Cabarete Eats: El Saman (mofongo)

Unique Vibes for Seafood Lovers and the Best Mofongo of Your Life

We love to eat here at Cabarete Palm Beach Condos. This is why we are always on the lookout for new restaurants to visit and new foods to try. Downtown Cabarete is full of excellent restaurants and cafes, from Vagamundo to Fresh Fresh. Still, this time we decided to do something special. We recommend having a snack ready because we are about to make you very hungry! 

El Saman Restaurant

It’s hard to explain where precisely the restaurant El Saman is located. Start driving from Cabarete in the direction of Sabaneta, and it will appear on your right, decorated with cozy lights. You might feel skeptical about a restaurant just…standing there in the middle of nowhere. But we encourage you to get a table. You won’t regret it.

Despite its unconventional location, El Saman is definitely Instagram-worthy. You will eat on beautiful wooden tables in one of the two seating areas surrounded by unique art pieces, also made out of wood. A small pond full of goldfish separates the seating areas. We feel particularly affectionate toward the cute bridge that leads you to the bar. You could say we have a soft spot for restaurants that are both cozy and fancy at the same time. Wear something nice but comfortable to match the vibe! 

Fun Local Fact: The beautiful wooden tables are not a coincidence. El Saman designs and sells them in-house!

What Is Mofongo?

“Alright, it’s a cute restaurant,” you might be thinking. “But what about the FOOD?!” We know, we know. You’ve just had an action-packed day standup paddleboarding at Cabarete Beach, surfing at Encuentro, and exploring Cabarete’s caves. You are more preoccupied with finding something delicious to eat than admiring wooden tables. 

We have one delicious word for you: MOFONGO! 

Mofongo originally came from Puerto Rico but is now one of the most popular Dominican dishes. It is made with green plantains that are first fried and then mashed with garlic, oil, and crunchy pork rind. You could say mofongo resembles mashed potatoes, but crunchy and flavorful. It is served in the shape of a mouthwatering ball, usually as a side dish to meat or seafood. However, it can also be eaten alone because it’s quite filling. And you could certainly ask for a vegetarian version without the pork. We love it, and we think you will too. 

Mofongo is a great meal choice after an active day because its main ingredient is green plantain. This Dominican superfood is as tasty as it is nutritious. The starchy vegetable is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, such as potassium and Vitamin B6. It also assists digestion and gives a Vitamin C boost to your immune system.  

You may have noticed that we are mofongo fans, but we are absolutely OBSESSED with the mofongo El Saman’s chef makes. They didn’t share their kitchen secrets with us (we begged!), so we can’t explain how exactly this mofongo manages to strike the perfect balance between smooth and crunchy. However, once this aromatic plate full of plátano goodness arrives at your table, you won’t be in the mood to ask questions. Que rico

Local tip: We recommend getting your seafood or meat a la crème, served with a delicious thick sauce. Paradise. 

What Else Is on the Menu?

Suppose you’re not feeling particularly enthusiastic about mofongo (we are not the same, but that’s ok). In that case, El Saman also offers a wide selection of traditional Dominican dishes, such as locally caught fish with tostones (fried green plantains) and all kinds of seafood, from shrimp to crab to lambí (conch). Wash your food down with a beer or our personal favorite, piña colada, and enjoy El Saman’s unique atmosphere! 

Wondering how much you should tip at a restaurant in Cabarete? We put together a simple guide for you. 

We hope you visit this hidden gem. What are your favorite restaurants that are not that easy to find? Share in the comments!

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