Now to the food — how wonderful to have fresh fish every day sometimes twice a day — yes, I am fish deprived and I admit to being in love totally with fish and seafood of almost any type – I found Puerto Lopez to be my Seafood Heaven — We located several places that fulfilled my seafood fantasy! We loved going for lunch to Centro. It’s the local market that sits about 4 blocks from the malecon. It had a wonderful outside eating area where several vendors served lunch during the day. The meal consisted of soup, a main course and a glass of juice. Most days it was either shrimp soup or a fish soup, made with mani ((peanut) sauce which was outstanding. The main consisted of fried or sauteed fresh fish, rice and a salad, some days they even had congrejo (crab). The cost was $2 each after they got to know us it was $2.50 before. What a treat!!! Then we must talk about Mayflower Restaurant what a find… Joe would order the Fried Shrimp with papas fritas and I would get fish in mani sauce a peanut sauce used by the cooks of Manibi province.
We found the people to be very friendly some spoke a bit of English most did not. We have never really had an issue not speaking the language. It seems if you are kind and smile a lot people are just so easy to deal with no matter what the language. We met Jhony the MotoTaxi driver who spoke a bit of English and took us on hair-raising rides around the countryside. The beautiful management and staff of the Hotel Pacifico, especially Sofia who made so many phone calls and walked me all around town looking at properties and talking to people on our behalf.
We stayed at the Pacifico for well over a month and they took care of us like family – they even made me oregano tea and a very simple chicken broth one evening when I had suffered with a stomach issue that day. Our driver Hector who chauffeured us back and forth to Manta. Senior Carlos who washed our clothes and smiled every time he saw us. We also met the owners of the Whale Cafe who are from the US and have been living in Ecuador for many years, we spent many an evening drinking vino tinto and enjoying their vegetarian pizza or the best Spicy Thai Noodle dish I have ever had. They also have a book exchange so bring your books if you plan on eating there.
I can’t say that I learned how to cook any of these wonderful dishes but both Joe and I truly enjoyed each morsel and will be back in Lopez soon to help ourselves to this culinary treat!!