLAN-TAINTS, FOURTH GRAINS, A LITTLE SALT. >> IT IS DIVIDED WITH A SIDE OF CHICKEN BREAD TO SOLVE IT. THERE’S ALSO THE FRIED CHICKEN WITH A LATIN FLAIR. >> IT BRINGS A UNIQUE TASTE. >> A sweet side for the table. >> MY FAVORITE IS MY FRIEND, DAVID ORTIZ. >> MERENGUE’S MENU FILLED THE STOMACHS OF MANY CELEBRATIONS, POLITICS AND PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. >> I think it’s been 20 years. >> LIKE FAST MUSIC AND DANCE, MERENGUE HAS THE POWER TO TRANSPORT YOU TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC WITHOUT LEAVING BOSTON. >> WHEN PEOPLE EAT HERE SOME DISHES BRING BACK THE MEMORY OF THEIR GRANDMOTHER OR MOTHER. ♪ >> HECTOR WOULD LIKE TO ENTER IN ITS FOURTH RESTAURANT VENTURE, CILANTRO LATIN KITCHEN, A FAST, CASUAL RESTAURANT THAT OFFERS A LIGHTER LATINO PRICE. IT IS PLANNED TO OPEN LATER THIS YEAR ON TREMONT STREET IN ROXBURY. AND BACK TO THE CUBAN RESTAURANT WE SHOWED YOU – YOU EXPAND THE WALTHAM SPOT. THEY ARE RENOVATING A ROOM IN THE REAR WHERE THEY HOPE TO HOST LIVE MUSIC AND ADDING ADDITIONAL PATIO SPACE FOR DINING. NEXT, AUTHENTIC

Latino-owned restaurants represent Cuba and the Dominican Republic

Chicharrones and other Cuban classics are first on the menu, served at Gustazo in Waltham, then Mofongo and Pollo Frito at Merengue in Boston

Updated: 8:04 p.m. EDT May 5, 2021

Gustazo is a Cuban restaurant with a menu that adds a creative culinary touch to the island’s authentic flavors. The owner Patricia Estorino emigrated from Cuba to Massachusetts with her husband Adolfo de la Vega in 2001. The two later opened their first restaurant in Belmont and have since expanded twice in Waltham and opened a second location in Cambridge. Merengue is a Roxbury restaurant that brings a taste of the Dominican Republic to Boston. The colorful restaurant, owned by native Dominican Hector Piña, has been on Blue Hill Avenue since 2001 and is preferred by celebrities, politicians and athletes.

Gustazo is a Cuban restaurant with a menu that adds a creative culinary touch to the island’s authentic flavors. The owner Patricia Estorino emigrated from Cuba to Massachusetts with her husband Adolfo de la Vega in 2001. The two later opened their first restaurant in Belmont and have since expanded twice in Waltham and opened a second location in Cambridge.

Merengue is a Roxbury restaurant that brings a taste of the Dominican Republic to Boston. The colorful restaurant, owned by native Dominican Hector Piña, has been on Blue Hill Avenue since 2001 and is preferred by celebrities, politicians and athletes.