Van Nuys, CA: Colombian Cuisine at Meson Criollo Grill Restaurant

On a Sunday afternoon, I walked into joy my friends at Meson Criollo Grill Restaurant.  The husband is from El Salvador and his wife a Colombiana.  She would order for me and plate could have been three dinners for me.   We started with these piping hot crisp empanadas.   I would go back for those alone.   Then my hearty meal of steak, egg, rice, beans and plantains were the feast.   When in pseudo Colombia you drink as they do so I order a Colombian soda.

As for the decor, it seem casual.   I was so into my food and company that I barely noticed.  The restaurant is located in a strip mall.

– Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

Meson Criollo Food

Popular Instruments of the Dominican Republic

Music is the colorful backdrop of the Dominican Republic.  There are few favorite instruments there:

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The Tambora

The Güira is a metal scraper from the Dominican Republic used as a percussion instrument in merengue and, to a lesser extent, other genres such as bachata. 

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Watch tutorial on how to play it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KxIDwcmWY0

Inside Haiti: Getting Around in Haiti

Haiti is a land where the celebration of cultures of African countries still live but poverty and corruption plague the land.    In Port au Prince many of the roads are rocky and unpaved.  As you ride in the popular mode of transportation called the tap tap, you find your body jolting to point of fearing whiplash in thoughts of this foreigner. Tap Taps are gaily painted buses that serve as share taxis in Haiti.  A tap tap is often packed with people.  Instead of ringing a bell to get off you to tap tap on the window to signal that you need to get off.

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The other major form of transportation is motorcycles.   Much like New York, you have to acquire special talent to drive in Haiti.  Don’t be surprised if you see people drive on the sidewalk.   There are not many traffic lights either.

Busy commerce street