Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everybody Wants Some!!

Food! This post will be an update on some of the food we have eaten while out and about. We have enjoyed a typical Panamanian lunch (rice, beans and a protein - usually chicken on the bone) and are increasingly trying new places to try out.  Below are some pictures of them.

While we were in Panama City last we went to the mall. It is very large and and had a carousel that the girls enjoyed in the food court! They had more restaurants than probably needed for a food court but they were all busy and it was difficult to find a table. We got food from a couple of different places, I chose Rico Burrito and ordered the Mata Burro. The burrito comes in different sizes based on the number of carnes (meats) that you wanted, this one had three so I figured it would fill me up. Looking at the picture below that was definitely the case! They used two very large tortillas and kind of pasted them together partly. Adding in my three meats and a variety of toppings and sauces with the choices being more than there are at Subway to give you an idea. It was very large and delicious. Can't wait to go back. I may just have to go without Kayla since she couldn't believe how big it was.

One day while we were out running errands we were hungry for a mid morning snack. So we went into a Super Carnes and got some cinnamon buns from their bakery. It was a small counter but had just what we needed for about .50 a roll! Seen below is Naomi still enjoying hers while Cora and I were already done.

I am similar to my Mom that when I see something "new" in the grocery store I have to try it. Being in another country definitely provides this opportunity often. Below are the Ruleta Doritos. If you can't guess from the picture they are normal doritos but then occasionally you will get a very spicy one. For some reason N really enjoyed trying these and was also really surprised when she got one and had to drink lots of water.

While Kayla was in Panama City the other week for a couple of days it was me and the girls. So of course we went to the mall and had a couple of dinners out. This is a good reliable place with different choices to eat at while being clean and air conditioned which is always a good thing. The first picture is from La Parrilla de la Estancia. They serve all the food on the iron skillet and is a lot of grilled meats. I chose the Baby Beef (written in English on the menu) and it was pretty good. I was able to order it rare and I survived! I of course ordered it with papas fritas (french fries) and arroz con frijoles negros (rice with black beans). The other picture is from another fast food restaurant that is becoming a favorite Full Pizza. It is cheap, fast and the girls and get a personal pizza cheap. Below is the Full Ranchera which had bbq sauce, onions, corn, ham and ground beef. I have gotten this pizza a couple of times now and it is pretty good.

Lastly is a picture of my buffalo chicken sandwich from Sitio Bruyo. This was a new find and I am sure we will be back multiple times. It was an outdoor restaurant/bar with  really good atmosphere. The people were friendly, and the food was really good. We said it didn't feel like being in Santiago. Not that we don't like Santiago but it was a restaurant that I think is trying to do things differently than typical Panamanian restaurants and trying to make it not just about feeding your body but creating a nice experience with the decorations, music (English speaking, mostly Radiohead), and of course an attention to the food.

I am sure there will be more talk of food in later posts but wanted to share some of the discovers over the last couple of weeks.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

santa fe

We've been so good about getting out and exploring every weekend, but not so good about remembering to update here! In the last few weeks, we've visited Santa Fe, Montijo, and Chitre, and I took another work trip to Panama City.

Santa Fe was lovely. My teacher friend Yasmin and her husband own some cabins in Santa Fe, so we drove up into the mountains about an hour to stay there. We were hoping to get a little hiking in, but the girls loved having access to a pool. Maybe next time.

I was blown away by the amount of color in Santa Fe. The slight difference in temperature meant that all kinds of flowers were in bloom. While the mountain views were soothing to me, Earl was a little uneasy about how remote it was, especially with all the mountain driving in our questionable car.

We've noticed that much of Panama is not set up for tourists the way other countries, like Costa Rica, are. It's hard to find information and find your way around some of the places we've visited here in the interior, but it can definitely be done.

This trip's list:

  • The gas station attendant (who guessed we were headed to Santa Fe) who warned us about the rain. Luckily, it stopped before we got into the mountains.
  • The salad dressing at Cafe Dorado!
  • The calf grazing by the playground
  • Hojaldre=fried bread=yum
  • C's love of the mountains. We need to head back to Santa Fe just for her!
Oh, and by the way, E says I've been doing this all wrong since none of my post titles reference Van Halen songs. I'll leave that to him!