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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Business People’s Lunch & Arabic Dinner

Aloha Everyone,

Our hotel, Mercure Quito Alameda, belongs to the Accorhotel chain. It is located in a business district of Quito.  
During lunch hour, the coffee shop of the hotel posts a daily “menu del día” to attract business clientele from nearby offices. J.J. and I only became aware of this special lunch menu on Monday when we returned from Cuenca. The two of us were 15 minutes too early and we ended up ordering “same old same old” items from the menu.

Today we went down to the cafeteria at 5 after 12 and there were already at least 8 people waiting in line. Hot corn soup, 3 choices of entree (some asked small portions of each) rice, mashed potatoes or salad. My plate of beans and a cooked banana was very good. J.J. selected arroz & mariscos (seafood dish) & mashed potatoes. We had a choice of fresh tropical fruits juice to complete our practical business lunch. The cost was $5.99 per person! No wonder the cafeteria soon became busy with diners and take out orders.

For dessert, J.J. and I walked across to our regular neighborhood store and purchased 3 kinds of cookies. The large almond cookie slightly resembled Chinese Almond cookie. Chocolate dipped cookie reminded us of a brand from Honolulu, but the best was the small nondescript galleta, which tasted like biscotti. We still have a half dozen other varieties to try.

For dinner, J.J. and I walked about 3 blocks to a restaurant called El Arabe. We shared hummus served with Arabic bread, J.J. had lamb kabob and we completed our meal by sharing a Baklava. Our dinner cost was $21.00. Restaurant prices average $50.00 per day for lunch and dinner, two persons inclusive of non-alcoholic drinks, food, taxes and service charge.

The standard tip is 10%, usually added to the bill along with a 12% VAT. The locals ask visitors not to add more. Sometimes tourist restaurants conceal that the service charge was already included in hopes of getting additional tips.

Aloha -- Cathi