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“Good Home Cooking - Order the Daily Specials only”
Review of Aromas Cafe

Aromas Cafe
Ranked #502 of 989 Restaurants in Panama City
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Description: they are in the Casco Antiguo of Panama and they are in facebook as , very nice informal place, to meet people!!! I love It!!!
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Good Home Cooking - Order the Daily Specials only”
Reviewed 27 November 2010

This is a nice local restaurant with home cooking type of food. But, unfortunately, I must write, my experience was not as good as the reviews I had read here before.

I went there around 2pm on a Saturday, and most of the daily dishes posted on the board outside were already finished, which is understandable, it was already late for lunch. At least I got to see a few people next to me eating the fried chicken which was also finished.

I ordered the buffalo wings and the seafood pasta linguini (which someone wrote was the best). Shortly after, the waitress came back telling me they were also out of buffalo wings; in fact, they were out of most of their appetizers. So I ordered the fried calamari with the delicious tartar sauce. I also asked to get a cup of coffee upfront which arrived quickly and was excellent.

First food item arrived was my seafood linguini, not the appetizer, which was a little strange, but I didn’t complain. I was disappointed about the seafood linguine, it was not even close to the best seafood pasta I had. First of all, there wasn’t much seafood in the pasta. Small pieces of chopped calamari, may be very few small shrimps. No scallops, no muscles, no clams, no fish or any other type of seafood. Secondly, the tomato sauce was quite cheesy, they had just added Parmesan cheese (not fresh) to the sauce. Normally, you don’t add cheese to good seafood pasta, and if at all, the cheese is brought to the table for you to add as you wish. I would rate this seafood pasta below average.

Half way through my seafood pasta, the fried calamari arrived. Unfortunately, another disappointment. The fried calamari seemed to be missing one ingredient, the calamari; it tasted mainly like deep fried dough, with little bits of calamari. And the sauce, which was listed as a delicious tartar sauce, was just plain mayonnaise.

My overall impression is, this is the type of restaurant where you only eat the daily special, because that is what their focus for the day is. The location of the restaurant is a little far away from the center. I had quite a hard time finding a taxi back to the center.

The nicest about the restaurant was the actual building. Nice high ceilings, big windows. And the service was also quite well.

If I had the time, I would try them one more time, but that would be on another trip to Panama.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank HappyTraveller213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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14 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A little gem in Casco Viejo”
Reviewed 3 October 2010

We were led to Aromas by Conrad - whom I've dubbed the "walking taxi" since in fact there is no actual vehicle. Nonetheless, Conrad insisted he take us to a local restaurant for good lunch. $3.75. Yes that's right, $3.75. I had the traditional chicken and rice lunch and my husband had lasagna. Lasagna wasn't what I would recommend when dining in Panama but it's one of his favorite dishes and neither meal dissappointed. The service was excellent and it was indeed local - maybe a few travelers (as Conrad put it) but no tourists.
We liked it so much we returned for dinner. Superb one again. I had a prawn pasta dish and my husband the pepper steak. He ordered it in other restaurants during our trip hoping to duplicate the experience but nothing lived up to Aromas' version.
The next morning we ventured to the local fish market to have a look around and found Edwin (owner) buying market fresh for the day.
Although Edwin is from Peru I would say that nothing of our meals reminded me of any dining experience we had there. Cafe Aromas has it's own style, is delicious, and, is a great value. Not to be missed while in Casco Viejo.

Helpful?
Thank Stacyofftosee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“The little restaurant that could”
Reviewed 9 September 2010

Edwin is from Peru and he is working hard to build the perfect cafe. When we ate there he had a new chef with some good food.

He has two menu's. The chalk board outside has local dishes for $3.75 on our visit and a printed upscale menu with more expensive items inside.

We tried his local menu and found it good. We particularly liked the fact that he had A/C and cold beer on a 38 degree day. It was hot out but cool inside.

We highly recommend it for lunch.

    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mikeh53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lima, Peru
1 review
“Best seafood pasta I have ever had”
Reviewed 31 July 2010

The food here was really good, Seafood pasta was up there with the best Ive had in any Italian place all around the world, cocktails were great the guy who runs the cafe is a really nice guy from Peru and very helpful, we really enjoyed the place advise if you are staying in Casco Vijo to eat there wish I found it earlier, Chris Australia

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank chris_mcdezz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
“I'm sorry, but it makes absolutely no...”
Reviewed 28 July 2010

I'm sorry, but it makes absolutely no sense that this little cafe is ranked in the top three restaurants in Panama City. It is a cute little place on the outskirts of Casco Veijo, but I really can't say it's exceptional in any way. On the contrary, we went there specifically because of the great reviews, and we were very disappointed.

The lunch specials are posted outside at $3.25 which seems great. My girlfriend ordered the lasagne, one of the specials. It was a tiny portion, which I thought was mean even for $3.25. And personally I'd rather pay more and get a decent helping. However, we were charged $5, as apparently not all lunch specials are the same price. In fairness, it was a very tasty lasagne. Which is more than can be said for my burger, the house special, which sucked.

If you want a cafe, with heart food at reasonable prices, then you'd do better at Cafe Balboa on Avenida Balboa next to Destiny building. It's always busy with both locals and expats. If you want to be in Casco Veijo then there are much nicer restaurants like Casa Blanca!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Gwynj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
aromascafe, Manager at Aromas Cafe, responded to this review, 29 July 2010
Gwynj, We would like to apologize with you for the bad experience you had, we post outside in spanish "desde" which means "from" ,now that's not an excuse but it is important to ask about the prices, I had people from many country's and they ask what the prices are, specially if you are not local, and the language is different, that way you'll be satisfy, the Lasagna for $5.00 we consider is in a good range price, I had Lasagna with no flavor at all for $7.00, about the burger people have different opinions and in the 9 months we had in business we didn't receive bad comments, we know is not the best but out of other they consider is ok but not sucked as you want to name it, check the comments that people have on Boulevard Balboa, but all of them, and you'll see they are not perfect and other people had Terrible experiences there too, about Casa Blanca I have no comments for the food, but for $20 to $25 range price, minimun has to be something don't you think? anyway, we didn't choose to be in the top with
only 7 reviews, if you ever come to Panama again, I personally will make sure that you try any other plate at no price because people make mistakes and probably the cook did that day, we are deeply sorry and hope you forget that inconvenient, we didn't want that to happen to you.
Sorry again and have a wonderful weekend!!!
Edwin Torres.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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