Dave and I stumbled out of our second Minneapolis Library, bloated with knowledge and materials (actually, no, we didn't check anything out, and though I suppose our knowledge did increase I'm pretty sure we weren't staggering on the sidewalk with the weight of it, but then it does seem like a memory lapse is just the sort of thing that might go along with a sudden, massive surge in knowledge). I managed to get in the jeep, despite a small unlocking-my-door fiasco, before any aggressive young toughs approached us and said insulting things about our ability to understand Faulkner. I don't know whether to attribute this to our speedy getaway or to the scrupulous presence of the Northeast Library's security guard. I think he was 6' 10" in his stocking feet and looked as if he would brook none of the Faulknerian shenanigans that so plague our public library parking lots.
It was lunch time. Oh how happy we were. Though Dave and I are now deep students of libraries we are even deeper students of Lunch! Chosen for lunch, from actually a few possible good choices, was Ecuadorian food up the street at the well regarded Chimborazo. Dave at one point looked out the window of the Northeast Library and laughed and said "There's our restaurant." Yes, across the street from the library was an Ecuadorian Restaurant. But not our Ecuadorian Restaurant. Who knew that Northeast Minneapolis is home to several thousand Ecuadorian Restaurants? And did you know that the National dish of Ecuador is not Guinea Pig, it is Ceviche? Guinea Pig is just something they eat in the mountainous regions. I am thinking maybe their National dish should be llapingachos (a kind of potato pancake). Let Peru have the Ceviche.
Right, so, the restaurant. We sighted it and parked successfully. (I can't believe I just said that about sighting and parking successfully. Of course we did! I will totally edit that out as soon as I am not so busy blogging). The restaurant was nice and quiet inside. I didn't take notes as I thought I was on break from reviewing, but my impression is clean and nice divey casual. Does that make sense? Can something be a dive and clean and nice? I don't know. But I liked it in there.
The waitress was nice and enthusiastic about the food. As Dave and I were still uncontrollably in interview mode we asked both her and the guy seated on the other side of the restaurant, eating alone, many questions. Dave's questions were mainly about food, but I was, early on, wildly convinced by their Ecuatoriano Vegitariano and had no questions there. I did have questions about soda. I ended up getting an Inca Cola. I really liked the heavy bottle. I don't believe the man misled me when he compared the flavor to Fruity Pebbles, though I would say that it is more simply a bubble gum flavored soda. I do not regret my purchase though I did not manage to drink much of it. It was purchased in the spirit of novelty. I also got coffee which was good and served (when Dave asked for it) with cream in a little pitcher rather than some insane little plastic containers of sort of cream.
Okay, all that taken care of I will cut to the food. Dave got the Ecuatoriano Vegitariano as well. It consisted of:
Stewed Beans, so surprisingly good that I got beans the next time I went shopping
Rice, fine, properly cooked, white, just... rice. Dave did not finish his.
Llapingachos, loved this, a flavorful sort of fried pancake of mashed up potatoes with cheese in the middle. The potatoes were orange which made Dave think maybe they were sweet potatoes, but I did not think so as they tasted, well, very potatoey. The potatoes, it turns out, were orange because of the ground Achiote seeds in them.
Muchin de yuca, this was not too interesting, and, actually, as I am really keen on Yuca fries, it was kind of dissappointing too, just a sort of round fried thing with some cheese in the middle, certainly not bad, but not notable in any way.
Sweet Plantain, not much of it, just a single, thicker diagonal slice, but really tasty, had some strange soft crunch in it I couldn't figure out, something with the ripeness of the plantain? That part was good but curious too.
Curtido, I think that this is the salad, and, again, it's the little things that make a restaurant like this. Romaine lettuce, very lightly dressed, with two lovely slices of avocado on top.
Dave loved very much the small cup of cilantro based sauce it all came with. I liked it without enthusiasm. Since, let's face it, I am giving a review here, let's say 90 out of 100 for Chimborazo, a nice place, nice staff, very good food, not just recommended, but worth a trip since you probably don't have a lot of opportunities to go to Ecuadorian Restaurants (apologías a mis lectores en Quito).
And so I leave our interlude here, and next we'll be on our way to the St. Anthony Library in Minneapolis, where I will again review like crazy.
Signing off from the field.