As a newcomer to Panama, I now feel like I have experienced an essential rite of passage, having eaten breakfast at Olga’s Restaurant. I had read extensively through the blogs and restaurant reviews, and I came to realize that, not only is Olga’s the best breakfast in town, but also you simply aren’t properly initiated in the community until you have experienced desayuno a la restaurante Punto de Encuentro, breakfast at the Point of Contact Restaurant, or simply Olga’s.
I reluctantly admit I could not find Olga’s on my first search through Boquete while walking from the one end of town to the other. Later that day, when I inquired of a friend as to the address of Olga’s, the response, appropriately enough was, “What’s an address?” Conceding the point, I asked for a landmark. I had gathered from my research that Olga’s was somewhere across from the Delta gas station on Boquete’s main street. However, the directions written online were little better than trying to find the Pacific Ocean from California – “Keep going thataway.” Once I was told it was directly behind the Dollar Store, it was hard to miss.
It was a Tuesday morning, so all the regulars were at the weekly open market from which we had just come, and my wife and I had the restaurant all to ourselves. My wife had the pancakes and I ordered eggs and
potatoes, all in Spanish I am pleased to say. I was coffee’d out, so I ordered orange juice. We waited while I contemplated fried eggs in Panama.
First, most non-Americans don’t eat eggs for breakfast. Yogurt, cheese, cold cuts, and cereal, yes. But eggs – not so much. Second, it’s not a simple thing to order fried eggs because ‘over easy’ doesn’t translate well. Fortunately, Olga knows what that means because 4 out of 5 men prefer eggs over easy, and the waves of gringos who have preceded me have worked out with Olga what fried eggs look like, thank goodness!
Then breakfast came to our table, elegantly served with placemats, toast with butter and jam, ketchup for the potatoes (without having to ask), and syrup for the pancakes in a small heated ceramic pitcher. The OJ had to be freshly squeezed because it just doesn’t get any better than what I was served. The pancakes were so light and fluffy that my wife had to put butter and syrup on them to keep them from floating away. And my eggs? Perfecto!! The total cost was $11 for both of us including a tip.
As we were leaving I inquired, “Que es su horario, sus horas de abierto?” (What are your scheduled hours that you are open?) To which Olga replied in perfect English, “We’re open from 7 – 12 every day.” Since her English was far superior to my Spanish, I just want to say, “Thank you, Olga, for accepting my gringo Spanish without laughing, and also for a fantastic breakfast!”