Raise your hand if you like afternoon cocktails! I do! I do! But, only when on vacation, of course!
While walking around the Panama’s old city of Casco Viejo, I was a tad parched so started looking for some lunch and a cold beverage when I stumbled upon a lil gem. Finca del Mar, located at Calle 2A Oeste, Panama City, is across the street from the water and shaded by several trees so is a nice place to hide from the mid-day sun.
I arrived around noon and they weren’t serving lunch, which was fine, figured I’d grab a drink and get out of the hot sun. We had some trouble communicating, which was my fault, so I just asked for a beer, seems universal enough. While drinking my beer, I noticed the bartender making a tasty concoction that looked much more enticing and seemed more vacation-like. Couple of grunts, nods and head shakes and I replaced the beer with a tasty daiquiri.
While waiting for the 2nd drink, another man came by with the menu. Confused, I started to look but didn’t get too excited because I had no idea what was going on. I was just told ‘no food’. It appeared as though the manager showed up and had decided they could start lunch a little early since there were a few others mingling around.
Unfortunately, there were no english subtitles on the menu so I had to guess. I fell in love with shrimp ceviche when I was in Costa Rica last year so figured it was a safe bet in Panama City. I wasn’t sure what the ‘de cordova’ meant, but I was sure hoping it stood for shrimp.
Without internet to google the translation, I hopped in a swing and enjoyed my cocktail. It took quite a while for the food to arrive but I was in no rush and was happy to just chill and watch the tourists stroll around Casco Viejo.
Eventually my food came out and oh boy, was I in for a surprise. Now, I am a simple girl. Not a huge fan of fancy foods, was raised on the basics. And basics are okay with me. A bowl of raw fish is not the norm in my world. Here, you be the judge. Check out this pic:
Seriously, raw fish. My gag reflex was on over-drive, thinking back to the smelly fish covered in lemon my mom used to cook. Sorry, mom, but the house would smell for days. And I HATED it. And ps, mom, I may have flushed a few fishes down the toilet.
So, back to my story. I did what any mature adult does, and picked up the bowl and sniffed it. Surprisingly, no smell…at all. I convinced my brain to pipe the eff down and took a bite. Unbelievably, I did not die. Or gag. Or spit it into napkin. It was actually yummy. Very yummy. I was super surprised and continually had to fight back my inner child telling me to flush it down the toilet so everyone thinks I ate it. Some of the bigger pieces were a little harder to take, but only because I was afraid.
So though I can’t say I enjoyed my meal, it was a struggle between my brain, my tastebuds and my fork, I can certainly say I survived. How bout that?!
Look at me all grown up, shrimp ceviche last year in Costa Rica…fish ceviche this year in Panama City. Can’t wait to see what next year brings!