The other week I took a trip to a new Caribbean restaurant that I saw on the way home from work. West Columbia has a diverse Hispanic population who want to eat food that tastes like what their mother’s made back in their respective countries. These are the types of places we want to eat at, not Monterrey’s or Taco Hell. A friend and I went to Quisqueya one Friday night before a night of drinking.
As we perused the menus, the waitress brought us a plate of sweet and savory plaintains. Plaintains look like under ripe bananas, but have a much more appealing flavor. The sweet ones were cut longways, and the savory were cut in rounds. The savory ones tasted similar to hushpuppies. The fried, breaded chunks of carbohydrates were good in a bread-like way, but nothing compared to the sweet ones. The sweet plaintains were still fried, though not breaded and left a pleasantly sweet but not sugary aftertaste.
My friend got the coconut fish on the recommendation of the waitress. It was a sizable portion, served with red beans, rice, and the lettuce and tomatoes on the side. He said that it was “Good, but not as coconutty tasting as I expected.”
I wasn’t super hungry, since I couldn’t help myself and had a big snack between getting home from work and going to dinner (ooops), but I ordered a side of red beans and the vegetable rice, which has mixed vegetables cooked with yellow and orange rice. Like a real dweller of the Caribbean, I mixed mine together and it was fantastic.
It doesn’t look like much, but it filled me up in a pleasantly light way. The red beans were just spicy enough to give them a great flavor without being overpowering. Quisqueya also offers about five or six other vegetarian options, but they looked more like standard Mexican food fare, and I didn’t want a ton of food anyways. Their veggie quesadilla sounded good though, and that will be what I try next time.
Their dessert case also looked super tempting, and according to the Free Times review (that I can’t find on their site right now…), it’s worth a try! They are incredibly nice at Quisqueya, though I will mention that the food takes a while to get to the table. Don’t go there in a hurry or you won’t enjoy it as much. I am sure it will get better with time though, so don’t let that deter you from enjoying delicious food prepared by real people from the Dominican Republic.