Name: Restaurante Las Orquideas
Location: Diagonally across from the Boquete Police station, just north of Restaurante Machu Picchu
Hours: Breakfast M-S 7am-10:30AM, Lunch and dinner 11:30AM – 8:30PM , Sundays 7am- 4PM
Short Description of the food: Typico. Right there I need to explain that there are several types of typicos in Panama. This is a sit down, listen to what is available, no menu, typico. It is not a cafeteria, the food might be preprepared, it needs to be, the service is so fast but you will not see the kitchen. We had lunch and the options included soup and a main plate, Mayra ordered the Beef Rib soup and a plate of the day. There were options offered and we each took rice, beans and a green salad. In addition Mayra selected grilled pork and I took grilled beef.
Sopa de costilla de res beef rib soup. This was very good with one meaty rib. It reminded me a little of Cocido a soup I loved in Tucson.
Cerdo asado (BBQ pork) with rice, salad and beans
Beef with rice, salad and beans
Ambiance: As you can the from the photo above you are not paying for ambiance, just good food and fast service. We ate out side on the small patio, I preferred that to the interior. We were not alone, this restaurant has a very mixed cliental of English and Spanish speakers. A way of saying local people and new immigrants.
Price: The soup was $1.25, the main lunch was $2.75 including iced tea. I have spent that much for iced tea in the past. We have not yet visited for breakfast but I intend to try it next time I eat breakfast in town.
Bathrooms: Clean and complete with toilet paper, toilet seats, running water and paper towels. When we were there the soap dispenser was empty.
Kitchen Cleanliness: I never made it into the kitchen and it was not visible without an invitation
Service: Fast and efficient. A tip is not included in the bill which like the menu was a scrap of paper. We tipped 10%
Jubilado Discount: I did not ask, because I would not even consider asking on a meal for $2.75
Summary: Mayra, a bit more of an authority on Tipicos than I am, rated this one as good, not the best but good. I am waiting for the first one she calls excellent, it hasn’t happened yet. I enjoyed my lunch and now six hours later I am still satisfied from lunch and will eat a light dinner. That is typical of what I have seen in Panama, a stick to your ribs lunch and light, often late dinner.
Restaurante Las Orquideas goes on the list a recommended for traditional Panamanian food at real Panamanian prices.