Pork fried in its own fat, as decadent as it is delicious. Chicharrón, one of my favorite staples of Dominican cuisine, is a dish originally from Spain that evolved from including merely the skin of the beast, resembling what’s known around here as crackling, into the luxurious combination of skin, fat, and soft, juicy meat we know today.
It’s heavy but it’s worth it. And, lucky for you, it’s accessible whenever you’re around Jamaica Plain at Alex’s Chimis.
Pull up at 358 Centre St, ask for the aforementioned dish in a medium size, and even though we’re telling you ahead of time, you’ll be surprised at the magnitude of the meat from the display taken for your personal consumption. A heavy knife reduces it to manageable pieces, and of course you get half a lime, the inseparable companion of chicharrón.
The dish comes with a generous portion of a side of your choosing, and the whole thing comes out to under 10 bucks. As for the additions, you could go for yucca with onions, moro (rice and beans cooked together), or fried plantains, green and ripe. You could also opt for roasted batata (yams). In the Dominican Republic, when you stop for chicharron along the highway, it’s always with batata.
The place is hardly flashy. It’s barely decorated at all. But you’re in for a treat. Alex’s Chimis has been there since 1998 when it was opened by the eponymous Alejandro E. Castillo, an immigrant from the DR. They even got an award from the mayor in 2017.
Chicharrón is not the only great dish they offer, but it’s hard to find something more basic, greasy, and deeply satisfying.