In Panama City, Mixing Global and Local Flavors
At Humo (Calle 70 Este, at Avenida 5C Sur; 507-203-7313;humopanama.com) in the San Francisco neighborhood, the owner and the executive chef Mario Castrellón adapts American barbecue to Panamanian ingredients. You’ll find brisket that has been smoked with nance wood ($17) and farm-raised octopus with sugar cane syrup ($11). Much of the produce comes from Mr. Castrellón’s four-year-old restaurant Maito (Calle 50E and Calle 79E; 507-391-4657; maitopanama.com) nearby, which has an organic garden of more than 1,000 square feet, growing culantro, ají chombo, ñame (a root vegetable) and micro sprouts. The restaurant offers 10-course-tasting menus ($50) reflecting the history of the canal, incorporating the different ethnicities involved in its creation and the plants and animals around it, in dishes like Ta-Bien, a banana-leaf-wrapped Afro-Antillean seafood stew-filled tamal, and won ton soup flavored with achiote.
New York Times