Do you recognize that feeling, when you taste or smell something and for one second you dream away to a different place, in a different time?
I just made myself a sandwich. Big French baguette, boiled eggs and a tasty avocado. Right at the first bite it happened. In my mind, I just bought a sandwich in the small shop of El Rey Sandwich in Quito. I have good memories of that place. In my first week, I was still a bit scared what to eat, since the food is pretty different and I read that you have to take your time to get used to the Ecuadorian food – and hygiene. A sandwich might be the thing coming closest to what I’m used to – apart from Mc Donald’s and Burger King of course. Fortunately El Rey was situated at the end of the street where I lived. First time someone introduced me to the shop, I was positively surprised. There are different kind of menus. Vegetarian, chicken or ham sandwich. In my first months I was also scared to eat meat, so this was ideal.
I don’t remember the exact ingredients of the vegetarian sandwich. I do remember there was avocado and cheese. The cheese depended on which cheese the lovely señora bought, so it was a little surprise which one would be on the sandwich. The bread was also a bit special. In Ecuador the bread absolutely isn’t the same as here. But who care about bread when you have rice, right?
For having grown up in a bread-eating country, I do love me a good piece of bread every once in a while. Señora Rey had good bread. Not sugary, not as if you are eating a pastry. Normal bread. Just as the bread I apparently bought at the boulanger here.
She always made sure that the sandwich was filled properly, you wouldn’t be hungry afterwards – do make sure you have a napkin with you.
Señora Rey always took good care of the sandwiches. If there was an ingredient missing, she would tell you to wait a moment, run out of the shop to the place where she get’s her ingredients, to come back with what she needed. Another specialty is their juices. For a small price, you could add a freshly made juice to your menu.
Oh. I have no clue why I’m writing a whole article about a sandwich. I do know that I would love to get one as soon as possible!
At night, El Rey turns into a hotdog shop. This is where señor Rey shows up. For all the party people out there – or just the hungry passing by – they offer great hotdogs with lots of toppings for a good price. Just one dollar! If you’re thirsty, you could get a soda for 25 cents and they also had salchipapas – fries with sausages. I do remember that time when I was craving a hotdog so hard and I ate it in two seconds, resulting in getting another hotdog. There might have been some drinks involved, since El Rey was also situated across the street from our favorite bar.
Oh, I love those sentimental seconds, bringing up old memories!
Does anyone know El Rey Sandwich? Does anyone know if they still exist?