This weekend we took a day trip to Juan Dolio to check out an apartment for my parents that will be staying with us in DR for some time between January and March. After breakfast, checking out a dope apartment at Club Hemingway, and spending some time at Hemingway’s fabulous beachfront/pool area we decided to stop at Pekara’s for lunch on the way out of Juan Dolio. I’ve spoken briefly about Pekara before and visited their place on Carr Nueva (on some maps it shows up as Villas del Mar) near Hemingway’s but this was the first time we went to its newer location, right next door to Metro Country Club on the main boulevard in Juan Dolio, appropriately named, Boulevard de Juan Dolio.
From the outside, Pekara is understatedly chic. It looks fresh and deceivingly modest.
But once you open the doors, you are imported to an off-beat, European café. The wooden A-frame ceiling is opulent without adding the ornate chandeliers. The weathered wood tables are painted different colors and the mix of chairs and bench seating is swanky in the home-iest of ways. You feel like you’re eating at your hip friend’s house instead of a run of the mill beach café.
But the real surprise came with the rest of Pekara’s space, the unexpected use of its natural setting. Located by the Metro Country Club, it is situated on a large plot of green, rolling space and they made full use of it.
The first thing I saw was the breakfast menu and I was super disappointed it wasn’t breakfast time because it included some of my fave dishes: eggs benny, eggs florentine, Nutella pancakes. Mmmmm… (so I guess we’ll have to go back) but no matter, the lunch menu was just as yum.
Let me start by saying that although we didn’t order the pizza – this time – any place that has a brick oven for pizzas can plan on seeing me again. (Yes, apparently we will be going back quite a bit.) But here’s what we did order.
I’ve been on a croqueta de pollo kick for – hmmm…about 4 years – so I had to order them. They were a kicked up, flavorful spin on the traditional chicken croquette and they were savory deliciousness. (There was a bone in one but enjoyable just the same.)
The Mexican salad was the sh*t. Chicken, avocado, cheese, onions, tomatoes, tortilla chips, and a light dressing with a hint of spicy kick at the end, not to mention that the salad itself was perfectly dressed. I usually order an extra side of dressing because I find most salads too dry but this was dressed like a Pinterest board and it was exactly what I wanted after a day in the sun. Oh, and it was huge, so I got to save some for later.
Husband chose the vegetarian sandwich. If you know me, you know that even mentioning a veggie option makes me frown but this made me happily smile. The ciabatta bread looks doughy and overpowering but was a cloud of well-worth-it carbs. It was everything. This carnivore gives it the seal of approval.
And of course, the cappuccino – beautiful and heavenly – that we chose to drink outside while the kids ran free.
Like a clam whose real treasure is inside, Pekara was a pearl. Maybe I’ll see you there this weekend.
Av. Boulevard (next to Carol Pharmacy and entrance to Metro Country Club)
* Other location in town is off of Carr. Nueva / Villas del Mar. Behind Guilia’s.
~ UNTIL THE NEXT BOTTLE ~
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