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Thread: Long-term visit

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    Question Long-term visit

    We will be visiting DR for 2 months, renting an apt in Puerto Plata, and are concerned about food issues. Although we plan to drink only bottled water, of course, we are worried about eating in restaurants, ordering a drink at a bar and even buying groceries in the markets. What are the cleanest restaurants in this area for non-Dominicans? Where is the best, safest, market where we can buy meat and so on? We will have had hepatitis shots before we leave Canada but we still need to be careful, dont you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    ... we still need to be careful, dont you think?
    Bottled water definitely.

    It can take some time to adjust to the different diet, so you may have a few stomach ailments during your 2 months. For me, I now have that problem when I make a trip back to the U.S.

    Anyhow, don't be too paranoid.
    Remember everyone here eats, including me and I'm still alive and kicki

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    Bottled water is a must.

    I would also recommend you bringing with you a 'Brita' faucet filter and replacement cartridges for the kitchen (Brita® Water Filtration Systems). This won't make the water drinkable, but will filter out many of the buggies.

    You can buy in the supermarkets a product called Purisma (blue bottle, found in the bottled water aisle). This is a water purifier that we use for washing fruit & vegetables, etc. Add to tap water, soak your produce for 15 minutes and then rinse with bottled water.

    I had minor tummy troubles for the first few months I was here. It is just part and parcel of living in a developing country.

    I always brush my teeth with tap water (don't swallow though). It helps you body to build up resistence.

    Eating out has never been a problem. I wouldn't recommend eating food from a street vendor, but the restaurants are fine. All ice is made using filtered water, so isn't a problem. As CFA123 said, everyone eats here!

    If you are worried about meat, buy imported meat widely available in supermarkets. Personally, I have had no issues with the produce and eat local chicken (really good), pork and goat. I usually buy imported Angus when we have beef - but only because the local beef is not aged and can be a little tough.

    I always carry hand sanitizer (nothing worse than having to make a bathroom stop to find there is no water!).

    Enjoy your extended stay in the DR!

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    As mentioned above, we live here and we eat too...granted, you may have a couple of stomach upsets when you visit some restaurants, especially street hawkers that sell fried pork, but this is mainly to do with the cooking oils they use, not the actual food. A lot of restaurants do not change their oils on a regular basis. Dominicn fast food is char grilled chicken that is sold on the side of the roads...this will most likely be the best chicken you have ever eaten in your life. Do not be afraid of trying this...most places sell it with a combination of rice, (go figure!), fried platano, yucca and salad. It is very cheap and better than ANY chicken you would eat in a restaurant. If you are here around Christmas time then you can also experience the best pork roasts...this meat is so succulent and tender it is making me hungry just writing about it. If you drive from Puerto Plata to Santiago over the Christmas period then you will drive past hundreds and hundreds of pigs being roasted on the side of the road...definitely not a good time of the year to be a pig!!
    If you get sick at home, well, that will most likely be down to your cooking...lol.
    All jokes aside, the food is fine here. The meats are excellent but as Sanation mentioned, the beef is too young. When I buy beef here it is mainly for stews. The best meats available are in the German butchers in Sosua...you will never purchase bad meat there, but they are quite pricey..
    I purchase nearly all my vegetables off the back of the pick up trucks. They are the cheapest, best and freshest vegetables around. For 100 pesos you can almost fill up a shopping bag of veggies! I have never purchased anything special to sanitize my vegetables, I just rince them with tap water. If I eat raw vegetables then yes, I will rince them in bottled water.
    During the rain season I would take more care as the run off water from the mountains is very dirty. I brush my teeth everyday with tap water, but after heavy rains then I will switch to bottled water just in case. Bottled water is dirt cheap, only 35 pesos (one dollar) for 5 gallons so even if you wanted to boil your rice it is very affordable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    We will be visiting DR for 2 months, renting an apt in Puerto Plata
    Welcome to Puerto Plata! . And to DR1.

    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    Although we plan to drink only bottled water, of course, we are worried about eating in restaurants, ordering a drink at a bar and even buying groceries in the markets.
    No need to be worried. I've been doing exactly that in Puerto Plata for 16 years & it hasn't killed me yet .

    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    What are the cleanest restaurants in this area for non-Dominicans?
    There are no restaurants for non-Dominicans, everyone can eat anywhere (as long as they can pay the bill ). Seriously, Dominicans are fastidiously clean themselves and also require hygenic restaurants. The places where I've seen the most, shall we say, unorthodox food preparation practices, is in the tourist hotels, not in the restaurants where residents eat nor in their homes. I second the suggestion to try roadside roasted pig or chicken.

    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    Where is the best, safest, market where we can buy meat and so on?
    I buy my meat from Tropical Supermarket, 27 de Febrero, likewise cheese, ham etc. They maintain good refridgeration - there are some smaller places where stuff thaws out when the power goes off, and then refreezes later. You might want to stick with the tried & tested until you build up resistance to local bugs. Had you been coming for longer than 2 months I would have agreed with the suggestion to actively build up resistance, but in 2 months you might not achieve this.

    Enjoy your stay. If you really want something to worry about focus on the driving...........

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    Quote Originally Posted by sidsy View Post
    What are the cleanest restaurants in this area for non-Dominicans? Where is the best, safest, market where we can buy meat and so on? We will have had hepatitis shots before we leave Canada but we still need to be careful, dont you think?
    What are you trying to say Dominicans aren't clean? If your going to be so paranoid stay up in the frozen tundra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by badpiece33 View Post
    What are you trying to say Dominicans aren't clean? If your going to be so paranoid stay up in the frozen tundra.
    Badpiece, he's not saying that Dominicans are not clean he's just showing us how "ignorant" people can be.

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    Poor choice of words perhaps, but no need to insult the OP.

    Carry on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirimoya View Post
    Poor choice of words perhaps, but no need to insult the OP.

    Carry on.
    "ignorant" this was not meant as an insult just an observation.
    Eventhough the world has become very small due to travel and communications media there're still a lot of people who have no clue what so ever.
    Every Gringo is a cowboy, all the Dutch wear wooden shoes, all the Germans wear leather knickers and so on. You know what I mean?

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    I like the sound of "leather knickers"...

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