Friday, July 01, 2011

I Couldn't Eat The Whole Thing

Just a quick post before heading out for our river walk and a visit to a museum. The Mysterious Ones are hot to trot.

I had my cuy, or Guinea pig last night and it was way to much for one person to eat. I had no choice but to order one for myself because the Mysterious Ones refused to participate. The price, $19, was twice as much as anything else on the menu, so that should have been a give-away. Later in the evening a group of five Ecuadorians came in and ordered one for the table.

My Cute Not-So-Little Cuy
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The skin was nice and crispy and thinner than pork skin. The flavor was unique, I personally didn't think it tasted like pork. It wasn't gamey, though. Maybe more like squirrel than anything else that comes to mind.

I ate about half of it and took the rest back to the hotel and gave it to the night-clerk who seemed happy to get it. It really is considered a delicacy here.

And these aren't the small, cute cuddly ones we have for pets in the United States. These are much larger and feral. They attack in packs and have been known to bring down a puma. You never want to go out in the woods at night unless you are well-armed and in a group. Lately they have been invading the outskirts of town and killing dogs and small children. When the school bus drops the children of from school there is often a pack of guinea pigs just waiting.

Okay, we are back from our days outing which included a visit to a museum, some archaeological ruins, a botanical garden and a bird sanctuary of sorts for birds that were rescued from smugglers. But more of that later. And tomorrow I will post about our day-trip with Efrain of Mimo Tours. But for now I will just put up a few more pictures of our meal at Guajibamba Cuyes.

The restaurant was recommended to us both by Efrain, our tour guide, and Alberto, the hotel proprietor as the best place in Cuenca to get cuy, or Guinea pig. And it was just a short walk from our hotel which was handy because it was drizzling out. And drizzling was good. After a beautiful morning we had one hell of a thunderstorm in the afternoon.

It takes an hour to prepare the Guinea pig and it is recommended that you call ahead. Of course we didn't know that. But no matter, as soon as I ordered it the waiter immediately went back to the kitchen to get it started and then came back to take the rest of our order. We got some appetizers to start along with our drinks.

We ate the appetizers and drank our drinks and the hour passed by pleasantly enough. And then the food arrived.

All This For Three People
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As you can see, that was way too much for us to eat. The Mysterious Chinese Woman ordered chicken and the Mysterious Sister-In-Law ordered a steak that came with an egg on top of it. Both were quite good as were the appetizers which were little potato empanados.

A Contented Group
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Like most of the world, the Ecuadoreans seem to dine latter than we gringos. The place did begin to fill up with more of a local crowd as the evening wore on, but I was able to take a few pictures of the restaurant before it filled up.

Some Pictures Of The Restaurant
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That is a puma skin on the wall and you can see where its feet had been gnawed off by the feral Guinea pigs.

Hats On The Ceiling
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I know, you are all waiting to see a picture of me in my new Panama hat. Be patient, it will show up soon.

Wall Decorations
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You can see that they keep a few rifles handy just in case some feral Guinea pigs decide to seek revenge for the serving of their brethren.

Efrain, our guide, stopped by. He was there arranging some kind of a party for next week. We are going to go on another day-trip with him on Sunday. This time to visit some ruins. It should be a fun trip, he is an entertaining fellow. He was born and raised here but has been working in the United States up until last February when he got laid off. He is an electrician and was working on the new Freedom Tower, or whatever they call it now. His whole crew and more got laid off for 76 weeks so different people could get jobs. Not sure of the logic behind that. He decided to come over here and open up his little travel business while he waits to get called back. He is an electrician and belongs to a union and you are not allowed to seek other non-union work in the United States while you are laid off. Such is the way of the world. But more about him tomorrow.

We are about to head out for a pre-dinner walk and then dinner so, until tomorrow, adios.


Katie said...

LOVE THIS. I often said I should have just grilled Nutmeg while she was still plump and rotund. But alas, aging is hard on guinea pigs. Nary a morsel on her at the end.

Anonymous said...

It looks like a clean and healthy place to eat, nice recommendation, plus the food looks very good.
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