The Local Fonda: "Fast Food - Panamanian Style" Las Tablas Restaurant Tip by bilgeez
Las Tablas Restaurants: 8 reviews and 18 photos
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
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