I love a nice place to go when I've had a long day at work and I want some terrific comfort food. Casa Dominicana sits at Lake and Central in Albany, and it is often where I go to seek just that.
There is an extensive menu displayed on the wall of the small dining room, above the counter where one places one's order. The counter itself is at the end of a steam table holding the day's dishes, which are everyone's favorites. It's a variety of pork, chicken, ribs with standard sides of beans, rice, plantains and often other vegetables. I've slowly been tasting my way across the menu and I have found many dishes to enjoy.
The service is friendly and welcoming, and you can ask questions about what you're seeing or what's on the rest of the menu. There's a wide variety of soft drinks including a small variety of beers in bottles or cans. They make lemonade as well.
The dining room has about 10 tables or so, and compared to the other Caribbean spots I've visited so far this is on the larger end of the spectrum. I like to go and sit in the dining room, but there is a constant stream of takeout customers, so it's obvious that there are many who prefer takeout. I think the food is sturdy enough to be delicious either way.
My favorite is the pork, which is baked covered in a high oven with water to keep the meat moist, then uncovered for the last 1/2 hour or so to crisp the skin. There's nothing like it in the typical styles of pork served in the US and the combination of rich tender juicy pork and crispy skin is hard to beat. The sweet plantains are a true delight, cooked to that perfect carmelized coating that takes the flavor to another level. With beans and rice and choice of another side (I can never go without plantains) the dinner plate hits the spot.
Some days I like to spice it up with one of the hot sauces.
This is the only Caribbean place I've tried many times and never made it to the oxtail, which is on the menu. I always look at the dishes that are there, already prepared, and before I know it, I have a beautiful plate of pork or chicken, beans, rice and plantains that I know I am going to positively love. The seasonings are mellow, and if a spicy kick is what you're after you can add as much hot sauce as you like.
LorreBob sez: go when you've got a good appetite!