I have already mentioned that we stayed at the Hotel Paris. This is one of the older hotels in downtown La Ceiba, right on the Park, and central to almost everything. The hotel is in the process of remodeling, but we found it to be clean and comfortable. The staff was exceptionally polite and helpful. There was security on the premises, and a secure parking lot.
We had a room on the ground floor, pool side. There is a bar at poolside, as well as a very nice restaurant, where you can eat inside or out. They have a beauty shop on the premises, as well as conference rooms and free wireless internet.
The first order of the day was to find some 3x5 index cards, which we did, at Casa De Los estudiantes on Avenida San Isidro. This little place has all kinds of paper good and school supplies.
Then, on to Pais, which is the Honduran version of Wal-Mart, and is actually owned by Wal-Mart. Pais is just down from the central Park. It is a large store, with wide, comfortable aisles that I had no trouble getting the scooter through. The store was clean and the employees were helpful and polite.
I thought I had died and gone to heaven. They had almost everything I was looking for. I found Hershey's Cocoa. I found bay leaves. Rachel, take note and strike these from the list. Pais had a nice meat market, but we were going to try another place, so didn't buy from here. There was a good assortment of cheese, even sharp cheddar. And whipping cream, real, live whipping cream. Their bakery department had a variety of baked good. Juan bought caballitos, a gingerbread sort of cookie, shaped like a little horse.
After we left Pais we headed over to a carnecería that was recommended to us has having meat 'bien blandisimo' (very tender). As most of you know, finding a tender piece of meat has been a big problem for me, so I really had my hopes up. So, here it is!
The store was clean, with no bad odors and no flies. The cuts were recognizable. The butcher did not touch the meat with her bare hands. The meats are mainly from Olancho, but the American style cuts come from Zamorano Pan-American Agricultural School. One of the sausages we bought was also made at Zamorano.
We bought a tenderloin large enough to cut into eight 3/4 - 1" filets and a piece left over that will make a nice roast. We also got six T-bones, about 1/2" thick. We added six smoked porkchops, each 3/4" thick, and two different types smoked sausage, one spicy and one mild. All of this ran us about $55 USD. We loaded all this in the cooler, covered it in ice, and off we went to meet Pablo and Magda, my in-laws, for lunch.
After lunch we made a quick turn through the MegaPlaza Mall, which looks like any other mall in the US. They even have my favorite shoe store, Payless.
Then it was time to go pick up Chico and head home.
UPDATE on the Meat: I am proud to report that the meat is, indeed, blandisimo. We had a couple of the filets Sunday night, and they were so tender and juicy. Tonight we had smoked pork chops, black beans and rice, and the pork chops were great. Definitely worth a 3-hour road trip to La Ceiba
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