You can taste the culinary experience in Ralph's dishes. In what was otherwise a mostly bland-tasting trip to Ecuador, the food at Big Ralph's was well-prepared and tasty. The wait staff is friendly and attentive by Ecuadorian standards, and the atmosphere is relaxed and homey. As with most restaurants in the coastal region of Ecuador that we visited, be prepared to be seated next to other customers on the bench-style tables. For Americans who are not used to this, my recommendation is to just get over it and embrace the opportunity to meet someone new or at the very least eavesdrop on some undoubtedly stimulating Spanish language conversations. As for the food, the rating here reflects the fact that we have eaten all over the world and are fortunate enough to live in a gastronomical paradise when we are not traveling, so I rarely give five stars to anything, and the comments are meant to help the staff develop what I sense is intended to be a menu that appeals to the Anglican tourists. Our party of four ordered the fish and chips, the green curry, the "fish of the day" (corvina) and the braised beef. As others have said in their reviews the braised beef and corvina are tasty and prepared to order. Nothing sitting on the stove in this restaurant. The fish and chips are as advertised. Be sure to ask for the malt vinegar which they will bring to you - they just don't keep it sitting out on the tables since it is expensive to import. The green curry was delicious, too, but not at all spicy, especially by Thai standards. I think this dish could be a real find on the menu for those that are tired of eating rather bland rice and bean dishes all day, or are ready for a break from ceviche. My recommendation to Ralph would be to "kick it up a notch" (as we say) with some additional heat, label it as such on the menu, then be prepared to back off on the spices if someone asks. The dishes are all prepared to order, so this shouldn't be too difficult to manage. Overall, a solid restaurant/hostal with no surprises and plenty of options for everyone.
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