Baseball and Chuletas at Rincon Macorisano

Posted on May 26, 2010


Rincon means corner or spot, in the sense of place. Macorisano is a person from Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Rincon Macorisano head chef Basilio Encarnacion is a Macorisano from San Pedro de Marcoris, a city notable for being the birthplace of one in six of the 147 Dominicans who have made it to the major leagues. Basilio has the distinction of calling some of them friends, for example, Pedro Guerrero. (By the way,there’s a book about San Pedro called The Eastern Stars by Mark Kurlansky.)

The chef cooks behind a display of bats at Rincon Macorisano

All of this explains the profusion of baseball memorabilia showcased in the restaurant: pictures of Big Papi, baseballs, bats, banners and a book called “Macorisanos at Bat.” Two widescreen TVs show a major league game in progress. The lights are low, national flags hang from wooden rafters and salsa music plays loud from time to time. You can watch the cook as he prepares your dinner. Rincon Macorisano is on Washington street, sandwiched between the new police station and homeless shelter in downtown Lynn. But don’t let that deter you from going there, or you’ll be missing a tantalizing taste experience.

Our party of 5 was not disappointed. We started out with the Dominican beer El Presidente delivered in plastic mugs. Not the “proper” drinking vessel I’m accustomed to, but cold and refreshing just the same. Rincon Macorisano serves most of our common domestic brands in both light and not light versions as well as Modelo (Mexican), the aforementioned brew and some wines.

Our agenda was simple: sample as many kinds of Dominican dishes as possible without busting the budget. We succeeded.

Ordered were Chuleta Frita (fried pork chops), Pollo Fongo (fried plantain mashed with baked chicken), Pernil al Horno (baked pork shoulder), both fried and sweet plaintains and rice and beans. Not many non-starchy vegetables to choose from, but a large salad was presented before the main courses arrived, and the Pernil al Horno was adorned with raw sweet pepper strips and lime for squeezing.

A vegetarian meal could be had — there was the salad, rice and beans and Mo Fongo, the meatless version of the mashed plaintains. And of course, plaintains sliced. I did not ask what kind of oil they used.

Asked for a one word summation of the experience, our diners offered “homemade”, “agreeable”, “flavorful (but not overly spiced)” and “tantalizing.” The bill came to roughly $75.00, $30.00 spent on 9 El Presidentes.

The group’s next dining experience will be at Tatiana’s on Market St. on June 16. A Wednesday was picked to coincide with that restaurant’s “Speak Up” open mic. Let us know if you’d like to join us on this or any other expedition by dropping me an email. (Use the contact me page of this blog.)

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