TeX MeX Restaurant in the Dominican Republic???

TexMex

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Sep 26, 2010
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Saludos to all DR1 members,

I would like to do a little brain picking if you don?t mind, and this would be for the members who live and visit the Dominican Republic.

At the present time I am considering opening up a TeX MeX Restaurant and Cantina somewhere in the DR.

My question is what city or town would be most appropriate for this type of venture.

Now please keep in mind that I am not targeting the Dominican Market, I would like to be in a place where there are lots of gringos and tourist from Europe. Also my vision is not upscale but moderate. I have over 30 yrs experience in the TeX MeX Fine Cuisine & Catering Service Business.

I would like an area that has 24/7 power, moderate rent and elect rates, somewhat safe (if there is such a thing?).

Thanks, TeX
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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There are at least three Mexican restaurants (not sure if they could be defined as Tex Mex but I think so) in the Punta Cana/B?varo tourist area - which is relatively safe, has 24/7 electricity but electricity and rent costs here are quite high.

The other 24/7 electricity areas are Saman? and Bayahibe, also tourist areas. I don't know of any Mexican/Tex-Mex restaurants there, but posters more familiar with these areas may be able to tell you whether that market gap does exist.
 

cobraboy

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Businesses that specifically target non-Dominicans have a very high failure rate.
 

Chirimoya

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True, in fact most of the customers in a very successful Mexican restaurant here in Punta Cana are Dominican. You do see some tourists/foreign residents there, but their main client base is the middle class/upper middle class Dominican resident. Most of the foreign tourists in the area are stuck in their AIs but there is a growing number of foreign residents too.

It may be different in Bayahibe or Saman?. The tourist economy is not so AI-based in Saman? and there is a combination of AIs and non-AIs in Bayahibe. This could mean more foreign tourists out and about wanting to spend money in restaurants.
 

las2137

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I am Texan and know the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican. I can't speak for the other areas, but in Santo Domingo the majority of the "Mexican" restaurants are Tex-Mex. Others may correct me if I am wrong, but what Dominicans consider Mexican is actually Tex-Mex, and it is not a new and different restaurant experience. I think if a Tex-Mex restaurant were to survive there, it would have to have something really unique and different.
 

Chirimoya

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I've been to Mexico several times and know that Mexican cooking is much more than fajitas, tacos, enchiladas etc. and that's why I defined the DR "Mexican" restaurants as probably Tex Mex - a typical example would be Rey's Tacos on Sarasota Ave. in SD. The decor and menus in the Mexican restaurants in Punta Cana/B?varo are similar to Rey's. There is/was supposed to be a more classical Mexican restaurant in the Naco area, but I never went there.
 

TexMex

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Thanks for the input guys, please don’t get me wrong about the Dominican Client, They are great customers…… What I meant is that I will only COOK authentic TeX MeX food…..(No bananas, yucca, moro, or salami.

Service and quality will be our key
 

johnny

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Thanks for the input guys, please don?t get me wrong about the Dominican Client, They are great customers?? What I meant is that I will only COOK authentic TeX MeX food?..(No bananas, yucca, moro, or salami.

Service and quality will be our key
Who told you that dominican go to restaurants to eat salami, yucca and platano?
Authentic Tex Mex? what the hell is that?. I live in Mexico for over 10 years, I know AUTHENTIC MEXICAN FOOD.
Most mexican restaurants here have failure. Upscale dominican prefer european food (spanish, italian, mediterranean, etc). dominican eat late and authentic mexican (mole poblano, cochinita pibil, etc) are too heavy for 10pm dinner.
There still a nice upscale mexican restaurant in Piantini.
Tex Mex are more for gringos or medium and medium low dominican.
Somebody mention fajitas. thats Tex Mex, not mexican.
I dont really think tourists will like to go to a Tex Mex restaurant here. being in a beach town most people will prefer seafood or spanish. there are so many good Tex Mex in USA.
Good luck
 

oriole100

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For what it's worth you may want to consider the North coast, Sousa or Cabarete. Allmost no Tex Mex. Toco Tues. at Cabarete East is about it. There may be others but I don't know where they are
 

JohnT

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Jun 15, 2009
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Taco stand

open a taco johns or taco bell type place and make some real money. :pirate:
 

bachata

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Aug 18, 2007
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Thanks for the input guys, please don?t get me wrong about the Dominican Client, They are great customers?? What I meant is that I will only COOK authentic TeX MeX food?..(No bananas, yucca, moro, or salami.

Service and quality will be our key
Why don't open your restaurant in Mexico??? you will have a real market there, I mean I am Dominican living in US where the big Hispanic population is Mexican, we have plenty of Mex restaurant here.
I've been only twice to Mex restaurant, I don't like spicy food and most Dominican neither as we don't have that custom.

JJ
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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The owners of places like Rey Tacos (SD) and El Burrito (Punta Cana) would tell you that it's not the case. They seem to do well and almost all their customers are Dominican. They are careful to make the "picante" optional. It's true that Dominicans in general are not fond of very spicy food.
 

ExtremeR

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Yeah, as long as you make the picante optional you would not have any problems at all. I am one of those rare Dominicans who thinks the spicier the better. For what I have seen Mexican food is really popular in SD, the Punta Cana area will shrink your market, but it is worth a shot.
 

bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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Why don't open your restaurant in Mexico??? you will have a real market there, I mean I am Dominican living in US where the big Hispanic population is Mexican, we have plenty of Mex restaurant here.
I've been only twice to Mex restaurant, I don't like spicy food and most Dominican neither as we don't have that custom.

JJ
This may be true for older Dominicans but I know numerous younger Dominicans, 30 and under, that like spicy food and love burritos, tacos, ....etc with hot picanti sauce.
 

TexMex

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Sep 26, 2010
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JohnT,
I am looking at that option without the drive threw of course. I want keep it simple but very flavorful.

RacerX
I promise that we will only put cabbage in the Chicken soup.

Bachata,
Mexico has all the Mexican Restaurant that they can handle, Plus the DR and the Dominicans are a lot nicer.

Chirimoya,
Thanks for the heads up.

ExtremeR and Bob,
I understand that the picante (spicy) is something to take into consideration. I have tested my cooking at a few parties here in the DR and boy was I surprised. I made a huge pot of Borachos Beans and they had a little kick to them. When I finally got a chance to go serve me up a bowl they were all gone and everybody was asking for more. I heard that the next day they all wanted ice cream. LOL

FYI
I went to Santiago today and wow what a change! The new Mayor is doing a great job, the city was clean. Looks like he is working hard to make Santiago shine.

TeX
 

RacerX

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Nov 22, 2009
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Yea, I hold a reservation on how clean Santiago is but anyway, I think you should do your Tex Mex thing there. I definitely will go to it. I think Dominicans are open to new cuisine because it will be different, especially if they can afford to go.

Now I am discriminating. You re cooking food for people who in most instances have no idea how it should taste. So you can either pretend to know what you are doing or make yourself a kingpin of Mexican cuisine so to speak. I hope the latter.

And offer your food in levels of spicy. I think Dominican food is too tame and the local hot sauce is wimpy. Import some of that good stuff from San Antonio or El Paso. I d go for the real authentic spicy mexican if you could do it.

And if you cant do Mex, think Indian. I like Indan food also and its not here.
 

cobraboy

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Jul 24, 2004
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What Santiago needs is a good Thai restaurant.

Dominicans will think TexMex is supposed to taste like Taco Bell.

I made tacos for the family with the packaged El Paso spices. You know, pretty mild. They complained the seasoning was just way to hot to eat.:cheeky: I never made them my nukuler fission wings...