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Author Topic: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach  (Read 1087 times)

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BigJohn

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Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
« on: January 23, 2018, 01:08:49 PM »
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  • Before the 2017 hurricanes, one of my favorite things about BB was a quiet little place at the far west end of the beach for lunch - El Catamaran.  I returned in January 2018 to find the owner, Paul (a German guy) and his crew gone, about 1/3 the seating, and a new owner.  Obviously my lunch spot had changed and not for the better.

    Day 1 I had lunch, no problem, although menu and service was subpar.  But Day 2 ... I had fresh, fried fish (as usual), but this time, about three hours later, I got sick.  VERY sick.  Fever, chills, diarrhea, exhaustion ... big time.  There's NO question it was the fish.  I tried to get an earlier flight home, no luck - I was stuck for two more days - and I had to move (as planned) to Sosua.  I didn't go out ... just sweated it out until my scheduled flight.

    I got home Jan 13 at 10 pm.  Next day, 11 am, I was in the US emergency room.  Long story short, it took 10 days and numerous tests  to get stabilized.  My kidneys went haywire for a few days.  Blood pressure plummeted.  I was a mess.

    I'd like to thank BB's Nico, Valaria, and the bar staff for their sweet efforts to help.  I suppose I could have gone to a Puerto Plata clinic, but I was unsure about that.   In retrospect I should have at least tried. 

    Word to the wise: DO NOT EAT AT EL CATAMARAN ON COSTAMBAR BEACH. 

    Linkback: http://ifoundthechicas.com/trip-reports-and-pictures-new-members/61/warning-el-catamaran-on-costambar-beach/9187/

    Jett

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 11:42:16 PM »
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  • Good post. Glad you're Ok.

    This topic is rarely brought up but I've gotten sick in the DR a couple of times. Usually no more than a couple of days but man it's a bummer.

    When you stop and think about it:
    -Where do the cooks, servers and staff wash their hands?
    -Don't you need electricity to have hot water? The DR doesn't have a stable power grid. So there's that.
    -The ocean waters around the DR are polluted which affect marine life. Too much trash and runoff.
    -The gigantic raw shrimp guy walking Sosua beach. How long has he been walking with unrefrigerated "fresh" shrimp in the warm sun? Pure poison if you eat it.

    Don't get me started on the water. The water is completely unsafe to drink by gringo standards. I highly doubt food preparation staff are rinsing food from a potable water source. The OP is lucky because things could have been much worse.

    Call me crazy but I have little trust in DR restaurants and I'm hardly the paranoid type. Know you know why 1st world restaurant franchises avoid the DR-the countries electricity/water cost is too high and consistency too low for them to make a reasonable profit. When I'm down I usually take a pre-digestion tablet like Travelan with each meal. I bring wet wipes and the strongest diarrhea meds I can get at the pharmacy BEFORE Montezuma strikes. I love the ladies but it ain't without sacrifice.

    The other vacation enemy is mosquitoes or "can't see 'ems" but that's a topic for another day.

    BigJohn

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 12:08:25 PM »
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  • Equally good response, Jett.  Even my Uber driver from the airport said maybe it was the oil they used to fry the fish, or the water to clean it.  And Imodium was absolutely useless.  I'll get your suggested pre-digestive medication next time.  US chains do operate in Santo Domingo, even Santiago, so maybe conditions are manageable there - but you raise excellent points!

    Pass

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 11:12:32 PM »
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  • Glad you recovered Big John. Could/does happen to any of us. Thanks Jett for the Travelan tip, I did not know such a product existed.

    I discussed Costambar restaurants a lot with a guy in the room next to me at Blackbeard's last April. He was very outspoken and picky about everything from chicas to the furniture in the place. He was especially picky about food. He stayed for a week at BBs, but refused to eat there. He was a fluent Spanish speaker (Puerto Rican guy from NYC) and claimed that he investigated each restaurant on the beach in Costambar and would only eat at Farolito (the restaurant way down the west end of the beach.) By "investigate", I mean, going into the kitchen and observing, asking questions etc. Sounds like a lot of work, but I have no reason to doubt it given his personality and attitude. He said that Farolito was the only restaurant on the beach where he saw that  they washed the vegetables in bottled water, for example. He also found the frying oil clean there. He ate all his meals there - one time we went early to breakfast there, and he rang up the grandmother who lives nearby to open the place when we arrived too early. She showed up pronto.

    More recently (December), I ate 6 out of 7 days at Pascuale's and had no problems. Had a variety of dishes: shrimp, lobster, whole fish, and chicken over the course of a week.

    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #4 on: January 29, 2018, 10:23:09 AM »
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  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
    Before the 2017 hurricanes, one of my favorite things about BB was a quiet little place at the far west end of the beach for lunch - El Catamaran.  I returned in January 2018 to find the owner, Paul (a German guy) and his crew gone, about 1/3 the seating, and a new owner.  Obviously my lunch spot had changed and not for the better.

    Day 1 I had lunch, no problem, although menu and service was subpar.  But Day 2 ... I had fresh, fried fish (as usual), but this time, about three hours later, I got sick.  VERY sick.  Fever, chills, diarrhea, exhaustion ... big time.  There's NO question it was the fish.  I tried to get an earlier flight home, no luck - I was stuck for two more days - and I had to move (as planned) to Sosua.  I didn't go out ... just sweated it out until my scheduled flight.

    I got home Jan 13 at 10 pm.  Next day, 11 am, I was in the US emergency room.  Long story short, it took 10 days and numerous tests  to get stabilized.  My kidneys went haywire for a few days.  Blood pressure plummeted.  I was a mess.

    I'd like to thank BB's Nico, Valaria, and the bar staff for their sweet efforts to help.  I suppose I could have gone to a Puerto Plata clinic, but I was unsure about that.   In retrospect I should have at least tried. 

    Word to the wise: DO NOT EAT AT EL CATAMARAN ON COSTAMBAR BEACH.
    big john is correct, a couple of haitian ladies are now running the catamaran and speak very little english.  we stopped for a drink but did not eat.  just kind of had that feeling.

    we did manage to find pauls new place, just outside of the gates of costambar, on the southeast corner is a small market.  the shanty (not even sure you could call it that) just south of the market is pauls new place.  it looked like his biz is going to come from the bario.

    husker and i chatted some with him, more on that later

    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 03:21:57 PM »
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    Good post. Glad you're Ok.

    This topic is rarely brought up but I've gotten sick in the DR a couple of times. Usually no more than a couple of days but man it's a bummer.

    When you stop and think about it:
    -Where do the cooks, servers and staff wash their hands?
    -Don't you need electricity to have hot water? The DR doesn't have a stable power grid. So there's that.
    -The ocean waters around the DR are polluted which affect marine life. Too much trash and runoff.
    -The gigantic raw shrimp guy walking Sosua beach. How long has he been walking with unrefrigerated "fresh" shrimp in the warm sun? Pure poison if you eat it.

    Don't get me started on the water. The water is completely unsafe to drink by gringo standards. I highly doubt food preparation staff are rinsing food from a potable water source. The OP is lucky because things could have been much worse.

    Call me crazy but I have little trust in DR restaurants and I'm hardly the paranoid type. Know you know why 1st world restaurant franchises avoid the DR-the countries electricity/water cost is too high and consistency too low for them to make a reasonable profit. When I'm down I usually take a pre-digestion tablet like Travelan with each meal. I bring wet wipes and the strongest diarrhea meds I can get at the pharmacy BEFORE Montezuma strikes. I love the ladies but it ain't without sacrifice.

    The other vacation enemy is mosquitoes or "can't see 'ems" but that's a topic for another day.
    what is the name of the product you get from the pharmacy for diarrhea jett?

    i am afraid after viewing paul's new digs outside of the gates of costambar cleanliness could be an issue

    i hated seeing the squalor paul was in, as i really like paul and loved his food.  sadly, i dont think i could go outside of the gates to  help support  paul in his efforts.  with the dogs in the "restaurant" and the chickens running around inside, that was enough for me. i asked paul where the chickens roosted and he points up in the ceiling above where you would eat (the place might have seating for 6) i thought to myself, no way.

    on top of that, miguel told us to watch ourselves out there.  said it was not the safest place for a gringo and to definitely not go out there after dark.  to reinforce that, he took a drive through the bario there one day just to show the living conditions.  i have seen worse, much worse, but it is not good and there is a ton of people packed into a small area there

    Jethro Gibbs

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #6 on: January 29, 2018, 07:17:42 PM »
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  • That area, particularly to the left as you leave Costambar, is pretty rough. 

    Jett

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #7 on: January 29, 2018, 11:15:17 PM »
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  • To Ralphie and the forum brethren,

    Here's the product I used last time I was in the DR for a week:
     
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

    Some folks swear by it. I don't know what the active ingredient is but I know it works. It's kinda pricey but so is losing time on vacation nursing the bends and missing out on all the chicas. You can even cut the pills in half if you want for a smaller dose. I didn't experience any side effects from the product either. Truth be told, if you use a product like this there's absolutely no guarantee that you won't come down with a stomach bug BUT if you come back from your trip in one piece you'll know it worked and the money spent was worth it.

    Take it with each meal and make sure you have some backup diarrhea meds just in case and you should be good to go.

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    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #8 on: January 30, 2018, 06:33:35 AM »
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    To Ralphie and the forum brethren,

    Here's the product I used last time I was in the DR for a week:
     
    You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

    Some folks swear by it. I don't know what the active ingredient is but I know it works. It's kinda pricey but so is losing time on vacation nursing the bends and missing out on all the chicas. You can even cut the pills in half if you want for a smaller dose. I didn't experience any side effects from the product either. Truth be told, if you use a product like this there's absolutely no guarantee that you won't come down with a stomach bug BUT if you come back from your trip in one piece you'll know it worked and the money spent was worth it.

    Take it with each meal and make sure you have some backup diarrhea meds just in case and you should be good to go.
    so you take this the entire time you are down there jett or when you feel something coming on?   

    pricey?  no, not really. one doesnt always realize what it is worth having the ability to fart with confidence

    i had thought it was a script med,  but there it looks like OTC

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    oldnewbie

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 12:14:59 AM »
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  • I had some diarrhea eating at Bailey's in Sosua (unless it was one of the street girls I picked up that made me sick) but I took some Immodium the next day and that seem to work well for me.

    Jett

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #10 on: January 31, 2018, 12:26:54 AM »
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  • I take the pill whenever I'm not 99.9% sure I won't get sick.

    Eating at any of the street vendors?
    -Take the pill

    Eating at any of the Sosua Beach food stands/restaurants?
    -Take the pill

    Dining at Baileys or the restaurants at your hotel?
    -It depends on what you order. Overall though, it's you're call. Generally any place that has a machine/commercial dishwasher will be a safer bet. Remember, it's not just the food, it can be the utensils(silverware), glasses, cups, etc.

    When I'm in the DR, I eat a lot of fried foods for this reason. Anything raw like veggies is out! I don't eat salads either. I stick with the cooked proteins mostly(beef, pork, chicken) and carbs like french fries or rice. I've never gotten sick from pasta or pizza either. Breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage/bacon toast are OK usually. Bottled water, soda or Presidente to swish it all down. Very basic. Nothing fancy.

    I remember Cubadave had a strict diet when he was in town. Although, he's been appropriately derided for his shameless promotion, I do credit him with saying that he only eats peanut butter sandwiches as the reason he never got sick. I couldn't eat peanut butter straight for 7 days...fuck that.
    -

    youwho125

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 08:39:30 PM »
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  • Hi Ralphiel had a great time with the guy thanks for looking out and taken Clarabelle off my hands

    youwho125

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 08:50:38 PM »
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  • Thanks for getting her out of my hair

    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 08:53:03 PM »
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    Thanks for getting her out of my hair
    ...and out of your wallet. lol   that girl could drink .  its a good thing you didnt try and keep up with her.  i am afraid it would have been whiskey dick for you. lmao

    it was fun hanging youwho...

    BigJohn

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 11:56:36 AM »
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  • What the hell does this chica have to do with the topic?

    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #15 on: February 03, 2018, 12:28:47 PM »
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    What the hell does this chica have to do with the topic?
    just an off topic comment john, perhaps youwho got the wrong thread.  who knows.  well actually, only youwho knows. lol

    youwho125

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #16 on: February 03, 2018, 04:02:42 PM »
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  • I am not perfect  can some one move  my post

    ralphie1

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    Re: Warning! El Catamaran on Costambar Beach
    « Reply #17 on: February 03, 2018, 04:17:52 PM »
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  • You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
    I am not perfect  can some one move  my post
    not to worry

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