Las Tablas Restaurant Tips by bilgeez

Las Tablas Restaurants: 8 reviews and 18 photos

Not Just for Bread - Las Tablas
Pan Caliente: Not Just for Bread

This is a very nice bakery at the main square (Parque Porras) in Las Tablas. They have all the local bread styles; Moñas which are sort of like short, soft French bread loaves. Michitas, which are like hot dog buns. They also have small square rolls that are like White Castle hamburger buns, only a little bigger, and they have round, braided short bread cookies with a sprinkled sugar coating. They also make some awesome cinnamon rolls for a quarter each! They are perfect! They also sell empanadas and pizza by the slice. It’s all good!

Favorite Dish: Cinnamon Rolls!!! Best ever!

Address: On Parque Porras

Comparison: about average

Directions: They are at the corner of Ave. Belasario Porras and Calle 8 de Noviembre in Las Tablas.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Bakery

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2010
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The Corner Fonda - Las Tablas

The Corner Fonda

The Local Fonda: Fast Food - Panamanian Style

There are not many so-called fast food restraurants that we are accustomed to frequenting in the US in Provincial Panama. Oh, there is a McDonald's, KFC, Burger King and Panamanian Pio-Pio in Chitre, but most Panamanians go to the corner fonda for a fast meal. Most have seats and a nice bill of local fare. They may be open 24 hours or only dawn to dusk, but they are cheap and you do get fast service.

Favorite Dish: Most fondas have some sort of pollo asado (grilled chicken) and most have some type of grilled beef or pork also. Many have bbq ribs, if they do, try them! They are usually very good and cheap! Most have fried or boiled yucca. I love yucca! I eat it as an alternative to potatoes, as it is less dense and has a ligher flavor than potatoes. One can use the same condiments as potatoes with yucca, but with chimichurri sauce is the most popular way to eat them here. If you see what we would call "cottage fries" in the case of the fonda, they are really yucca. Most fondas also have fresh juices, they usually only have one or two types, ask for what is available today, "¿que tipo de jugos hoy? " if they don't have a chalk board with prices visible. One interesting local beverage is "Piña con arroz". This is pineapple and rice mixed up, it is heavy, I don't like it, but if you likey syrupy, sweet drinks, you may. They also have ¨arroz con leche¨which is rice mixed in milk. Very chunky.

Address: All over Panama!

Comparison: least expensive

Directions: On many street corners, just look around! But be careful! In Panama City these fondas are in the rough areas and may be dangerous for gringos or other foreigners, or people who seem well-off to be there. In the towns in the provinces they are everywhere.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Local

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2010
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El Caseron - Las Tablas

El Caseron

El Caseron: Better Alternative to Hotel Manolo Restaurant

If you are near midtown Las Tablas, walk down Ave Belasario Porras to the Espíno supermarket and turn north (left if one is walking from the square). On the next corner you will find El Caseron. It has an open dining area and an indoor dining room that is air conditioned. They specialize in pizzas and have other local fare as well. The restaurant is well-lit, clean and inviting. El Caseron is a family restaurant and doesn't serve alcohol, which is unusual for Panama, as most any restaurant does, even most fondas.

Favorite Dish: We had the mixed grill platter, which was very good, it had carne, pollo and a grilled chorizo. We ordred an extra salad and had the juice of the day with it. We were well pleased with the meal, albeit the service was very leisurely despite not many customers that evening and two waitresses on duty, otherwise I would give this place a top grade. I am concerned about level of service if I were to go there when they were busy. I am anxious to go again and try their pizza, it's supposed to be the best in Las Tablas.
Actually, at lunch time the service is usually pretty good. If one orders the ¨comeda completa¨. Which is a typical Panamanian lunch of meat, rice and salad. We went with a big group of German Spanish students and they got all their dishes correct, but they kind of dribbled in. When I have gone for lunch they get our orders very quickly if we order the ¨comeda completa¨. And they are cheap the lunches are $1.50, plus beverage. Juice or chichas are .30 as is bottled soda, coffee is more if one wants it con leche. But we usually have lunch here for under $4.

Address: on the corner of 12 de Octubre

Comparison: about average

Directions: One block north of Ave. Belasario Porras. Behind the supermarket Espino

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 4

Theme: Local

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2010
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Las Faroles from Highway 2 - Las Tablas

Las Faroles from Highway 2

Las Faroles: One of the Best Restaurants in Las Tablas

Franklin Tejada´s Las Faroles is a fairly new restaurant and bar just north of Las Tablas on highway 2. It is between the center of town and the hospital. It has a brick and iron fence surrounding it. It has open walls like many of the local fondas, but it is a much classier place than the typical fonda and has a bar and very comfy seating in the spacious dining area. The tables are well-spaced so one does not feel cramped in. It is very clean and has a friendly atmosphere. Ask for Olga, she is an excellent waitress.

Favorite Dish: The smoked pork chops are to die for! So tasty and meaty! They are divine!
One thing, Panamainian meat is about the best I've had anywhere. I hear Argentinian meat is the best, but Panamainian can't be far behind! Even at the fondas here, I've had excellent barbequed ribs that would rival any of the "fancy" rib places, like Tony Roma's, in the US, and for a fraction of the price!
Garlic shrimp and the seafood rice are great, too! Their filet mingon is not bad but
La Mejorana in Guarare and Chez Rex in Chitre are better in the area.

Address: Highway 2 north of Las Tablas

Comparison: about average

Directions: On the main highway about two km north of the town center. It is a couple blocks south of the hospital on the east side of the street.

Phone: (507) 994-0777

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Local

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2010
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Rincon del Faro from beach - Las Tablas

Rincon del Faro from beach

Rincon del Faro: More Than Just a Restaurant!

Rincon del Faro is a bit out of the way, it is on El Uverito Beach about 9 miles (15 kilometers) from Las Tablas. But a taxi from Las Tablas to this area should only be about $4-5, each way. It is much more than a restaurant, however. They have excellent food, but the views are spectacular, they have a pool on a deck just below the restaurant and bar levels, and pavillions on the beach where one can sit and lounge the day away. I did that recently, one Sunday. I had gone there several times for dinner, after dark and I noticed they are like a day trip resort I wanted to go there and spend an afternoon on the beach area they offer, so I decided to do so and am very glad I did. I had drinks and ceviche and shrimp on patacones while we lounged under the pencas-covered pavillion. I didn´t swim in the pool, but there were several people there that did that day, as it was a gorgeous Panamainian Sunday. It was sunny and hot, as usual, but a steady offshore breeze made it tolerable under the cover of the pencas. Later, I went up to the dining room for dinner and watched a lovely sunset over shrimp dinners.
If you come to the Azuero for any length of time, you have to come to Rincon del Faro, at least for a meal, if not to spend a lazy afternoon on the beach or by the pool.

Favorite Dish: Anything shrimp, I´ve had shrimp with garlic sauce and also with yellow curry. Both were delish. Also have had shrimp rice and lobster. If you order shrimp there, you won´t go wrong! Once was kind of disappointed with the lobster when I had it, they were smallish for the price here (about $14, then, now $20) but they were tasty! But the shrimp dishes are excellent and very reasonable, about $6 for most of them. And they don´t cheat you on portions! Very healthy! Their ceviche is good and the shrimp on patacone appetizer has to be tried! It is just spicey enough and the banana taste of the plantain is a good contrast to the shrimp!
Local beer prices are reasonable, fancy mixed drinks, (you know, umbrella drinks) are $3-4, and other drinks are $1-2. Sodas are 50 cents.

Address: On west side of Playa Uverita

Comparison: about average

Directions: Follow signs to Playa Uverito, Ricon del Faro has directional signs as well. It´s about nine miles (15 km) from Las Tablas on the Pacific Ocean.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 5

Theme: Local

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  • Updated Aug 28, 2010
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Hotel Manolo and Restaurant - Las Tablas

Hotel Manolo and Restaurant

Hotel Manolo: Could be Better!

Hotel Manolo is on the main street, Ave. Belasario Porras, about two blocks east of the town square where Santa Liberada church is located. It has an open front, one can walk in off the street and sit inside. There is also internet access available in the hotel. There is a bar behind the restaurant. It is clean and well-lit and open fairly late, until about ten on week nights and a little later on weekends. Like most bars and restaurants in the provinces in Panama, they don't keep real rigid hours, most places open early in the morning and close about 9-10 at night. Some restaurants are lunch-dinner only and don't open until 11 am.

Favorite Dish: I was rather disappointed with the Hotel Manolo restaurant. I wanted a beef hamburger and told the waitress so, (One must differentiate here or you may just get a chicken burger as they are more commonly ordered. One has to ask for a "hamburgesa de res" or "carne", for beef or you will get a hamburgesa de pollo.) but she brought me a chicken burger without informing me they had no beef hamburger and allowing me to make another choice, she just brought the chicken burger. The shrimp dish my wife had was OK but not much food for the price, at Los Faroles, just outside Las Tablas, she had a similar dish for the same price, but was much better quality and quantity. So I would NOT recommend this restaurant, there are several others nearby that are much better for the same prices of similar meals. See my other reviews for particulars. Recently went back and still no beef burgers, probably seldom carry them.

Address: Ave. Belasario Porras

Comparison: about average

Directions: It is on the main street, about two blocks east of the Center of town which is the the square of Iglesia de Santa Liberada.

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 1

Theme: Local

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  • Updated Nov 7, 2009
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Pizza on a Budget - Las Tablas
Café Tableño: Pizza on a Budget

Good, quick, cheap pizzas, start at $1.50 for a small (chicha) cheese to about $7 for a large (grande) “especial”. Call ahead, they will be ready in about 20-30 minutes, you have to pick up or wait there if you don’t call ahead, they have a dining area you can eat in, too. You can also buy sodas and juice there to take out. There is a bar across the street where you can pick up something stronger! The crust is thin, New York style, the toppings are kind of sparse, but they taste very good and are very inexpensive. For upscale pizza go to El Caseron three blocks away or the pizzeria across from Santa Librada Church on Ave Belasario Porras. But this place is fine if you just want something fast and filling.

Address: Just one block south of Ave Belasario Porras

Comparison: least expensive

Directions: At Calles 12 de Octubre and 3 de Noviembre.

Phone: (507) 994-7138

Price: less than US$10

Rating: 3

Theme: Pizza

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  • Written Jun 9, 2007
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