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 Cruising through the Canal for Roadfood

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  • Total Posts: 3548
  • Joined: 5/9/2003
  • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
Cruising through the Canal for Roadfood Fri, 12/3/10 10:40 PM (permalink)
A few weeks ago I took advantage of a great rate to do a Panama Canal cruise. The gourmet food on the Island Princess was very nice, but I was on a mission to find some roadfood type places in the countries I visited.

I found my first find in Acapulco, going off the beaten (touristy) path in a quest for a taco. I found this stand, out on a side street with nary a tourist in sight. The menu says it all.
The experienced waitstaff ready to take my order.
I rdered a variety of tacos---chiccharon, al pastor pork, chicken, mole and barbacoa. This is what I got.

Each one was delicious. I also got a side of beans (visible in the row of containers on the front of the cart and some salsa. The cost---$2.50 American. Roadfood at it's best!
Walked back to the touristy part for a local beer to finish it off. Yum!

Some of my adventures were cut down some by the weather. It's the rainy season in Central America and I got a good dose of rain. In Panama City/Puerte Amador, I did make it to a neat little outdoor area where I got some great empanadas.
The dough was flaky and fresh and the chicken and pork stuffings were delish.


And after all, what could be more Roadfood than a meal cooked over a auto wheel!
Later on, I did my search for ceviche. I had decided to see if I could try some in each of the cities I visited. Here's the ceviche in Panama City.

A mixed type, with octopus, shrimp and local fish.It came with the hottest----and possibly best---hot sauce I had ever eaten. I asked if the had it bottled to go, but no such luck----they made it fresh during the day. Look at that color. Habanero supreme!

The local Panamanian beer was good too.

In Puntarenas, Costa Rica, I found this ceviche------strictly local sea bass.

The first time I was in Aruba I just walked a few touristy places and had some coffee and that was it. This time, I decided to talk to the locals and see what to try. Some of the locals at a store I was in steered me on to this thing called a pastechi. It's essentialy Aruba's version of the empanada or Jamaica's pattys. The first place I was sent to looked promising. The women at the store said they got them all the time from this place. I went there but they were out of just about everything.

I went back to the store where I had been and got a suggestion of an even better place but one that was quite a walk. Well, I was on a mission!
The sign in from of the place left nothing to doubt. I had arrived.

I looked at the menu. Too many interesting things to choose from!

I decided to try a beef one and a conch pastechi. Conch happens to be one of my favorite things so I was really happy. They came quickly, accompanied by two bottles of sauce---a hot sauce and a curry sauce.

I split them in two so I could try each half with a different sauce.

They were delicious. The conch was tender and still had the taste of the sea. The beef was good too. If I could have ordered one of everything on their menu I would have. The sauces realy kicked things up but did not overpower the flavors. 

After that I went to Iguana Joe's to sample the local beers.

The Polar Beer, while technically not local, comes from Venuzuela-------seventeen miles across the sea from where we were.
I had a few disappointments. Cartegena, Columbia, was the port I wanted to see the most. I had a place called La Cevicheria all picked out as well as planning on walking the streets to buy a few more vendor treats. Instead, it poured rain the whole time and traffic was a mess, so all I got was some of the local beers at a little bar out of the rain, outside but under an overhang. Good, but not what I wanted foodwise and certainly not the walking day I had planned in Cartegena. Cabo San Lucas has some decent beer but my wanderings could not find a "real" taco place to eat at. 
Fort Lauderdale, was fun. I found a place called the Elbo Room and had a blast there (as well as a few Jack and Cokes).Apparently a few RF'er's know the place.
A few doors down, I got a decent Greek beef shawarma. Back in the USA again eating Roadfood!
<message edited by EdSails on Tue, 10/22/13 4:55 PM>
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