What to Eat: Riga
Traditional Latvian food is heavy, so while we did our best to try most of the items on our list, our stomachs just couldn’t handle it all. Instead, we switched out some of our plans for lighter fare (think: beet salads) or food from cultures that heavily influence the cuisine in Riga and still managed to indulge a few too many times.
Salmon Roe: This is not a traditional Latvian dish, but it was my favorite that we had in Riga. If you get the chance to go to Uncle Vanya, try this (served with thin potato pancakes) and one of the soups. It could’ve just been that we were starving, but this was easily my most memorable dish on our trip (including the other cities we visited).
Bacon Rolls (piragi): These rolls are shaped like half-moons and stuffed with onions, eggs, and bacon. You can get them at pretty much any meal. (more…)
What to Eat: Lima
Pisco Sours: Pisco, fresh lime juice, bitters, and sugar topped with an egg white. This is a drink for those ready to embrace their time in Lima. If it doesn’t come with these ingredients as a base (some may add chicha, coca leaf, or gooseberries) then they aren’t making it the Lima way.
Sandwiches: I realize how this sounds. Sandwiches are a typical meal for Peruvians, breakfast , lunch, or dinner. The best, melt-in-your-mouth, crave-in-the-middle-of-the-night sandwiches are found at La Lucha. There’s always a line and it’s always worth it. Wash it down a fresh fruit juice made of whatever concoction you can come up with on the spot.
Causa: Think yellow mashed potatoes – only these are made with olive oil, aji amarillo, lime juice, and avocado. Now stuff them with fish (or a meat or hard-boiled egg), mold them into cake-shapes, and eat them cold. This is a causa and it is delicious.
Ceviche: Fresh fish, peppers, lime juice, and salt. This is basically Peru’s national dish. You cannot go wrong. (more…)
Traveling by Bus in Ecuador: Tips
:: Give yourself an extra couple hours between connecting buses. If the itinerary says it’ll take four hours, it is more likely to take five; six if it’s raining or a particularly busy time of day when the bus has to idle at each bus stop.
:: Loja International is the only bus company that travels across the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border at Macara. Tickets are ~$10/person.
:: The driver gives you no directions when you get to the border – you just need to be aware of what you’re supposed to do. In other words, this is a situation in which you must be responsible for yourself because no one is going to guide you through it without your asking. (more…)