The family-owned Dominican restaurant Las Palmas Restaurant & Catering celebrated the opening of its third location two weeks ago, alongside Blackbird Donuts and Sally’s Sandwiches in the converted arcade of the Smith Campus Center.
The menu includes a variety of empanadas, customizable rice bowls, and tropical juices, as well as Dominican desserts like tres leches cake and caramel flan.
The restaurant occupies the premises of the European-inspired bakery chain SwissbÃ¤kers, which was abruptly closed in December 2019.
Harvard students can get a 10% discount on their order with their student ID.
Roberto and Seila J. Green opened their first Las Palmas location in Roslindale, Massachusetts in 2018. After the success of their first business, the two opened a second location in Las Palmas at the MIT Stratton Student Center in September 2021.
Seila said she and her husband are passionate about bringing authentic Dominican food to the square.
âWhen this project came up, I thought it would be a great idea so people could get to know our culture, where we come from, and try different flavors,â she said.
The restaurant distributed free empanadas to the first 100 people who stopped by the new location on November 3rd as part of a promotional event.
According to its website, Las Palmas is committed to combating food insecurity. It has served thousands of individually wrapped meals to hundreds of families in Boston since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Janet Hernandez ’24 said Caribbean cuisine on the store’s menu is a welcome alternative to what is offered in existing Latin American restaurants in the area.
“I know a lot of other first-generation Latino students are really glad that there is finally an option other than El Jefes and Felipe that is traditionally Mexican food, especially those with a Caribbean background like me,” she said .
“Cuban food is very similar to Dominican food, so I thought it was a great idea to open it up,” she added.
Hernandez said she has visited the restaurant twice since it opened.
“The price is pretty affordable for the amount of food they give you,” she said. “It’s comforting to hear that the staff speak Spanish too.”
Hernandez added that she was struggling to find Caribbean restaurants in Boston.
âFood is a way to reconnect with your culture, especially in a place like Cambridge where there are a lot of Mexican representative offices in terms of cuisine, but it was really difficult to find cozy Cuban or Caribbean places in general the Boston area, “she said.” I’m very pleased [Las Palmas] has become an option. “
âAuthor’s contributor Davin W. Shi can be reached at [email protected]