Well, I wanted adventure
Tonight was a free night on the tour–a polite way of saying we were responsible for our own dinner.
Som people chose to simply eat in the hotel, but last night’s debacle (poor food, worse service, in a supposedly “5-star” hotel) didn’t give me much hope.
Fortunately, I thought, I had spotted an interesting local bistro just a block from the hotel. So after Gail’s afternoon nap, we strode over. Well, not so much “strode” as “picked our way carefully” over the broken sidewalks. Remember, no lights, no maintenance.
The restaurant, Artchef looked nice. The service was great. As seems to be true in every diner in the universe, they tried to give us the worst table in the house first. After I refused it, they found a decent place for us to sit.
The menu was hilarious–I avoided the “Fried Cow”, but I was sort of tempted by “Salad of Chicken Inhabitant of the City”. I’ve seen things like this on Engrish.com, but never in real life.
Of course, nothing is easy. I ordered the rabbit–no rabbit today. Gail ordered the Lamb Stew–no lamb today.
So we settled on a tamale and Fish in Wine sauce for Gail, Chicken Diablo for me. Gail’s “tamale” was more of a corn/polenta soup–and actually pretty good. I’d make it at home if I could figure it out. Her fish, sadly, was dreadful. Overcook, and drowned in a hideous sauce made by a chef who had no idea of what a sauce is. I lucked out–the chicken was edible. Just barely.
I notice a bottle of Bailey’s behind the bar, so I had one. The bartender very carefully poured a shot glass so full there was a meniscus of liquor over the top, then poured every single drop into my glass. Impressive skill.
A small boy at the next table had some kind of fit or seizure or swoon or something, and his dad rushed him out of the place. Knowing nothing of his past, it can’t be fair to opine on the medical system. But it raises questions, as did the event this afternoon when our guide wondered if we had any Vitamin E–he has a friend with breast cancer who needs it. I sure as hell don’t know how to cure breast cancer, but I’m pretty sure Vitamin E isn’t the answer.
So dinner was an adventure, some good, some bad. The bill was minuscule–22 pesos, about $27. Big shot that I am, I left 25 pesos (service was already included). The extra tip was for the kid who raced over and replaced Gail’s napkin every time it slipped off her lap onto the floor.
Tomorrow, the Bay of Pigs. I think their story will be different than the one they tell in the states. And the truth will be somewhere in the middle, as always.