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Monday, May 19, 2014

Mojito Extreme and Dominican Beisbol: Jay's Adventure in the Dominican Republic Part Tres

Jay drinks an Orgasmo Negro in the Dominican Republic
Jay drinks an Orgasmo Negro in the Dominican Republic
A few weeks ago I wrote about my arrival to the northern coast of the Dominican Republic as well as some of amazing pollo guisado. As the #MancationDR continued, we found more adventures to get into. Kite Beach, just down the coast from Cabarete, is home to the sport of kitesurfing. While I enjoyed some time in the sand, some of the other fellas took some lessons with kites and surfboards but never quite made it to the water. One of the days we ate lunch at the Mojito Bar at the site of the Extreme Hotel on aforementioned Kite Beach. The little restaurant overlooked the ocean and had a lovely variety of fresh ingredients as well as some tasty cocktails. I opted for the Orgasmo Negro, a sweet concoction made of rum, banana, coconut cream, chocolate, and sugar. It sure hit the spot as I, being on a beach in the Dominican Republic and all, needed a rum drink in my hand. After the Orgasmo Negro coated my stomach walls I figured I should also try one of the namesake mojitos. This classic rum and mint cocktail is dynamite for a Dominican beach. And the Brugal Rum, made right there in the DR, makes an exceptional beverage.

The beach view from the Mojito Bar
The beach view from the Mojito Bar on Kite Beach

Hot Dog Vending at Estadio Julian Javier
Hot Dog Vending at Estadio Julian Javier
One of the highlights of the entire trip to the Dominican Republic came on a trip to San Francisco de Macoris toward the middle of the country for a baseball game in the Dominican Winter League. We drove in the tourism bus over some mountains and along some windy roads with breathtaking views. Getting to see some of the inner communities in the Dominican Republic also served as an eye opener to their way of life. By enlarge I encountered happy people with friendly spirits. While there were certainly signs of poverty and lack of infrastructure, there were also smiles of contentment. They didn't need much. They didn't live such materialistic lifestyles. I could really get behind that... in theory. When we arrived at Estadio Julian Javier in San Francisco de Macoris I immediately took in the sights and smells. Baseball is by far the most popular sport in the Dominican Republic, and their Winter League is the big time. Outside the stadium thousands of people gathered as we were there for a good rivalry game. I found a food cart with these hotdogs on sticks and also some in buns dressed with mayo, ketchup, and corn. They looked pretty tempting!

Sun sets at Estadio Julian Javier in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic
Sun sets at Estadio Julian Javier in San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic

Empanadas at a baseball game
Empanadas at a baseball game
Those of you who have followed Bite and Booze for a while know that I'm a huge baseball fan. I was even one of the top 30 finalists for the MLB Fan Cave in 2013, so my passion runs pretty deep. Seeing a Dominican Winter League game definitely showed up pretty high on my list of activities while visiting the republic. And of course, what's a baseball game without some food and beer? Our crew feasted on some empanadas. The fried dough pockets were stuffed with a pork sausage mixture and it left me wondering why meat pies aren't more of a stadium food everywhere. As we watched the Aguilas (Eagles) from nearby Santiago light up the home town Gigantes (Giants), we could feel the energy in the air. The excitement from the fans of both teams truly permeated throughout the stadium. You couldn't help but enjoy the game in that environment. 



Empanadas at a baseball game
Presidente Light... Baseball Beer in the DR!
Of course, after that meat pie and a few innings of baseball I needed a cold one. I'll be damned if I were to attend a professional baseball game and not enjoy at least a couple brews, so I waited for a vendor to come up the ramp and ordered a round of Presidentes for my amigos. The 12oz cans of Presidente Light sold for about 70 pesos each at the stadium. All I had in my pocket were US dollars, so I handed over a $10 for five beers and said keep the change. The 70 pesos roughly translated to $1.60 a beer, so about $8 for all five plus a $2 tip. That same beer at your average MLB game would have cost $10 each. I had a huge smile on my face. Beers for everyone. It didn't take me long to order another round.