Archive for the ‘Paitilla’ Category

Today the new Cinta Costera walkways along Ave. Balboa were packed with holiday goers (located on the Pacific Coast of Panama). This morning, hundreds of people walked, biked, jogged, played, skate boarded, roller bladed along the new walkways.

Today is the swearing in of the new Panamanian President Martinelli at the Atlapa Convention Center so it is a National Holiday in Panama (Canada Day as well- a holiday in Canada!).



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The New Cinta Costera in Panama City

The New Cinta Costera in Panama City

Check it out when you have time. A super new area to walk, run, or bike along Panama Bay (Pacific Ocean side of Panama). The traffic is much improved with a beautiful new bypass for Avenida Balboa in Panama City. Nicely designed and much needed additions to Panama City – more green space, more parking, and a bypass through Chorillo and Cinco de Mayo direct to Amador and the Bridge of the Americas, and reverse – direct to the highway to the Tocumen Airport (Corredor Sur).

Walkways and Bike Paths

Walkways and Bike Paths

Parking lots

Parking lots

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Gourmet Pizza

Gourmet Pizza has been known in Panama over the past couple of years as an easy-going trendy, neighborhood pizza joint with consistently good, thin crust pizza, with fresh and unique toppings such as feta cheese or asparagus. Recently they have expanded their menu and added pastas. On offer are five types of pasta with your choice of four different sauces so that you can mix and match to your taste: Alfredo, Matrichana, Carbonera, and Bolognese; pasta ranges from $6.26. I tested the Matrichana with Tortellini last night and it was very tasty, brimming with vegetables and bacon to give it well rounded smoky flavor.

We often enjoy the savory antipasta appetizer $6, classic Greek salad with loads of feta cheese and black olives served with piping hot pita bread, 5.00.

Among our favorite pizzas are the Primavera (vegetarian with fresh asparagus) which is topped with fresh al dente vegetables; Greek feta cheese and black olives combine to create a uniquely flavored pizza, Hawaiian sweet pineapple and thinly sliced ham plus traditional Pepperoni and Cheese are old standbys, rich melt in your mouth Four Cheese pizza, all available plus many more choices in 3 sizes; priced from $5.75 (10”) to $19.00 (16”). For those watching their calorie counts they offer light pizza, and for those who are not, dessert pizzas such as honey and cinnamon or chocolaty nutella.

They also have a full bar with a simple wine list and if you don´t want to hang out they have take out and home delivery too.

When it is full the noise levels can be high but we love the pizza so much we can tune it out.
Located on Avenida Balboa next to Arrocha Pharmacy on the edge of Paitilla, and across from MultiCentro Mall. Within walking distance from the Plaza Paitilla Hotel, Decapolis Hotel, Sheraton Four Points hotels.
Tel:215-1000, www.goumetpizzapanama.com, Open 11 am till 12am.

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Intimate Space Pompei

Food is delicious, fresh and consistent, moderately priced, served up in a delightfully friendly atmosphere.

I am a confessed Carb Lover. Pasta is my dream food, add fresh jumbo shrimp, or eggplant with rich tomato sauce and you´ve got a fan!

Attilio Real at Pompei Restaurant in Paitilla has made aficionados out of our entire family. Chef Attilio has plenty of experience with North American taste buds, having worked as a Chef at Miami´s famed Tiramisu Restaurant.

An intimate and informal restaurant run by the dazzling duo of Chef Attilio and his wife who runs the front; they aim to please. Give them some notice and they will whip up something special, even without notice Chef will always do his best to accommodate special diets. The friendly and personal service is relaxing, as is the simple and clean interior decorated in shades of buttercup yellow.

We came upon Pompei quite by accident, we had heard some whispers that there was a new spot in the neighborhood and one day were at a loss, I didn´t want to cook so drove over to the unlikely location at the end of Paitilla strip mall.

Chef Attilio has plenty of experience with North American tastebuds, having worked as a Chef at Miami´s famed Tiramisu Restaurant.

Down to the food! I have eaten there many times (10-20) so the menu is familiar to me. Everything I have been served has always been well prepared, fresh, consistent, and delicious. My favorite appetizers are the Bruschetta with freshest of basil and tomatos $5, imported Prosciutto and just off the vine Melon (enough for 2) $10; my favorite salad is the standard Cesar which is crispy fresh with a well balanced dressing $6. For pasta the Penne is my choice with roasted eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil $8. Fillet Gorgonzola is scrumptious with the rich taste of gorgonzola melting with the savory and tender beef $15, as are the fresh off the boat Langostinos (jumbo shrimp-they are fished here in Panama so truly are about as fresh as you can get) in roasted pepper and garlic sauce $16. Lasagna with beef and tomato sauce smothered in cheese, a favorite with my son, never fails $8. For dessert the creamy Panna Cotta is simply to die for $3, and the decadent Tiramisu $4 is always delicious. For people looking for huge bowls of pasta, Pompei is not the place. The servings of pasta are well-presented and sufficient; they are intended to be part of the meal (like in Italy) not the entire meal. Attilio creates seasonal specials daily to add delicious variety to the menu. They do not serve pizza.

Besides the food, what makes us return time after time is the family who run it, and their attention to their clients. When Chef Attilio comes out to check on our meals or greet us with his wife Sofia, we feel like we are in Italy and are part of his family.

Wine, they have a small but well chosen selection or you can bring your own for a small corking charge.

Hours: Monday thru Saturday 12:30 to 3:30 pm, 6:30 to 9:30 pm.
Location: Paitilla Mall, just down the street on the left side after the old DO IT Center in Paitilla and Super Kosher.
Reservations: 399-9728
Email: attilioreale@hotmail.com
Prices: Moderate
Parking: Secure parking lot
Exterior Pompei

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Sky Bowling Panama

Just came back late from a terrific new night and day spot in Panama that is great for both families with kids and adults without (wow, how do you mix the 2 you might ask). Since it is quite late and my eyes too tired to type I will fill you in tomorrow…

I am back. Just had a fight with my cell phone trying to hook it up to my computer to upload the pictures from last night. Unfortunately my computer doesn´t see the phone even after the new driver was installed. So here is the scoop. Bennigan´s has grown up. They have taken a close look at the Panama market and are beginning to change their angle to become a complete entertainment venue. Just opened Bennigan´s Sky Bowling and Sky Bar is a super modern facility on the 10th floor on top of the Extreme Planet (movie theaters, video arcade, restaurants, kids party facilities) and Bennigan´s parking garage. It offers a spectacular ocean view of the Bay of Panama and Balboa avenue framed by Paitilla and Casco Viejo in the distance.

The bar was full of young professionals and the bowling area had both families and singles. I have been to some pretty upscale bowling alleys and this tops them all. The lanes have enormous flat screen televisions lining the back wall, lighting and design is clean and modern, comfortable lounge chairs. Although we did not eat, food looked like a Bennigan´s menu, which is very acceptable considering most food I have ever eaten in a bowling alley (usually not a pretty sight). I am told they have added sushi and pizza to the Sky menu. The design was elegant and reminded me of something from modern Tokyo.

The entire complex has a capacity of 1500 people. Without a VIP pass ($20 per month and includes lots of discounts on movies, food and now bowling), or other special pass, lanes are rented by the hour for $30 per 4 persons.

Hours: Monday to Thursday 4 pm to 1 am, Friday and Saturday noon to 1 am, Sunday noon to midnight.

Bennigan´s Sky Bowling
Edificio Extreme Planet, Ave. Balboa, beside MultiCentro Mall
Tel: 340-7020, 340-7030, 214-7022

Check out photos on this link, article in Spanish: http://dealante.com/nodo.php?nodoid=17002

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Cinta Costera Worksite, part 1.

The streets of Panama City are often plugged solid during the day. One road in particular is a headache, Avenida Balboa and its connecting streets. Living near Avenida Balboa I have a bullseye view of the new road expansion. While the future road will be a blessing if it is anything like the attached YouTube video below, and although the crews are working diligently, the project won´t be completed soon enough for anyone trying to drive through the area. When the huge landfill in the Panama Bay started we were thrilled that the crews were working all night, and during the day when there is peak traffic there was very limited action. Still even with the majority of work at night, there are a number of bottleneck areas on the main road and a major blockage and confusing detour at the end of Balboa near Cinco de Mayo.

Road Work Cinta Costera

Where there were police officers during day hours to help pedestrians cross the crosswalks because drivers of cars and particularly SUVs seemed like they would rather hit pedestrians than slow down, now there are uniformed crossing “guards” employed by the contractors (I think) who are quite serious about their jobs. It slows down traffic even more but people can cross safely now without of being hit by a car.

Cinta Costera Work Site During the Day
The ambitious project not only promises to relieve traffic but will offer the added benefit of a modern seaside city park. (a new place to walk the dog and play amongst traffic:)

We were told that it would be completed during President Torrijos´ term which is over in 2009 but it is a huge project and many residents are doubtful that it will be completed on time… perhaps it is on Panama time?


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Every morning in the city I get up and take our dog Sakura for a walk. We head out early because of the heat that builds around 10 am. We walk around the residential area of Paitilla which is located next to the ocean but because of the high rises there are only a couple of places you can make it to the shore. We head to the shore after a walk along a shady boulevard and then through an elegant little seaside park.

The Shore/Cove:

polluted, but doesn´t smell, no one will step in the water-on the positive side they are cleaning the bay due to a huge project which I am told is about 25% complete;

a tiny cove where fishermen come at night in their pangas (small boats) to drop anchor and sleep;

located beside an exclusive social and business club ($40,000 to join);

has an old breakwater we walk along to spot fish and seabirds.

I love walking along the breakwater because one early morning I saw a huge manta ray jump out of the water and seem to fly for a bit over it, then dive elegantly right back in. So every day now I stroll along looking for more sealife and watch the tides. Today there were pelicans fishing just off the end.

Sakura and I usually meet lots of other dogs and their owners (from US, Britain, Israel, Panama…) or maids at that time of day. She tries to stop and meet all of them. Mostly purebreeds of one kind or another. Not too many really large dogs because Paitilla is an area of 90% condo high rises.

Today was cool, about 26 degrees Fahrenheit, the weather is finally beginning to change I think. Strangely enough, there were not too many walkers out. Maybe because it is Monday…. Even the lady with her cart at the corner of Plaza Paitilla Hotel was not there selling her fried empanadas and fruit drinks. Lots of people intent on getting to work though, traffic on the main avenue (Ave. Balboa) nearby was jammed. Ave. Balboa is famous for its traffic jams and is now worse because they are widening it and making a bypass plus a green area between the bypass and main avenue. Once that is complete it should be a very nice area. A new place to walk!

We got back to our apartment, Sakura overjoyed to get to her water bowl, and me because our maid Olga had arrived!

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