Thursday, September 24, 2009

¡qué rico!

Tonight I ate out in Ecuador for the first time! We went to a traditional Cuencan restaurant called El Maíz, or, literally translated, The Corn. It was delicious! It was a nice sit-down restaurant with tablecloths, glass goblets, cloth napkins, all of that. Our waiter was wearing black pants, a white button-down shirt, and a black vest. He also had an iPod earbud in his ear when we arrived: very classy. Strangely we were the only ones in the restaurant for the majority of our meal which confused me because the food was SO GOOD! Did I mention it was so good?
We had this great appetizer made of tiny potatoes with a sauce made from seeds from something like a pumpkin. (We pretty much asked the waiter about every item on the menu but my Spanish is only so good. Don't judge me. "Something like a pumpkin" is as detailed as I can get at this time.) We were also served this giant corn-kernel/bean thing with a "not very spicy" but secretly rather spicy salsa. The waiter told us that in Cuenca they do not traditionally eat much bread, so they serve this bean mixture thing instead. It was pretty good, though I wasn't a fan of the secretly spicy sauce, though it was alright in moderation. Cortney and I also ordered a traditional Cuencan drink that had small pieces of apple cut up on top and tasted a little bit like watered down applesauce which sounds nasty but was actually more and more delicious the more you drank. Kind of like drugs. But without the after-effects (I'm hoping).
For my main dish I got this delicious mushroom/grain thing which was really good, but Emily and Chelsea got this FANTASTIC beef that made me regret the vegetarian dish that previously I had been so proud of. Lucky for me they shared. Also, next time we go back that is what I am getting (sorry Jace and Jen, but it was SO GOOD!). For dessert we got Cuencan ice cream and we're pretty sure but not completely certain that there was possibly rum in it. But there were also delicious fruit pieces on top that was from a fruit that is something like papaya. And that was delicious.

All in all the night was a smashing success! In addition to the food beforehand I bought this great green sweater at the chompa (jacket) market for $12 (I bargained them down from $14—not that impressive, I know, but I was pleased) and also a black scarf/hood from this store at the mall that is so clever and amazing and that I am in love with. I am wearing both in the first picture posted here. Do you love it?


Jen said...

However saddened I am that the vegetarian dish did not fulfill your wildest dreams, I am quite pleased about your intricate description of the meal. Isn't food fulfilling? Spoken like a true food snob, indeed.

Dave Buck said...

I like the sweater, but I can't really see the scarf very well.

Carter said...

So jealous about the food. As good as fruit and vegetables are, you should definitely eat meat too. Sorry Jace and Jen, I know you think you are enlightened, but I am sorry to say, you've been duped. Plus I love the scarf and sweater. Not to mention the earrings and bracelet. Last bit, you can also say Chaqueta for jacket I am pretty sure, but not positive about the spelling. Oh one last thing, I mean it this time. The family is getting a dog. They don't know it yet, but they are. His name shall be Winston, Winnie for short and he shall be greatly loved by all who meet him.