Sit back and enjoy as I take you on a tour of the culinary delights Panama has to offer. Of course there are restaurants in Panama City with all types of ethnic food: Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean, Brazilian, Greek, and others but I am going to describe 3 delicious meals that the locals enjoy.
For breakfast we eat hojadres and huevos fritos. Hojadres are fried bread about the size of a pancake that go nicely with fried eggs and coffee or soda or Gatorade. The breakfast fonda in downtown San Miguel is the place to hang out with the locals and score the best hojadres in town. No offense to anyone else who makes this dish, sorry Noris, Aura, and Miriam, but the breakfast fonda hojadres are my favorite.
The fonda is literally situated in the fork in the road where you can continue along the Pacora River past our yellow house on the left until it dead ends less than a mile ahead or veer left to go up the hill and over the mountain to La Chapa.
We have a cook for our meal plan here at Casa Llena named Noris. She likes to make hojadres and huevos fritos for dinner, desayuno por cena or breakfast for dinner.
She also makes tasty fried chicken with rice, beans, and salad, pollo frito con comida y ensalada. In Spanish the word comida translates to food but in Panama the word means a side of rice and beans with whatever meat you order. The salad is usually a mixture of cucumbers and tomatoes in a light vinegar dressing, nothing like traditional American salads.
My favorite dish that Noris makes is pollo guisado, or stewed chicken in red sauce. It is so good you can just drink the sauce, pour it over rice, or better yet dip bread into it.
I recently visited San Mblas with a group of fellow interns in northeast Panama. We ate the freshest seafood. Lunch was local fish and yellow rice and dinner was lobster and giant crab from the Mar Caribe. The first morning, we went swimming and a fisherman came by in his long wooden canoe filled with lobster, fish, crab, and another creature that looked like a hybrid between a crab and lobster. Never seen anything like that before. No photos of his catch but here is a picture of the lobster I had for dinner that night.