I have a market routine. It’s been long in development but I make sure to leave room for some flexibility. (Unexpected occurrences must be expected here in Caracas.) Within the grand Chacao Market the first stop is always ordering the usual 9 litres of fresh coconut water and then walking around the corner to this lovely little eatery while I wait for the coconut order to be filled.
The empanadas are baked, not fried, and the coffee is supreme. What’s even better is that the cd/dvd store across the isle sets the mood … This last time it was salsa/merengue covers of 70’s hits like “I Will Survive.” After a couple mushroom empanadas I’m ready to coast through the rest of the market.
I mention this place because it has been closed since December for renovation. My market buddy Christa and I had more or less lost all hope in it reopening thinking “renovation” was code for “we can’t do business in this country.” But last weekend, lo and behold, it reopened, having taken over the stall next to it effectively doubling it’s size.
I know for many readers this probably doesn’t seem all that exciting, but try to understand. The reopening, on one level, simply normalizes my beloved weekly routine. On another level, though, it represents hope for the economic situation here, perseverance, healthier food options, and people who put great care into the services they provide. This last item is perhaps the most telling for why I like this place so much. It stands out as a food stall because they owners really care about making my experience pleasant and healthful. That type of attitude seems to be a rarity here in Venezuela. So if you find yourself in the Chacao Market, say hello to the folks at Q-Rico — second floor around the corner from the coconut water guys…or just listen for the the music.