Though I had planned to head to the Supermaxi the day after I was stalking the streets looking for Salchipapas, I didn’t get around to it for several days. When I did finally go, it was more to look for pizza, than to do the shopping I really needed to do. I had spotted the pizza place some days before, so I knew where it was. I had even taken a photo of it to illustrate an earlier post. Eating the Streets
As I mentioned before, the small food shops that line most of the streets here, only have three or four seats. When I arrived at the Pizza shop, the seats were filled. I bought a slice of pizza and headed down the street. I knew that there was a nearby side street that lead down to the river, where I would find some place to sit and eat. Wben I got to the street and turned the corner, I found that it wasn’t the street I had thought it was. Rather than turning into a huge flight of stairs, it was an alleyway, which lead steeply down to the one of the switch-back roads that cross the river.
The alley was flanked by steps going up to mainly closed doors. There were still a few shops open though it was lunch time. A few street vendors were selling handicrafts from blankets spread on the edge of the street. Once I was there I realized that this was the street, which was blocked at its far end, to keep cars from entering the road and slowing down traffic at one of the hairpin curves. No cars used this road, explaining the vendors’ comfort in sitting in the street.
There were several dogs further down the street, just before the turn down to the switch-back road. I didn’t want to get too close to them carrying food. I eyed the steps going up to doors and saw one at a closed that was wide enough, that if I sat there, I would not impede anyone’s passage. I sat enjoying the pizza slice, even though it wasn’t as good as the first one I had eaten when I had been wondering around the streets at night.
The dogs down the street were playing and paying no attention to me. A motorbike came down the street, honking genially to move the dogs over. A couple walked past, looking very much like tourist. The vendors looked at their retreating backs, as if they were regretting a sale they hadn’t made.
I was looking down the street at the dogs, and was a little worried when two of them seemed have noticed me and were coming over. A movement behind me caught the edge of my vision and I turned to see a woman approaching the steps I was sitting on. “Hola,” I said. When she responded, I realized that she was American. I noticed that she was getting keys out, and I apologised for occupying her stoop. She said that so long as I cleaned up after myself I was welcome to dine on her steps. The dogs ignored me and greeted their neighbor. The well-mannered beasts ignored the remains of my pizza and waited for her to give them a puppy treat.
We talked for a while before she continued into her house. As I was retracing my steps to the last trash bin I had seen, I realized that I hadn’t taking a photo of the pizza slice. Perhaps it was my subconscious mind, wanting me to buy another one for photos. Doubling back again, I made a note of another place with Salchipapas, that I might try some other day, before heading down to the river.
Fridays are crowded at the Supermaxi, so I had quite a wait before checking out. I was glad I had eaten before shopping. Once I was home I decided not to photograph my whole pile of groceries. I am getting pretty much the same things now. I only took photos of things I thought were notable.
I have bought a couple of porterhouse steaks since I have been here. The price of beef is much lower than in Honolulu. The beef here is high quality, and cost about one fifth of what a grass-fed steak would cost in the US. On this day in the market, I saw that they had ribeyes hiding behind the porterhouses. The Porterhouse steaks are kept in a fancy cooler full of ice, out in the middle of the aisle, where the ribeyes are back on the refrigerator shelf next to the ground beef. I prefer ribeye, so I was glad to find them, and just about dropped my teeth to see the price.
The steak wasn’t on my shopping list. I was intending to get some hot dogs. Before I got to the meat area of the store, I had picked up my condiments. In the photo I laid out all my condiments, including ones I already had.
A while back I was at the Supermaxi, looking at packages of mixed sausages. I found one that had no blood sausage in it. I thought there were none, but when I opened it I found that the front and back labels hid the lone blood sausage in the package. When it came time to cook the sausages, I bravely cooked the blood sausage as well. Now I know that the boudin sausage I ate from little gas station cafes in Louisiana were little more than blood sausages, the only time I had eaten any sausage called a blood sausage, was when I visited a British second officer on his ship when I was a cadet. Though all the rest of the food on his ship was excellent, that sausage left me with literally a bad taste in my mouth.
I was very hesitant to eat the Ecuadorian blood sausage. With my first tentative bite, I saw that there must be rice in it, like boudin. It had the creamy mouth feel I like so much. I ended up spreading it on fresh bread. I couldn’t wait to buy a whole package of the savory links.
I was so excited to find a package and find that five good-sized sausages only cost $2.35. It wasn’t until I got back to the condo, that I realized that I hadn’t bought any regular hot dogs. The blood sausages are too good to be put on a roll with mustard. Fresh bread and some red wine would be better.