Country 005 – Dominican Republic (Mi Tierra)

: 828 Saint Clair Avenue West, Toronto
Website: None

I was watching the Dominican Republic-centric episode of No Reservations, and a hearty soup called sancocho was highlighted as that country’s quintessential dish.  After a quick consultation with my good friend Google,  I found myself at Mi Tierra — though it’s technically a Colombian restaurant, they’ve got the ‘cocho on the menu (what’s that?  No one calls it ‘cocho?  Okay fine.  Your loss).

It’s alright, I guess.  It’s perfectly tasty, but I have a hard time imagining anyone getting too hot and bothered over it (but again, like with my recent experience with doubles, it’s possible that I got a mediocre version of an otherwise great dish).

The base is a pretty basic chicken stock; it’s a nice clean broth, but there isn’t a whole lot of flavour there.  It’s filled with some fairly sizable chunks of potato, plantain, cassava (which is like a starchier potato), oxtail, and roast-beef-esque chunks of meat.

It’ll certainly fill you up, though I wish there was a little bit more meat in there; there was only one piece of oxtail, which was really tender and probably the best thing in the bowl.  There were maybe three or four chunks of beef, which were a bit dryer than I’d like, but otherwise pretty good.  The rest was all potato and cassava and plantain.  It was hearty and very filling, no doubt about it, but a little bit ho-hum.  The dish primarily consists of starchy vegetables that all taste like starchy vegetables; there’s not much here that elevates them.

It came with a coleslaw-esque salad on the side, which had a bright, citrusy flavour, but which was a little bit too strong on the onion for my tastes (but I’m admittedly not a huge fan of raw onion).

Mi Tierra - the restaurant Mi Tierra - the empanadas Mi Tierra - the sancocho