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Chowing Down Around Town

It’s no secret that I looooove to try new restaurants, and Cuenca has a near-limitless variety to choose from.  Today I thought I’d shine a spotlight on a few of my go-to favorites:

Origami Sushi Restaurant

Calle Larga between Hermano Miguel and Mariano Cueva

Ecuador offers a rich variety of seafood, which the chefs at Origami artfully transform into edible works of art.  Although Cuenca is not on the coast, their fish is always fresh and delicious!  Located on Calle Larga between Hermano Miguel and Mariano Cueva, it’s one of my favorite places to stop for lunch – there’s plenty of variety and the rolls are always delicious and fresh!

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Cafe San Sebas

Plaza San Sebas, just off Mariscal Sucre at San Sebastian

Mmmmm, Chili Cheeseburgers!

If you’re looking for a hearty meal, this is the place to go!  I’m a huge fan of their chili cheeseburgers and their pulled pork hash, and their veggie quesadillas are phenomenal!  There’s also a small gallery offering handmade products from local artisans including indigenous painters and expat artists.  Best of all, the patio area is a great place to hang out for an afternoon, have a couple beers and just relax.

Pulled pork hash browns with a fried egg on top – Breakfast of Champions!

 

Thai Connection

Calle Eduardo Crespo Malo just off Gran Colombia at Unidad Nacional

This restaurant is a little bit out of the way for us, but we never hesitate to make a special trip over to fulfill our Thai cravings!  Their food is always fresh and truly authentic – the green curry is rich and flavorful, the spring rolls are crispy and stuffed full of tasty goodness, and everything is presented beautifully.

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Art for Art’s Sake Revisited

I’ve mentioned before how much I love the Ecuadorean flair for street art of all kinds, especially large murals.  Although some are ‘random acts of art’, in many cases they’re commissioned by the property owner to brighten things up.

Almost every time I go out in Cuenca, I see a new piece, either in-progress or long-since completed – to me it’s a dream come true!  Another thing is that the locals are incredibly polite – I’ve had people come to a stop in the street rather than drive through and mess up your shot.

Here are a few more recent examples:

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Dude, Where’s My Mountain?

So we had a little bit of a storm roll in the other day, I went out front to check it out – this is what I saw:

There's supposed to be a mountain to the left of the light pole...

There’s supposed to be a mountain to the left of the light pole…

 

This is what it normally looks like:

The mountain that should be there...

 

Needless to say, it was a fun storm!

 

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Quick Videos – Harp Player at 12 de Abril Celebration

Ecuadoreans take their history very, very seriously, and correspondingly, they vigorously celebrate many different anniversaries – for example, the founding of Cuenca.  The city of Cuenca was founded on April 12, 1557 by Gil Ramírez Dávalos, near the ruins of the Inca city of Tomebamba.    As part of the 12 de Abril festivities this year, Cuenca put together a *massive* art show (amongst other events), covering multiple locations throughout town, including Calle Presidente Borrero, Parque de la Madre, and the local arena.  As we were wandering amongst the booths (and grabbing some phenomenal local teas, preserves, and artwork), there was a local musician just hanging out and playing his harp:

One of these days I’ll get a grownup video camera so I can make longer/steadier recordings 😉

 

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Just Some Random Beauty

So, the weather has been a little weird here lately as we’re finally starting to transition out of the rainy season.  In the past week, we’ve had some gorgeous days, intermixed with some afternoon thunderstorms rolling in.

Yesterday started off pretty much the same, but around mid-afternoon, a light storm began rolling in.  I decided to take a quick break from work, open my office windows, and grab a few rays of sunlight before the clouds rolled in, and this is how Nature rewarded my timing:

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Quick Videos – A Bit of Weather

So it’s been a fairly rainy winter here (everyone keeps reassuring me that this is out of the ordinary ;)), but I honestly don’t mind – I’ve always loved storm-watching, and this is turning out to be a storm nerd’s paradise!

The first clip showcases an interesting Ecuadorean architectural feature – unlike homes in the US, Ecuadorean homes generally aren’t ‘sealed’.  For example, our skylight has an open gap so that a little bit of outside air can get in, but it has a gutter mounted below the edges for drainage.  Usually it works pretty well, but you’ll see that sometimes more than just air comes in!

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In-Town Outing: Museo del Banco Central ‘Pumapungo’

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Near the intersection of Calle Larga and Huayna Capac
Tue-Sat, 8AM – 5:30PM

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Much to my delight, museums are abundant in Cuenca, sprinkled liberally around the city like gems.  One of the coolest ones I’ve seen so far is located in Banco Central on Calle Larga near the Pumapungo archaeological site:

Museo Banco Central is the largest museum I’ve visited so far in Cuenca – there are rotating exhibits on the main floor (currently exhibiting comic book characters designed by Cuencano schoolchildren), the basement level contains a museum of currency, and a series of upstairs galleries showcasing Ecuador’s many regional indigenous groups.  Sadly, we had limited time, so we did not get to see the numismatic museum, but that just gives us an excuse to go back!

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The really interesting thing that I took away from this museum was the wide variety of ethnic groups in Ecuador and the amazing range of their artistic expressions – it reminded me of the Native (North) American cultures our family experienced during our years in Alaska, Washington, and the Southwest.

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Royale with Cheese

From Pulp Fiction:

Vincent: It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it’s just…it’s just, there it’s a little different.
Jules: Example?
Vincent: All right. Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don’t mean just like in no paper cup; I’m talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald’s. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
Jules: They don’t call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
Vincent: Nah, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn’t know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.
Jules: What do they call it?
Vincent: They call it a “Royale with Cheese.”

One of the major reasons I relocated to Ecuador was to experience new things, and Ecuador sure delivers!

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