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What am I eating here?

March 25, 2012

One of my friends asked me about the food here. I think there is the perception that it is like what we think of as Mexican food or just rice and beans.  Yes, Gallo Pinto which is a rice and bean mixture is known as the national dish and many natives eat it a lot – even for breakfast. It gets tastier the next day after you make it and it is generally eaten with a fresh white cheese they sell here.  So yes, it is a staple in the diet of many people.

The food is varied and quite sophisticated in many of the restaurants here in Granada.Granada is a tourist town because of its colonial architecture and location on the lake, so the many restaurants cater to the tourism trade.  I have been fortunate to have friends from the US here for the past month so I have eaten out a lot, but even the expats who live here eat out fairly frequently.

 This past week we went to Las Colinas, a restaurant in a run down neighborhood fairly near Lake Nicaragua that specializes in fresh fish from the lake. They are a type of bass.  The restaurant is open air with black sand floors and wooden table but the staff

lays a tablecloth as you arrive. They also turn on floor fans to keep you cool.  The fish are huge and delicious, they are fried in some manner that makes the skin crispy but not greasy and the meat is hot and flaky. The fish is covered with a sauce of cooked tomatoes and onions, side of rice of course.  This goes great with a cold Tona (the local beer). Not inexpensive but delicious. Look at those teeth on that fish!

One night my friends cooked at their house. They had a full modern kitchen including a dishwasher.  It is a far cry from my closet kitchen with small refrigerator and 2 burner hot plate. Many locals do not even have a refrigerator so I am not complaining. We had a yummy meal of spicy garbanzo beans and sausage, the recipe was originally from Latin America.

Last night we had dinner at Los Chocoyos, a wonderful restaurant in Hotel San Francisco. This is a well-known boutique hotel on Calle Corrales. It was very cute inside and with a beautiful garden – open to the sky – right in the restaurant. We had a variety of beautifully presented dishes – Thai chicken, a spicy chicken dish, and a delicious beef dish. The beef is excellent here which came as a surprise to me.

The sophistication and beauty of the presentation is as prevalent here in Nicaragua as it was when I was in Peru a couple of years ago.  That and the international aspect of the types of food are so different from my expectation before I started traveling to this part of the world. I find it a real pleasure to go out to eat because of the obvious care that most restaurants take in the preparation and presentation of the meal. You find this in all levels of restaurants, not just the more upscale ones.

So what am I eating here – many different and delicious foods. I have eaten delicious Italian pasta, Italian seafood, fish, several interesting chicken dishes, ribs, pizza, ceviche, and some great guacamole (some of that is courtesy of my friend Judy, not a restaurant).  The good news is there is more to come.


From → Granada

One Comment
  1. Harry permalink

    Great blog post. Very interesting.


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