Yesterday for lunch, I stopped at a typical Panamanian restaurant, a couple of miles before Dolega. When you drive to Dolega, after you pass Majagua on your right and the Pepsi (or whatever they are bottling now plant) on your left, and the horrid sign for Villa Escondido on the left, you will soon see the following sign on your right
When you see that sign, you have found La ORQUIDEA restaurant.
The seating is to the left in the above photo and it is a very clean covered open area. We stopped at this restaurant, because we had heard that they had excellent soups. One of us wanted soup, and it wasn’t me. My mind has always thought that soups were supposed to be eaten when the temperature had dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. That never happens in Panama and therefore, I rarely eat soup.
We both made or orders and the first thing to come was the fresh squeezed glasses of juice. Lilliam ordered a glass of Orange juice.
I ordered a glass of lemonade.
Both were great. Reconstituted juice just can’t approach the flavor of fresh squeezed juice. Notice the color of the lemonade. Lemons in Panama look different than they do in the US. The flavor is slightly different as well, but I really like it.
Lilliam’s soup came out and I got a taste. It was a seafood and rice soup and I have to say that it was very good. As I said, I don’t often eat soup, but I would order this. She also had an order of patacones.
I ordered the meal of the day and had a smoked pork chop. The flavor was outstanding. It was different than other smoked pork chops that I have had here in Panama. I was told that they were smoked on the premises and they used wood from nance. This wood gives it a sweet taste and it reminded me of barbecue.
Usually at these small locally owned restaurants, I don’t even think of asking for a jubilado discount and I didn’t this time. However, the owner, Julio gave the discount anyway. He said, “La ley es la Ley”. I paid $5.00 for everything.
I really enjoyed my meal and if you want to have a simple Panamanian type of meal, then you might like trying out La Orquidea. I will return when I can. If you go, tell Julio and Maria that you saw them on Chiriquí Chatter and I recommended that you stop in.