Friday, July 2, 2010


Since first reading about Cuenca, there was one word that resonated..."Tiestos." It seems to be the mecca for expats and Cuencanos alike where the best chef in the world mingles with the guests, serves the first portion of food, gives you a table (when you didn't have reservations!), and basically makes the dining experience more like an "event" rather than a meal.

We invited our "neuvos amigos" -- Rhonda and Jerry to join us. The portions were huge and the food is probably the best I have ever tasted (sorry are now bumped to second place!). The dinner is served piping hot in a tiesto dish (hence the name of the restaurant "Tiestos"). But before the main course arrives, an assortment of appetizers, salad, and condiments for the main course abound at the table. Juan -- the owner and chef -- presented the main course with a flare all his own which certainly described his feelings for the profession of gourmet cooking! We ordered "filet mignon"-- in portions unheard of in the States -- that literally melted in your mouth. Oh, and did I mention was a work of art!

During our meal, we greeted other expats -- especially Nancy and Rich (I've been following their blog for over a year and it was great to meet them in person). By the way, Rich and Nancy..."Happy 22nd Anniversary."

After we left Tiestos, we took a walk to "el centrol" where the Festival of Azuay was going on in the square. There were street vendors, live music and dancing. We were entertained by a 70-year-old woman who was teaching a little girl "muchacha" how to dance. It's only when you're in that environment that you realize how fortunate you are to have found a place in the world that combines all the things you love most about life: great friends, rich culture with a deep heritage and history, and the best food I've ever tasted.

After taking our walk to "el centro," we took a taxi drive home, enjoyed a glass of wine with Rhonda and Nancy in their lovely apartment where we watched fireworks from their balcony.

Life is so rich and full here -- a sense of true belonging. We have bonded with the culture and often wonder if the Cuencanos realize just how great they have it. This is truly paradise. But I suppose they may take for granted what we realize is almost sacred and special.

Tiestos marked the anniversary of our first month in Ecuador and our new life. We couldn't be happier. We finally got it right this time...this is truly home!

Until next time...hasta luego!

Concetta y Marco

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Pat said...

I have lived in Quito for over 16 years, I am happy to help with any questions you might have about the country.

Connie Pombo said...

Wow, Pat...sixteen years is a long time. I loved visiting Quito (the BIG city!). Thanks for your willingness to help answer questions that I might have. Hope our paths cross soon!

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