Date Night Finally!
It feels like we have been moving for ages! The process never seems to end. We physically moved to Panama in early July. Then, we returned to get our “stuff” to come to Panama. Then, we moved our oldest into University in the states. So, even though nothing is put up, our lives are quite chaotic, we decided we were going to go out to dinner anyway. It took a few tries for him to give me the photo I wanted!
But is it gluten-free?
Living the gluten-free lifestyle shaping up to be way more complicated here in Panama than in Curaçao. So, I went to my happy place – Facebook – and asked the question. Surprisingly, quite a few restaurants popped up and now I have a lengthy list of places we will go! We started with Avantikia in the San Fransisco neighborhood of Panama City, because, let’s be honest, they had me at “Thai Food”. Avantikia was one of the restaurants shared as an answer to my question and, from the looks of the menu, everything was clearly marked as gluten-free, spicy, and vegetarian.
I honestly wasn’t sure if we could find parking. Driving in Panama, especially in the dark, is not my favorite, so we took an Uber. I’m glad we did, because I couldn’t see much in the way of parking.
Avantikia has a jazz-like feel that is warm and inviting. We haven’t been to a place with such great ambiance in a long time. There was outside patio seating and inside. We opted for inside. It was early on a Thursday night, so we had quite a few options of where to sit. I have heard weekends are different, so I would call for reservations. We used WhatsApp to reserve a table, just in case.
There were so many great choices on the menu. Even for those of us with dietary concerns, there was plenty to choose from. The titles were in English, but the descriptions were in Spanish, so you might need a translator tool or take time to look at the menu on their Facebook page first.
I went right to the curries and settled on Jungle Curry. It was supposed to be spicy and it was gluten-free. I added beef, only because the vegetarian option was tofu – and I apologize, but I just can’t with tofu. Yes, I am the weirdo that jumps from wanting vegetarian to ordering beef. My food was absolutely superb and I have been thinking about it ever since! It had the perfect level of spice and was so flavorful.
Cody went with traditional fried rice. I have no idea why. The menu was complex and exciting, but he was in the mood for familiar. His meal was nice, not spicy at all, not quite as flavorful, but nice. I know he will order a curry next time.
We shared the satay starter and that was lovely. Having been raised in Indonesia, I can say it was definitely a Thai satay and not Indo. It was had great flavor and the peanut dipping sauce, while oily, was devine!
Ending thoughts –
We will be back! I have a long list of places to visit, but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about my food from Avantikia!