Calle Uruguay Street Food

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Monday, 18 June 2007 10:13
The parties in most Latin American countries don't pick up until midnight or later. In Panama's Calle Uruguay, a conglomerate of trendy night venues that boast anything from salsa to techno to classic rock, the street is a veritable mixing bowl of drunk, wealthy Panamanians and visiting foreigners. A brand of gastronomic entrepreneurs saw this mix of inebriated souls with the beer munchies as a calling, and decided to take to the streets to burden themselves with the task of feeding these insatiable cravings.   And so, the hotdog man, the empanada guy, and the taco stand were born. These men and women are at once your saviors and your best friends. If you're really nice to them, you might get a little extra meat on your taco or a special topping of pineapple on your hotdog. All food items here are sold at $1 a piece, so as to not weed out only the wealthy stomachs from those with fewer funds.

When your favorite watering hole on Calle Uruguay gets a little too smoky and full, take a breather. Get your hand stamped and visit the band of brothers that bring happiness to so many, while asking for so little in return. I recommend the chicken tacos. And if you are feeling really daring, try getting it with the thin, fried plantain shell. It's a little more messy, but oh so good! The negative side is that most bars and clubs won't let you enter with the food, but most items can be downed quickly enough that that shouldn't be a problem. Afterwards, you have a good excuse to go back for another bottle to wash it all down.


Do remember that the decision to eat this food is almost always made under the influence of alcohol. Even if you know you will regret the calories, or your stomach is feeble when it comes to street food, you won't be able to say no. So no pointing fingers when it doesn't sit well with those six shots of tequila you just took. I think it's worth the gamble, but don't say I didn't warn you!

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2008 23:46