Posted by: elsalamigrande | February 2, 2010

The Island City Abuzz, Let’s Go Home on my Way to The Casino, and How Would You Like Your Roast Beast?

The Island City Abuzz, Let’s Go Home on my Way to The Casino, and How Would You Like Your Roast Beast?

Casa Lucetica will be my home for the coming week. It’s a short cab ride from the airport, clean by Venezuelan standards and has a pool. I can think of worse places that have sucked $40/ night out of me.  Regrettably, no Wi-Fi, but I’ll update once a day one way or another.  Everyone thinks I’m a ballplayer, though I can’t imagine why. I’m carrying about 20 pounds too many to be taken seriously. Though, I suppose, this is winter ball. The myth was perpetuated when I went down to the beach to run this morning (hear that coach? I’m not just jerking around down here, I’m running!)

The Streets of Porlamar were full around dinner time, most people doing nothing in particular. There is a large shopping district that consists mostly of clothing shops and electronics shops. People leaned against doorways drinking soda and beer, watched kids play with a tennis ball and chatted. At nightfall, roll-down shutters covered the storefronts, and the activity was quickly dialed down.

The night bartender at the hotel spoke fairly good English and even better French. He expressed a kind of ambiguous philosophy about liberty which seemed kind of political, but didn’t want to take any specific, party oriented stand. My kind of guy. He insisted on taking us to the casino where he was still sitting at the slots after I burned $40 on blackjack. He waved goodbye through some cigarette smoke and we left to find a bedtime snack.

An open air grill called “Panda” came highly recommended. They were just shutting the wrought iron gate when we got there, but were happy to make something to go. We opted for something called “Pollo De Res” which, literally translated, means “Chicken of the Beast,” which has to be some kind of chicken, right? Our host opened a cryosealed package containing a side of some sort of red meat, which was not chicken, and proceeded to cut it crossways in to pieces the size of CDs, and toss it on the grill. Once cooked, those pieces were cut again into bite sized pieces and given to us in a Styrofoam container with a side of corn rolls, a creamy garlic sauce, spicy mystery sauce and a salad. 100B.The Pollo De Res was pretty tasty. It was lean, but not as tender as I’d have liked it to be. More than half of the order is in the hotel fridge for later. I figure that when the flesh lived it was part of an ostrich, a large vulture, or some kind of stray mutant pigeon, in that order of likelihood. If Zagat’s is reading I’ll give Panda a solid 7.5/10 as a takeout spot, the portions having carried the last half point.

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