Much as we love living in Nicaragua, the one drawback has been the limited range of gastronomy in Nicaragua, in the past. As a family of foodies, we have high standards and have a history of family cooking competitions. So for the past 5 years or so, we have been coming up with wish lists of cuisine that we would love to see manifested in Granada.
In the past, we were rewarded by wishing for a yoga spa (which came across the street) and an organic and/or vegetarian restaurant (two now within walking distance). See prior similar entry, September 13, 2010 “power of positive thinking”.
Then, we started to wish more boldly.
A sushi place would be nice! How about a French café?
Or we wished more precisely: how about a place that would serve baklava like we had in Morocco?
Well, Granada being Granada, the land of manifestation, we are pleased to report that we hit it out of the park in 2012.
Masaya, a young Japanese man from Sendai,
the area around Fukushima where the nuclear plant meltdown took place, wisely
escaped with his Australian partner Rick, after the Tsunami.
Masaya picked his namesake, Masaya, in a far away land called Nicaragua to move to ( Masaya is a city half hour from Granada).
Lucky for us, because Masaya and Rick just opened their Japanese restaurant KAMPAI, which has rapidly climbed to number #2 on Trip Advisor in just a few months.
So now, within minutes, we can walk and have sushi rolls and cold sake in an authentic Japanese environment.
|An authentic feels adds to the experience at Kampai
|Rick, Masaya and Peta at KAMPAI!
** Next up, a French café?
No problem. As the Calzada main avenue
for restaurants and bars extends further toward the Lake,
we are seeing the same phenomenon as 2 years ago.
With each stretch of new road, new restaurants pop up.
So now new in town is Casa de los Suenos, a delightful café that results from the culinary convergence of a French Canadian / Mexican couple.
The food is fresh, delicious and resonates with Ben’s Parisian café needs.
So now we have solid Cappuccino down the street, and great quiche.
|This view from Cafe de los Suenos — The Calzada street is extending toward the lake
|Cafe de los Suenos passes the Ben test… Cappuccino is deemed “worthy”
|Peta & Charo at the Cafe de los Suenos, late Sunday Brunch
** How far do the gastronomic gods take this little game? Well, a short while ago, Leroy, a Canadian transplant, opened “Camello”.
Camello offers phenomenal food with a Middle Eastern orientation.
Since it was just opening, we thought we might try to influence things a bit… Ben started to lobby hard for Baklava.
Sure enough, that’s the owner’s favorite, but he didn’t think there was a market… And so now… we have AWESOME Baklava, not just run of the mill Baklava.
(And as additional treats, excellent Spanakopita, good Falafel, Kafta (!!), and lamb ribs.
HUGE addition to our Granada landscape.
** Final stunner: Ben thought that after all, having a French baker in town who makes sourdough whole-wheat bread regularly in a hand built wood oven, how hard would it be to get him to make croissant? Well, Tignu is a stubborn man, but we are people on a mission. He is our best path to croissant. It took 2 years! Every time we crossed him in the Street, or when he delivered our weekly loaf of bread to the door, I (Ben) would start needling him… “so, you have an oven, I need croissants, you are French and a baker… so what are you waiting for??”… or I welcome him “Alors, t’en es ou avec tes croissants?”… two years, every week. And then, the sky opens…
Tignu knocks on our door and smiles broadly and is very proud to declare: “J’ai fait des croissants!”.
(I HAVE made croissants!).
And there it is,
Granada’s first authentic croissants.
They have been improving weekly,
and Peta remains passionate about exactly how crispy the croissant she hopes to get…
So now, a French baker brings us his croissants to our door, home delivery, every Saturday morning…
How’s that for manifesting.
So let’s do a little experiment.
We’ll WRITE down what we are wishing for in 2013.
Some of our wishes are entirely realistic, the others, well, fall in the “sushi” or “Baklava” category…
You read it here first…
#!: we need Vietnamese food!
#2: Thai food, would be a close second
#3: so now just saying: if already we are wishing, how bout some Dim Sum?
(Maybe the Chinese surge in investment in Latin America will somehow result in Dim Sum restaurants??)
Peta is already on the hunt… Next up: Vietnamese food in Granada by December 2013!