Aug 20, 2012

Great Food and Turtle Races at La Jungla


Racer viewing and interviews start at 12:00 Noon.     First race starts at 1:00 PM.

Turtle Racing is fun for the whole family.

Not sure where to begin on this one...The above announcement went out to the expat community three days ago regarding an event held to support Dorothy's wild life refuge, as well as to draw clientele to the re-opening of the restaurant under the management of Frank and Carolyn, new proprietors.  The event was a definite first in Boquete.   The weather cooperated, providing sunshine and moderate temperatures for most of the day.  A friendly crowd developed as the afternoon wore on.  After close scrutiny of the bio for each participant turtle, attendees placed bets on their selected competitor, and elimination rounds were initiated.   My contestant, Leatherback Larry, number 13, unfortunately failed to place.  I had to leave before the qualifying rounds were completed, but did manage to snap a photo of the main contender as he crossed the finish line.

More noteworthy than the reptile race, however, were the changes to the restaurant.  The tropical mural paintings have been completed, and the bar is tiled and spruced up.  The menu now features Thai, Caribbean, and local fare.  After enjoying two meals in the restaurant on two occasions in the last two days, I'd give the cook 100% on her satisfaction rating. Being a fussy diner, I seldom eat everything on my plate, but both times at this new La Jungla,  I barely left a fingerprint.   My first pleasure was Jerk Chicken, delightfully flavored with exotic spices, a hint of sweetness, and just the right amount of picante "kick" that kept my mouth tingling for a lingering time afterward.   My second experience was a Thai fish fillet that was also excellent.  A tender, moist, flaky white fillet was grilled to perfection and then topped with a coconut cream sauce and oh-so-pleasing Thai condiments.  Entrees come with a wonderfully-dressed fresh garden salad and your choice of either rice & beans or boiled, butter-herb potatoes.   All but one menu item was under $ 10, and the remaining item was just $10.  The bar serves local beers, well-drinks, and can also accommodate a variety of special orders.    They are open six days a week, from 11 am to 7 pm.  Closed Tuesdays.   I highly recommend La Jungla for an alternate dining experience and for the friendly ambiance.  Both indoor and outdoor dining available, but outdoor seems to be the preference as it allows customers to view the resident rescued animals and the grounds.