Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Restaurant Review

The other day I went to a local restaurant and thought I'd share with you.  In fact, I've been thinking of doing more reviews of restaurants.  I eat out on a fairly regular basis here so sharing the food and the locations seems like something that would not only be fun to do but would give those of you who are planning to visit or come here to live a better idea of what is available.  Besides, this gives me an excuse to try new places (as if I needed an excuse).

This particular day I had a great meal in a great atmosphere.  I have some partial photos of the food but I was having so much fun talking and eating that I failed to get as many as I would have liked.  The only other thing I didn't get was the name of the restaurant.  It's funny but things here seem to be identified as much by their location as their name.  This is the one that's a little past Solid Rock, on the other side of the street, just before you get to the plastic store on the corner just this side of the market.  I know, it doesn't sound simple but it works. I think part of it is that there are so many little restaurants here that a description is better than a name.

At any rate, the food at the restaurant that currently has no name for the blog post, was nothing short of fabulous.  We all had the menu de dia (menu of the day) and I'm not actually sure they serve anything else.  We weren't offered menus and just asked about the menu de dia and we all decided it sounded good so that's what we had.  The ala carte menus in most restaurants (when they have them) are always more expensive than the menu de dia and are rarely as good let alone better.  The only time I tend to stray from the special of the day is if it's something I just don't like. So far I've never been disappointed.

We started with the traditional large bowl of soup.  This may look kind of small because the spoon is very large but I'm guessing there was between 1 1/2 and 2 cups of soup in there.  Today it was a vegetable beef soup with lentils.  I'm not generally overly fond of lentils but this was fabulous!

We also had a glass of juice, today was mango.  Juice is made fresh that day and you can sometimes hear them blending up the fruit in the back as they're preparing it. After the fruit is pulverized, it's run through a strainer and sugar and water is added.  It's till a very "meaty" juice, certainly thicker than most juices you buy in the store, but to serve just the fresh juice wouldn't work well.  It would be very, very thick for one thing, and it would be more like dessert than a beverage.

We also had a lovely main dish plate.  The meat is beef that has been tenderized, possibly by being run through a machine that makes cube steak but I'm not sure.  It was served with a mushroom sauce and accompanied by the crispiest french fries I've had since I got here, the obligatory rice, a salad, and a slice of fried banana.  I generally try to remember to save a little of my soup to put on top of my rice to give it a little flavor but I forgot this day.  Ah well, there was plenty to eat that having rice wasn't all that big a deal.

For dessert we had a mango papaya compote.  It was delightful and the perfect ending to the meal.

The entire meal cost $3.00.  I was very pleased, especially since a burger and fries without the beverage, soup, and other sides, costs $4.50 or $5.00 at the gringo restaurants.  I'm not saying it isn't worth is, just that there are different factors in play at the different restaurants and it's nice to have such a lovely meal at such a lovely price.

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