Typical Food of Coastal Ecuador

13775560_787974821339600_6097005661915790504_nWe’ve had to eat out a bit more than normal lately, since I’ve been ailed. Luckily, it is very affordable and very convenient to do so, as long you understand the when and where. Most restaurants are not open during the day, unless it is the weekend. Otherwise, lunch time hours are pretty hit or miss. Most people can’t even be found in the afternoon, as Latins of all ages take their siesta/nap-time very seriously! Usually if we want we to eat out during the week, we plan on after 4 pm. Some restaurants don’t open until as late as 7 pm. It is a very laid back atmosphere, everyone is welcome as you are. It’s never a problem if you don’t have shoes on, or if you have the dogs along, or even if they know you and you forgot your wallet. I always find it charming, that it is fairly typical to be served your food on a fancy china plate at a plastic table 🙂 Many of the restaurants are set up on a patio, the sidewalk, or even right in the street. They are usually just a humble extension of the restaurant owner’s own home. The ambiance that this creates is one of genuinity, as you come to realize that you may be experiencing the service of several family members and even several generations. 13680638_787974808006268_1029424106744154356_nIt feels much like what we call a family style restaurant in The States. Typical dishes in this province include rice and pantecones (a type of fried plaintain). You will usually get both with just about any meal you order. If you order soup, you’ll probably get chifles, which are a plaintain chip. Fish and seafood are very commonly eaten both here and throughout the entire country of Ecuador. You can also get chicken, or pork, and less often beef. But the meat here is different and takes some getting used to. Mostly organic and free range livestock means leaner, tougher meat but great flavor.
13882268_787974798006269_3233342824472979069_nThis bowl is Ceviche, it is a mixture of seafoods that are “cooked” in a lime juice broth. It is not hot, but is served chilled or at room temperature. The are many variations of this soup, it’s fun to try them all and compare. It was served with patecones.
The other 2 photos are of mixed rice dishes, one is with every imaginable fish included, the other is with a white fish and calamari (octopus). They are served with cooked Maduro, a type of sweet banana that needs to be cooked for consumption.
We forgot to take a photo, but we also tried swordfish, which was unbelievable. Probably among one of the best fish dishes I have ever had. And yes, the kids eat this stuff, too. We don’t tell them it’s fish, and they gobble it right up! 😀

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