2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage

2012 Cuenca Perspectives Collage


My mission in publishing this blog is first to provide a living history of my settlement and life in Cuenca, and to provide myself and the reader with a journal account delineating my reasons for why I have chosen to settle in Cuenca. Second, the posts are my way of staying in contact with family and friends back in the states, and to provide them with an understanding of a country and culture that most North Americans have little knowledge and awareness. Third, the blog is open to one and all who wish to compare and contrast the experiences of expat bloggers living in Cuenca, so that you can determine whether or not from your perspective Cuenca is an appropriate move for you. Fourth, my blog provides another example of how expats view and interpret life in Cuenca. Ecuadorians and Cuencanos who may read this blog are especially invited to post comments that may enhance all expats understanding and appreciation of Cuneca and its people, or to correct any misinterpretations in my assumptions and perceptions of Cuencano culture. Finally, I hope I can convey the feeling of love and appreciation that grows within me each passing day for this heavenly city nestled in the Andes and its very special people.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Last year I posted a post on Aji Rocoto, a gourmet Peruvian restaurant, which opened in Cuenca in 2015.  Due to the economic slow-down, and the closing of the airport for a couple of months in 2016; the tourist trade was hit hard, and so were many restaurants. Aji Rocoto became one of those casualties, as its chef and owner, Michael Wagner, closed the restaurant, and opened in a new location with a rethought dinner venue.

If you would like to read about Chef Michael, a graduate of Cordon Bleu Academy in Lima, Peru, and his culinary arts; here is the previous post:

Transformation Number One

Michael moved his location from El Centro to the south-side of the city.  The transformation became a new restaurant,  Aji Rocoto had transformed into La Cilindrada Restaurant, which is located at 3-47 Avenida Roberto Crespo (cross street from Luis Moreno Mora; next to the Honda Motorcycle dealership), approximately one block from the stadium.  

Transformation Number Two

This transformation is a change in concept, as Michael now offers at reasonable prices a main-room restaurant of smoked and grilled meats, costillas, hamburgers, sandwiches quesadillas, and a daily executive amuerzo.  In the evening, Michael also offers a daily dinner special as well to his regular menu items.  

Having eaten lunch with friends at La Cilindrada, we all agreed that it is great food for casual-dining. Michael uses high quality meats, and flavors them only as Michael can do.  The hamburger I ate was substantial and of high quality beef.  No fill in this burger. Definitely, one of the best burgers in Cuenca.  Even the fries are exceptional.

If, on the other hand, you are wondering, "but what about all those fantastical dishes Michael prepared at Aji Rocoto?"  Do not fear, they are yours yet to enjoy, if you are willing to call Michael and reserve a seating in advance, and let him know what dishes you would like him to prepare.  Chef Michael even has a private room that can handle a capacity of ten people.

To make reservations for Michael's gourmet meals, the La Cilindrada's telephone numbers are:

099-044-8248  or  099-946-6241

You can also email Michael at 


If you are wondering, "but I don't recall the names of some of my favorite dishes", or "I never had the chance to savor Michael's Aji Rocoto's dinners", Michael can guide you through menu choices to your liking when you make your reservation.

Transformation Number Three

Michael very soon will be opening at La Cilindrada a covered-patio adjoining the restaurant where European-style breakfasts will be served.  The photos of the dishes were mouth-watering.  I envy anyone who lives anywhere in the vicinity of La Cilindrada.  I would be eating there every day.  I will share more with you shortly, when this concept restaurant is in full-swing. The patio will also include home-made condiments that can be purchased as well.

Transformation Number Four

Michael at some future date, hopefully this year, will also be opening a beer garden in the front of his restaurant that will serve crafted beers, and the specially-made treats and appetizers to go along with your crafted-beer choices as well.

Transformation Number Five

Eventually, Micheal intends to re-open Aji Rocoto on the second floor of La Cinlindrada, as he completes his various concept restaurants on-site. It will have a similar, upscale ambiance for those of you who enjoyed the original Aji Rocoto. Michael is as exceptionally creative and as passionate with his planning of his dining concepts and rooms, as he is with the aesthetic appeal of the tastes and appearance of his Aji Rocoto dishes.

Below is the link to La Cinlindrada's Facebook page, which will give you not only reviews, but photos of the dishes offered, and directions to the restaurant.  The restaurant is currently open from noon until 4:00 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. seven days a week.  Once the breakfast patio opens, hours will be extended from earlier in the morning, and the restaurant will remain open all day until 10:00 p.m.

Also, you can find on Facebook the latest on what Michael is offering in the way of planned evening dinners. For example, Michael had forty in attendance for a seafood paella dinner one evening, in which he prepared the paella and his guests were able to observe how the dish was grilled and prepared. Michael is planning another paella dinner evening in March as well. On Valentine Day, there are also two special dinner selections offered for the love-birds. All of these events are and will be announced on Facebook as they have or will be scheduled.