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CBR, or Cebiches de la Rumiñahui, is one of the old standbys of Quito, one of the great institutions of ceviche, and one of the places you can go where you may not get a superb meal, but you can rest assured it´s always good and consistent. I can remember being here 15 years ago and trekking to the North of Quito when CBR used to have only a few locations. They are now all over Quito as well as in the Quito suburban valleys of Tumbaco and Sangolquí. I´m not sure the proper spelling is really Cebiche with a “b,” but since CBR is such an institution, I guess you can call it correct-though I opt to spell it with a “v.”
Of course, the main menu item is ceviche. Shrimp ceviche is the all-time classic,
and then there is ceviche de conchas-basically clam ceviche; fish ceviche-no explanation needed; and mixed, which contains all three. All ceviches are traditionally served with popcorn, salty fried plantain chips, and tostado, a type of toasted corn found only in Ecuador. This is an accompaniment you will find throughout Ecuador at any traditional cevichería (restaurant specializing in ceviches). The way to eat it is to snack on these while you’re waiting for your food, but be sure to leave enough to add to your ceviche broth to soak up the tasty juices-the popcorn wilts, the plantains stay crunchy, and so does the corn. It’s a great addition to add some texture once you’ve polished off all the seafood.
They also offer Empanadas de Verde, plantain flour turnovers filled with shrimp or cheese and deep-fried. Rice with Shrimp, with Clams, or Mixed Rice-a jumble of shrimp, clams, squid, and fish, is also one of the menu standards. You can’t leave off your typical fried fish-in many places it’s served with a side of lentils and rice, but here they give you rice with a dollop of ketchup, fried plantains, and a small salad made of cucumbers and diced green peppers.
Finally, Sopa Marinera, or seafood soup, is the highest priced item on the menu, coming in at just under 8 bucks, but definitely one of the best.
You get your choice of sides-fried yucca, plantains, or rice. I opted for the yucca, which was delicately fried and brown and crispy on the outside, and tender and airy on the inside…some of the best yucca sticks I’ve yet to taste.
You can hardly go wrong here with any of the items on the menu, though the empanadas do tend to be a little on the oily side. For a quick and tasty meal for under $10 a person, CBR is hard to beat.