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A Feast Worthy of a Barbarian

I can hear the platter sizzling as it leaves the kitchen and approaches our table, the steak I ordered still cooking as it is placed before me, along with the huge, head-high hanging brochette that is placed with the guest across from me. This is truly a feast fit for the Barbarian, who’s larger than life image is on the wall above me.

El barBaro (the Barbarian) can be found in the northern Ecuadorian city of Ibarra. The restaurant is in a residential section of the city away from the central shopping area so is a little hard to find. We join a small crowd gathered outside waiting for the doors to open at 6PM.

The décor could be considered simple and spare, plain wooden chairs with no cushions and large bare wooden tables with plastic place mats, a steak knife and fork rolled in a paper napkin. There is also a holder stuffed with more napkins and a condiment rack with balsamic vinegar, oil and salt.

The menu is just a few pages, appetizers, brochettes, entrees and beverages. The dinner prices average @$10 US and the meals include a small entrée salad and fried potatoes. Our party of 8 each order something different, half from the brochette page, half from the entrée page with a beverage of our choice. After a few minutes wait our meals arrive in quick succession. To say that the portion size is generous doesn’t do it justice.

Each brochette skewer entrée hangs from a hook on a stainless-steel wire support with