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Pine Hill, New Jersey
July 18, 2008
From journal Molas and Mud - Adventures in El Valle, Panama
December 5, 2003
The restaurant adjoins a small 10-room hotel and serves all three meals. Menu selections offer both German and Panamanian food. Excellent food. Donna and I voted this to be the best restaurant in El Valle. The chicken in white sauce entree was fabulous. Tender white meat and thick mushrooms in a rich creamy sauce was served with German fried potatoes and cabbage. Usually not a fan of German food, the meal was surprisingly outstanding–one of my favorite meals in Panama.
We were one of two tables occupying this casual quiet space. So perhaps it's unfair to say, but the service was attentively spoiling!
This busy café located on the main street below a hotel, next to a souvenir shop and a block away from the market does a steady business. Numerous tables are crammed into the small room where a television blares additional noise to bus, taxi and truck traffic on the street.
Panamanian selections are written on a chalkboard in Spanish. We ordered from the menu not exactly sure what we'd be getting but accepting that as part of the adventure.
Our Yuka al mo appetizer turned out to be fried yuca with cilantro, onion and parsley. Expecting a fresh squeezed juice, my batidos denaranga, an orange milkshake (like a dreamsicle), was a little surprising. Donna ordered the special of the day to see what a typical Panamanian dish would be. A plate of fried rice and a spattering of pork and vegetables left her hungry for protein. My ala plancho coivina was a yummy pan-fried sea bass served with French fries and vegetables.
Donna and I saw a sign for this restaurant in town pointing us to walk this way. So we did. The road passed some lovely homes then T-boned in the rural forested countryside. No sign. We gambled left and lost. Ten minutes later a monsoon hit, turning us into drowned rats by the time we somehow ended up back in town. Perplexed we hired a taxi.
The patio dining area was thankfully covered for rainy days such as this. We sat at a glass-topped cane table beside an artificial stream surrounded by trees and various plants and watched koi swim past while we ate our lunch. Business was booming. Day tours from Panama City include lunch stops here.
Seafood, chicken and pasta dishes range from $8-12. The house specialty chicken dish was rather tough and the accompanying sauce nondescript, but the service was fine and the setting charming.
From journal Nature Adventures in Panama's El Valle