El Convento (because it was at one time a convent) is located right behind the huge church at the central square and directly across from Land of the Sun Hotel. The entrance is on Calle Garcia Moreno.
You enter into a large open courtyard. We arrived unannounced as a group of seven. We were seated immediately by very cheerful staff. El Centro is open only for lunch and serves a prix fixe lunch menu – which changes if not daily very often. We began with the juice of the day – tree tomato juice. Nice and tangy. There was a soup course – potato and vegetarian. The main course was chicken, rice, vegetable and a small salad. This feast was followed by a small desert that included bananas. All of the food was tasty and excellent use of local spices. The food is offered as Ecuadorian. Three in our group spoke fair Spanish and that helped in the two-way Q & A about lunch dishes and preparation.
The courtyard was very comfortable and shaded were needed. The building itself is somewhere between ancient and old and it was a treat in itself.
Wallet impact: Prix fixe lunch is $2.50 per person. There is a tip jar at the register. This is a bargain or in Spanish ‘chollo’. Highly recommend.
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