Expat Life

Special delivery in Cuenca

By Edd and Cynthia Staton

Mug cakes aren’t the only food category where Cynthia and I arrived late to the party. A much more basic topic hiding in plain view has until recently eluded us for years.

Our daughter’s home in New Jersey is in that raising small children mode with which we’re all familiar. There never seems to be enough time and everyone’s always tired. So when we’re there visiting the drawer with menus from local eateries is often opened, a phone call is made, and shortly thereafter the doorbell’s ring announces that dinner has arrived via delivery.

We came to Cuenca in 2010 before the arrival of this home delivery idea. And truthfully the food scene was so abysmal then there wasn’t anything you would have wanted to order anyway. Fast forward to today when a remarkable explosion of culinary choice has blossomed.

We’ve seen the motorcycles with boxes on the back for making deliveries. We’ve even been in restaurants and seen boxes of pizzas going out the door. But somehow those observations never translated into our participation. I often say there’s a fine line between being in a groove and being in a rut. Perhaps, as with the story awhile back about the gas guy, we had fallen into the latter category.

About six months ago, after 6 1/2 years, we finally took the plunge and ordered a to-go pizza and Caesar salad from one of our favorite Italian eateries. As expected the delivery guy couldn’t find our building (the number is out of synch and no one seems to be able find it the first time) and I had to walk down four flights of steps to complete the transaction. But the food was wonderful and we’re sitting at the table asking, “Exactly why have we not done this before? The delivery fee is about the same as the tip we would leave and we didn’t have to go to and from the restaurant, wait for the order, wait for the bill, wait for the change–this needs to happen more often!!”

And indeed it has. In addition to the pizza place, a new gringa-run food delivery business called Grits Catering has quickly become an integral place of our weekly meal planning. Owner Jennifer Martin is cranking out some damned tasty food and we’ve been elated to wash a couple of plates, knives, and forks after a delicious meal instead of facing those plus a kitchen of dirty cutting boards, utensils, pots, and pans to clean up.

We’ve enjoyed shrimp and grits (What??), gourmet meatloaf and au gratin potatoes, barbeque chicken salad, shrimp po’ boys. I’m in fact writing this blog right now because we’re waiting for delivery of short ribs and mushroom risotto, and I can’t wait to dig in!

Between inexpensive local almuerzos and meal delivery our grocery bill and kitchen cleanup time have both been slashed. OK, we’re late to the party but the Staton’s say:

Party on!!

Edd & Cynthia Staton

Edd & Cynthia Staton

Edd Staton has been blogging about life in Cuenca, Ecuador since he and his wife Cynthia began making preparations to move abroad in 2009. His blog, eddsaid—-ready or not, here i am!!!, is featured on InterNations.org, Expat.com, and BloggingAbroad.org, and named one of the... Read More

  • MountainHombre

    For those who don’t know, try the app “MegaByte”. It’s got lots of restaurants and has worked great every time I’ve use it.

    The initial set up took a bit of time. And, we were disappointed in one restaurant. However, we’ve used it for about 10 different restaurants and about 25 orders–and most were very good to excellent.

  • David

    We’re also very fortunate that Melissa from the Black Olive has weekly deliveries available by motorcyle also. If you haven’t seen the menu, check out her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MyLittlePieFactory

  • StillWatching

    Edd, I read this article with a huge smile because out of necessity I order many meals from various restaurants that offer delivery service. I get the feeling that you don’t have any idea of the scope of such restaurants and there is the idea for your next column. Please consider compiling a list of places that offer this service and publishing it here on CHL.

    I’d guess the number of these restaurants numbers in the hundreds and you’re not aware of the vast majority of them because they are places you’ve never patronized and probably aren’t even aware of. It may surprise you to know that many local restaurants that cater to Ecuadorians offer this service and have been doing so long before you and Cynthia arrived here. Now, as you note, there are a lot of good restaurants that offer this service and if you’re interested I’ll send you the info on some of my favorites. This would be a great public service.

    • Edd Staton

      You’re right, I’m certain we don’t. Was excited about MountainHombre’s MegaBite suggestion, but can’t use it because we still have “dumbphones.” 🙁

      • StillWatching

        I don’t have a smart phone, either. Too dumb to figure it our, I guess.

  • Pixelvt

    Most of the fun of eating in Cuenca is going out. I do not get the delivery thing

    • Edd Staton

      You don’t even live in Cuenca, dude. Get back with me after you’ve been here 7+ years.

      • StillWatching

        See above…

      • Pixelvt

        really, you know that much about me ?? guess what Mr. Ed, I own a home (many years) in Cuenca (do you?), have a daughter who has been there longer than you , bilingual and married to a local, I might add, i have been countless times for many months over many years (more than 7) with many connections and family, what is your point ? Nice try DUDE, I stand by my comment, what does full time living there have to do with an opinion

    • StillWatching

      Edd is right. Also, you’re not disabled. Try getting around on crutches for the next 6 years and then get back to me.

      • Pixelvt

        I get that part, but if possible, the fun is in actually going out. I realize you are disabled and this was no slight on anyone that is not as mobile as they may have once been. I do take out from time to time so I understand.

        • StillWatching

          I think Edd was just noting that all this was new to him and revelation comes when revelation comes. Many times, when I’m watching all the football games on a Sunday, I’d rather have stuff brought to me even if I could go out. I do agree, however, that much of the fun of eating out is actually GOING OUT. Great if one can.

        • lorenzo

          Maybe the main point is to recommend “Grits Catering”. I see even almuerzos being delivered in Cuenca all the time. By the way, meal delivery will definitely slash your grocery bill.