Going Out For A Bite

Usually we don’t go out to eat.  We prefer to stay home and enjoy the domestic meals prepared by my wife, Aura.  Last Sunday we decided to break the routine and decided to eat a Spanish dish called “Paella a la Valenciana” at a restaurant close to home called, “Los Toneles” (The Barrels).  The name of the business is because there are two wooden barrels at the entrance of the venue as you will later see in a photograph I shot of the place.

This restaurant was recommended to us by a friend who had been there and enjoyed a delicious Italian dinner.  We decided to give it a try with a typical Spanish dish—the Valenciana paella.

Below are several pictures of our visit to Los Toneles.  It was a most enjoyable experience with a charming old woman as our waitress.  Here we go.

Snapshot of Los Toneles Restaurant in the neighborhood of El Dorado about four kilometers from our house. Take notice of the wooden barrel at the entrance which gives the name to the venue. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the mountain of food which consisted mainly of rice and a wide assortment of sea foods. It was such a large portion of food, we had to take some home. We sipped white wine (Casillero del Diablo) while enjoying the Spanish dish.  Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

The entire meal consisted of seafood soup, white wine, paella a la Valenciana, creamy caramel flan with a cherry on top, and a cup of Chinese tea to help the digesting process.  Yummy-yum-yum.

Snapshot of my wife Aura and Ms. C. Estrada our friendly waitress at the restaurant. She was a beautiful woman with an extraordinary sense of good humor. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Panama, being a crossroad of the world, is famous for its international cuisine.  If you ever visit our country, I encourage you to go out and have a bite.  The food is finger-licking good.  Good Day.


12 thoughts on “Going Out For A Bite”

  1. Your wife is lovely and I can see the sweetness of her nature shining. You are like my husband and I and don’t eat out, pretty much ever. We enjoy cooking our own meals as we are vegetarian but eat fish, also. That meals look delicious! When we vacation we always have a kitchen to cook in 🙂 Enjoy your weekend, Omar and Aura!

    1. You are right Barbara, my wife is sweet as honey. We are not vegetarians but prefer to stay away from red meats due to doctor’s recommendations.

      When are you travelling to Puerto Rico and enjoy the nice sunshine of the island?



      1. That is great news. Enjoy your vacation to the tropics. Puerto Rico is known to us as “la isla del encanto” (the island of enchantment). Their music is superb if you like salsa.



  2. The barrels are interesting to me, especially the Spanish word for them…“Los Toneles.” (I’ll remember the word by linking it to the English word ‘tunnel” and aren’t barrels a little bit like tunnels?)

    Anyway, here’s my useless nautical information for Saturday. Boats and ships are rated by their “tonnage.” But that doesn’t have to do with weight, per se. Originally it was the measure of how many “tuns” a vessel could carry, a tun being a large barrel usually carrying wine. So when, in the days of Columbus and Magellan and beyond when a ship was said to measure 125 tons what was meant was that it could carry 125 of those barrels.

  3. I agree Richard, pretty much a barrel has the shape of a tunnel. Good observation.

    Thank you for all that information about ships and their cargo. You are full of information, aren’t you.

    BTW, I saw that your bike and related paraphernalia is up for sale? Any luck?

    Best Regards,


    1. I have a couple of people express interest in the bike but no one’s put up any money. I have someone whose supposed to come Monday to look at it on their way over to Bocas, but who knows?

  4. Hello Mr.Omar
    I am a retired US ARMY soldier that was stationed in Fort Clayton- 1962- 1965 and again 1969-1972 Fort Amador CZ. I remember the 4th July very much so I live there in the apartments # 53 I think. I was in the 1964-also 1969 riots. My wife (decease 2004) lived there in calle 21 4th July. We were married for over 40 years. Her father worked in Balboa at the cable and transmitte office for about 48 years. Rudolpha Telechea. I am in Riverdale Ga now I wish I could have remained in Panama City but, military takes you every where

    My Name is : Thomas Williams
    Riverdale Georgia 30274
    PO BOX 743293
    Call or write me and I will be glad to give you any knowledge I have

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for all the information about your several stays in Panama. Let me say that Panama has changed exponentially since you were last here, 45 years ago.

      If you would come down here, you would not believe your eyes. Panama is a whole new different country. Even when my wife and I go out for a ride, we often get lost.

      Tourism has grown to astronomical scales. For example, tourism contributes 5 billion dollars to the country’s GDP, creating about 97,000 jobs and receiving more than 2.2 million visitors per year. Hotel occupancy has risen to 2,200 rooms.

      Many Americans are choosing to retire in Panama due to different factors, mainly lower taxes, excellent health facilities, high-quality drinking water, good weather and friendly people.

      According to the American embassy, the number of U.S. citizens in Panma is between 52,000 and 55,000 concentrated in Bocas del Toro, Chiriquí and Los Santos. The figure is rising even as we speak.

      If you have the opportunity to travel to Latin America, I would encourage you to visit our country. You will love it!

      High Regards,


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