Time To Eat da Fish in Panama!

by Panama Joe & Helen

(Panama City)

Shoveling a shrimp head first!

Shoveling a shrimp head first!

On Sunday (14th December 2008) we got up early to a gorgeous sunny day, put on our shorts and jumped on one those red devil buses and went over to the Amador Causeway. It is a causeway built to link up a series of small islets just past Casco Viejo. There are ‘bicycles’ built for two there as well as a beach club, the ferry to Toboga Island as well as a row of fish restaurants looking back over the ships waiting their turn for the canal and the modern city accross the water. We had wander around, followed by a beer at a Bennigans that has just opened there. We were sort of tempted by the babyback ribs but decided to move on a check out a recommendation back at the beginning of Avenue Balboa.

I love these places where you have a fresh fish market on one half and a great fish restaurant on the other, don’t you? I notice that because they don’t have to buy any stock, the restaurant can do a really good business selling seafood at reasonable prices and the seafood is always fantastic.

Restaurante Mercado de Mariscos meaning, “Seafood Market Restaurant” represents this kind of place well in Panama City. Once you’ve made your purchase dowstairs in the market they will cook your fish or clams, lobster, crabs or scallops upstairs in a wide variety of ways, for $4 a pound. They will fry your seafood, steam, grill, bake.. even do a cerviche or a seafood soup!

We saw a pretty good assortment of seasonal fish, like Corvina (sea Bass), Dorado, Red Snapper,and Tuna. I went for the Dorado because it looks like a meaty fish, more like a Grouper. The guy gave us nearly 2 lbs for $3. We bought 6 Shrimp for $6.50, but that was for a pound. They were huge!

We took them upstairs and had a feast. We bought a pitcher of home-made ice-tea for $3, and 2 Balboa cervaza (beers) at 75c a piece.

For those of you keeping track at home,$9.50 for the fish, $10 for preparation, and $4.50 for drinks. Not bad for a great Sunday luch!

We picked up some Red Snapper to take home and yesterday, Helen made a killer Seafood Gumbo out of it, complete with BJ’s special hot chili sauce from Singapore. yum-yum!(the best deal was, I only had to pay Helen $3 pound to cook it!)

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