Country: Dominican Republic

Dish: Empanadas

Location: Decatur

Stop: #1

Tucked away in Decatur, customers venture to a coffee shop known for flavors of the Dominican Republic.

Such flavors Victor Ramirez knows well. A native of San Juan, Ramirez opened Golden Drops Café in 2016 alongside his family. The café featuring a case full of empanadas at the counter, a reminder of home for Ramirez.

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“How does this dish represent the Dominican Republic?”

“In my hometown of San Juan, we had empanadas almost at every block of the city,” Ramirez said.

“I recall my mother and my father taking me and my brothers to eat empanadas at those places,” Ramirez said, adding each empanada is unique, made distinct by the range of fillings: beef, cheese, ham and cheese, cheese and guava, or chicken.

Empanadas bring back memories of friends and family for Ramirez.

“What it brings to me is ‘gathering’: with my friends, with my relatives … it gathers together,” Ramirez said. “We were always spending time together. We ate together.”

“How does this dish represent Atlanta?”

“One of the beautiful things that Atlanta possesses is the diversity,” Ramirez said. “The Dominican community in Atlanta and the state of Georgia is growing fast.”

And Ramirez hopes such growth means an opportunity to further share the tastes of his home country.

“Give us the opportunity to share and to offer this food, not only to the Dominican community but to the extended one,” Ramirez said.

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Stop #1: Golden Drops Cafe, a cozy Decatur coffee shop owned by Dominican Republic native Victor Ramirez 🇩🇴 #atlfoodie #Atlfood #foodstagram #weloveatl #atlanta #nomnom #foodie #11Alive #dominicanrepublic #dominicanfood

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