Friday, August 2, 2013

Restaurant Riviera

Grab this related post Widget!
Three years ago Cynthia and I hoped we had made a good decision. The container filled with our possessions was en route to Ecuador and we had no residence in which to unload its contents.


We knew we didn’t want to live downtown or on the west side of the city, and could find nothing suitable in the south/central part of town where we had focused our search. With the clock ticking we finally found and leased a beautiful place in the southeast that we loved and would hold all our stuff. But we’d only been in Cuenca for a month and knew absolutely nothing about our new neighborhood.

Turns out we couldn’t have made a better choice. The surrounding streets are filled with large older homes, big trees and mature landscaping. A Supermaxi, Ecuador’s dominant supermarket chain, is a 10 minute walk away, as is Parque Paraiso, Cuenca’s largest park. El Centro can be reached in 20 minutes.

Our street, Avenida Paucarbamba, has undergone exciting transformations. Neither of us are big shoppers, but two lovely high-end clothing stores have opened plus several new restaurants.

Speaking of which, I’m thrilled to report that this part of town has evolved into what I will call the “Restaurant Riviera!” I thought of this as I was walking to Milenium Mall (yes, that’s the way it’s spelled) this morning. On the way I noticed a gorgeous new Spanish restaurant and two more dining establishments under construction. Roux Bar & Bistro opened right up the street two weeks ago and has enjoyed instant success.

I realized within a five minute stroll from our home we have a choice of six seafood restaurants. And we’re in the Andes--can you imagine? Extend that protractor out fifteen minutes and, counting the food court at Milenium, I’m certain we have over 40 nice places to eat. That doesn’t include the numerous blue-collar cheap lunch joints. Or Cuenca’s very first McDonald’s that will be open soon!

To be honest we usually eat at home. And after all this time we still haven’t tried every dining possibility within walking distance. But it’s awesome to know that, if we’re just not in the mood to cook and clean up (no dishwasher!), a great meal is only a few minutes away!


Robertus Sutardi said...

Excellent post! Keep up the infor­ma­tive work!

ray liar said...

Hi EDD; As a long time skulker and expat wannabe I am always questioning the prices of EVERYTHING Ecuadoran. What kind of prices are prevalent in all of these "high end" places?? Does the pricing tend to exclude the native population??

Edd Staton said...

Ray, I didn't mean to indicate all of the dining choices in our neighborhood are "high end." Most are simply nice places with well prepared, moderately priced meals.

To answer your questions, in a more expensive restaurant entrees (not including pastas, which are cheaper) will often be $10+. I know that sounds crazy-low, so think of how we feel when we eat out back in the States!

Of course "pricey" places are not frequented by most locals. The same can be said anywhere on earth. However, Cuenca has a rising middle class and more residents own cars, live in nice homes, and eat out than ever before.

DW said...

I would like your opinion on what might be the effects on the Ecuadorian economy of the coming removal of gasoline and household gas subsidies? Will food and other products go out of sight as they have in the US? Since everyone has to pay more, do you think rents will significantly be affected? Bus and taxi fares? I'd sure like to hear your thoughts about this. Could these potential increases make the move to Ecuador less attractive for foreigners? Thanks for your informative site. DW

Edd Staton said...

Sorry I'm not going to be very informative with this reply because no one has a clue. The change isn't happening for a few years so why speculate now? Rest assured the government isn't going to expect impoverished people to go from $2.50 per propane tank to something like $15. Most certainly prices for some goods and services will increase, so if the current cost of living is straining one's maximum budget another destination might make sense.

DW said...

Thanks for your diplomacy. And your blogs are so honest and "right on." Thanks for that, too. DW