Think vintage, vintage, vintage with this cozy little restaurant, opening for lunch st 12:30 pm, serving typical dishes and smack in the old section of Riobamba and convenient to the only real tourist sights in the downtown: the small, but magnificent not-to-be-missed collection of Colonial Arte Sacra paintings and sculpture at the Museo Del Monasterio de las Conceptas, a lively fruit and vegetable market and the diminuitive cathedral with its charming and unusual pale carved stone facade that was largely rebuilt after the disastrous 1797 earthquake. El Delirio Restaurant is a delightful, jumbled grandmother's attic of a restaurant, its crowded walls covered with old local paintings, fading posters, indigenous hats and local ephemera. You enter the restaurant via a tiny ancient patio filled with potted plants. Inside the two-roomed restaurant are wooden tables, nicely set with flowers and cloth placemats and napkins. For $30 for two, we chose a lunch for two including pan-cooked filet of beef with home-cooked fries and veggies and the surprising real treat of the lunch, a huge pile of probably the best-seasoned fresh Latin American style rice with vegetables and tender medium-sized shrimp I've eaten in years--so irresistible, my husband, who had ordered the beef, literally engulfed once I had eaten all I could hold. Delicious. I also ordered fresh blackberry juice, a little watery and a little too sweetened, but refreshing. The restaurant is housed in an old colonial style house where Simon Bolivar, South America's 19th century liberator lived when in Riobamba. The waiter will show you the meeting room of the Bolivarian Society which gathers regularly to this day in a bustling 21st century town that Simon Bolivar would not recognize.
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