This week’s No Reservations takes us to Ecuador the “Republic of the Equator”. It’s one of those places that I’ve been reading a LOT about lately, as it’s a haven for ex-pats looking to live the good life for less. I’m curious to see Tony’s take on the food, etc. as what I’ve been reading has been from money hungry real estate developers trying to make a buck off of us old folks on social security. Are they actually RIGHT?
Ecuador’s culinary claim to fame is the fact that they make WONDERFUL soups and stews. That’s great, but how many bowls can you eat before you need something a bit more…um, substantial? WAIT? Apparently, when they say “substantial” it means rodents, calf fetus and bull penis (in a stew of course). I hate to say it, but I’m losing my appetite.
Tony begins his visit by hanging out witth Santiago Rosero and his band Ro*Cola Bacalaoat El Pobre Diablo in Quito. I’ve actually heard some GREAT things about Quito (from those over zealous real estate guys). Just like in my nightclubbing days up in RI, they’re out looking for some cheap late night eats (although I don’t think that Haven Brothers Hot Wieners are on their menu). Still, you usually can’t go wrong with street food Out on the streets they dine on such goodies as roast pork, chitlins, guatito, and cheese empanadas. Yum, cheese empanadas sound like the PERFECT late night food. How could you not like fried cheese? Or as Tony puts it, “Anybody, anywhere would like this, except maybe Gwyneth Paltrow because she probably can’t open her mouth wide enough”. At under $3.00 the price is right (hmmm….am I actually considering moving?).
Next it’s on to Esquina de la Ronda for some calf fetus soup and bull penis stew. See, I warned you. Can we please go back to the clip of the cheese empanadas (the thought of these makes me want to become a vegetarian. – as long as I can get a nice juice steak once in a while). Did I mention that this was BREAKFAST? These dishes aren’t the most bizarre thing Tony tries in Ecuador, however. He visits Picanteria el Hueco to taste a traditional food that dates back to pre-Columbian times:
Mr. Avery guinea pig. Oh Ben, I told you to blindfold Mr.Avery!
If you’d like to know more about Ecuador, check out the Ecaudor Travel Guide