La Pippona

Empanadas anyone? What we are used to is a fried empanada with more crust than filling. These empanadas from La Pippona are light and flaky baked crusts with filling galore. We have tried several of them and so far our favorites are the Mexicana which is super spicy for Uruguay and the Ham and Cheese which is filled with chunks of great ham and a rich creamy melty cheese.  I failed to tell you we did order a little pizza as well, this went into the fridge for another meal.Each empanada is marked with dots to represent what the filling inside is and is delivered to your door hot and ready to just dig in.

But we have also fallen in love with the Lebanese open-faced Lehmeyun. These thin crusted pizza like flat treats are covered with a meat and spice mixture – this is so different yet so wonderful it sparks your taste buds.  Sprinkle a little fresh lemon juice (slices provided with your meal) on top and you are transported to an even better taste experience.

And to top off an already great meal they have dessert empanadas. Yes, you heard me correct.  We have tried two of the four desserts offered and really loved them.  One is an empanada apple pie, hot from the oven excellent. Just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon, thin sliced apples, divine is the only word that can describe this dessert. Actually tastes like the pies Mom used to make. As well as the National Postre (dessert) for all of Uruguay Dulce de Leche we ordered the one with chocolate chips. Honestly not so overly sweet just right for Joe and I to share.

In our research on Uruguay we saw so many comments about the lack of food choices here.  We have not found that to be true at all. The food varieties are wonderful, you have your pastas even with a special day the 29th of each month where noquis are on the menu at almost every restaurant. You have your choice of flame cooked meats from pork, beef, lamb, chicken as well as sausages galore and if your taste runs to innards they do that as well. Our favorite restaurant so far in Atlantida is Don Vito, the food, the service, the atmosphere are just perfect for our Sunday lunch. They have seafood choices, chivitos, pasta, salads, pizzas and meats as well as a beautiful display case filled with desserts to die for.  While in Montevideo we found Tres Fuegos had similar service and food. We have found hamburger restaurants serving just hamburgers, beef or veggie like our favorite Rudy Burgers on 26 de Marzo in Montevideo’s Nuevo  Pocitos section.  You want Japanese we have found several, even in Atlantida we have Sushi Brothers (will be doing a post on them real soon). Are you into seafood? The supermarkets have several varieties of local fresh fish and in Atlantida we even have a fish monger if you really want it fresh. Montevideo has Indian restaurants even take out Indian is available.

I just don’t see an issue with the choices. What we have learned since moving from the US in 2006 is you may have to do a little work to have what you want to eat. I have learned how to make so many things from scratch and that only makes me a better cook and we have more wholesome food and eat so much better as I can control what goes into my food when I use fresh ingredients. So you like Thai make it at home you can find most ingredients at your local supermarket.  Want Thai Spring rolls, make them. Here the supermarket has spring roll wraps, sushi nori, rice noodles, tahini, soy and oyster sauce, wasabi powder…you want to make Pho they have the spices and other ingredients needed to make your own home-made version.

It’s all part of the great adventure. You need to go with it.

 

Is It Heaven or Is It Mall del Sol, Guayaquil, Ecuador?

We have spent many hours over the past two days in the Mall del Sol. After a few hours of walking we take a break and go to the food court for a cup of coffee or a coke. Just a few photos of some of the goodies we found at the food court.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (50)Yes, donut holes, from Dunkin Donuts…just a few.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (5) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (2) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (3) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (6)What are you craving?  We only went for the donut holes…they were excellent! There is a Tony Roma’s and Noe Sushi which is an excellent restaurant – we’ve been to the one in Quito.

Mall del Sol is located almost directly across the street from Howard Johnson hotel so it is very convenient for anyone planning a nice shopping trip to Guayaquil. You step out the side door of HoJo’s and walk thru a maze of great looking restaurants and bars, pass the Sheraton and take the walking bridge over to the food court of the mall. Takes less than three minutes and is very secure with guards everywhere you look.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (41)In the beginning when we moved to Central America and saw armed guards we were a bit nervous. After living outside of the US for over 7 years, we now like the extra feeling of security.

 

Sushi – How Could We Resist?

We have been Sushi deprived…honestly the last time we had it was when we were in Guayaquil several years ago. The hotel we are staying at has sushi from 1pm until late probably 10 pm from Monday – Friday…we could not wait.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (25)

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (27)It was wonderful, do you know how you can tell?

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (28)Yes, we may even go back for dinner tomorrow ordering the same thing! We did enjoy two different miso soups before our sushi arrived.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (21) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (23)The restaurant is very modern with all black and white furniture and accents.

Guayquil 8.5.2013 (17) Guayquil 8.5.2013 (24)

El Eden Restaurant

Our almuerzo meals during the week have mostly been from El Eden restaurant located in downtown Clemente. The restaurant has huge blue plate-glass windows and the ceiling is painted with different sea creatures. It is about the only restaurant in centro Clemente that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and always seems to be open.

It has a great almuerzo menu each day, with so many choices and really great food.

We have become a family eating one big meal a day, great for our waistlines and perfect on the pocketbook especially if that meal is almuerzo at $2.50 each.

This day they offered 3 soup choices, 2 sides choices, 2 main courses and 4 juices. For the $2.50 you get a large bowl of soup full of  good stuff like lentils, yuca with beef, a main course of fried fish or beef or chicken etc, rice and a salad or beans or mashed potatoes or the like.  And a very large and cold class of, not watered down, fruit juice. Yum.  Lots of choices each day and always pretty darn good.  And did I mention it’s $2.50?

Below are the pictures painted on the ceilings. Kind of cute, this would look great in a kids room also. Even the shark looks friendly!