Manolo Caracol


One of the finer and better known restaurants in all of Panama, Manolo Caracol provides a unique dining experience. At Manolo Caracol there is no set menu, but rather a set price per person of $30 which guarantees to fill your belly with all kinds of good food. Utilizing the freshest ingredients of the day, each night chefs prepare approximately 8 to 15 courses of delectable delights. If I remember correctly, when I went there the last time we were served:

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Bread and oil and vinegar, eggplant/zucchini quiche, stewed shellfish, ceviche, salad, grilled octopus, pork tamales, swordfish, shrimp and clam soup, rabbit, fried rice, dolphin fish, and a mixed fruit, passion fruit jello and cheesecake dessert plate.

I take pride in being a human garbage disposal of food sorts, but I must sadly admit that my lady friend and I were unable to finish everything that was brought out to us on 13 rounds of plates. Manolo Caracol is located in Casco Viejo near the water, a block away from the National Theater. It has a nice, clean, comfortable setting, decent service, and a list of about eight to ten reasonably priced wines. With all the different food that you will be sampling, be prepared to spend a couple of hours at the table, and it is usually a good idea to call ahead for reservations. For something different, surprising and impressive, find time to make a dinner date at Manolo Caracol.

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