This morning we walked across the street for breakfast to try the grits, biscuits and pancakes we’d heard so much about, at a small restaurant and bar called Local 5. Since the cozy place is so easy for us to walk to, we think it will become one of our ‘hangouts’. The lovely waitress (below) was very pleasant and helpful, and the owner is quite chatty and friendly. He also owns the Inca Grill, next to the Tomebamba river and close to the Escalinatas, which he says has the best burgers in town. We’ll have to try them later this week.
Breakfast for hubby was thick pancakes with a bit of fruit on top and maple flavored syrup. Me, I tried the eggs with sausage, grits, (I opted to waive the shrimp. Didn’t think I could handle shrimp early in the morning) and biscuit. The grits (morocho fino) were excellent but rich, and the pancakes were fluffy and tasty. Even though we’ve come to Cuenca from Texas, I am not a biscuits and gravy fan, but I’ve been told the gravy at Local 5 is excellent. The biscuit, actually quite tasty with butter and jam, seemed a bit flattened. The owner, chagrined at the size of the biscuit, told me it was on the house; the cook was testing a new recipe. Coffee came with cream and we tested the full urn at least twice for refills.
Local 5 also sells, from time to time, New Zealand white cheddar cheese blocks ($9 each, see below pic) homemade sausage (mild or hot Italian) in 1 lb packages ($3) and steaks. He had just had a slab of beef sliced into lovely marbled rib eyes, my personal favorite, but was waiting for someone to bring a scale so he could weigh and price them. These were pretty hunks of beef, about an inch thick. He also sells T-bone steaks, when he has them. When I have a hankering for steak, I hope he has some for sale.
The restaurant offers club sandwiches with good salami, that cheddar cheese I mentioned above, lettuce and tomato on thick bread. The owner gave me a slice of the salami to taste, which was definately the best I’ve had in Cuenca. Mexican food is tops on the menu here for lunch and at night: burritos, refried beans, guacamole and don’t forget the mixed drinks; the owner states that he has the best prices for hard liquor in town. He certainly had a complete stock of various kinds of whiskey and liquores. Hubby noticed the tall 750 milliliters Pilsener’s beer in bottles, just next to the cheese in the refrigerator with a glass door. That’s his favorite.
I think we’ll be back for dinner some night when we don’t feel like cooking or taking a taxi somewhere. The patio in front even has heaters, great for a chilly night.
Local 5 is on Ordonez Lazo, just past the Oro Verde hotel if you are coming from Avenida de los Americas; across the street from Edificio El Palermo and also Casa Vega. Casa Vega is the place to go for upscale kitchen and bath fixtures and appliances. After lunch, we bought this towel rack at Casa Vega and hubby came right back home and installed it. He’s off getting another one to put in my bathroom, next.