+
Restaurants & Bars

Guatemala - Antigua Panajachel 5/14

Worldwide Diner | Jun 1, 201408:54 PM     5

I spent a week in Guatemala, arriving in Antigua on 5/24 (Saturday). It was the day of the UEFA Championship League finale, with Real Madrid playing Atletico. Atletico scored first and then played defense, much to the chagrin of the locals, who are mostly Real Madrid fans. I meant to have a little snack, a pequeño nachos, at my hotel (Hotel Soleil) but it was a huge plate of chips, some chicken strips, lots of guacamole, cheese, and tomatoes. Most importantly, it was lukewarm and became cold quickly. Not a good start to my trip.

After Atletico lost in OT, I wondered thru the markets on the west side of town. Found the only super market in town on 8th Ave S, just south of the craft market. In the super market are the cheapest ATMs that I found ($2 fee, other ATMs in town may charge $3-$5).

Just north of the Arco de Santa Catalina (literally one door past the arch as you head toward La Merced, on 5th Ave N), I found a little wine bar staffed by English speakers. The wines by the glass weren't very good but they were cheery and informative, and the more you drink the cheaper the wine gets. I learned about worry dolls and the pharmacy not requiring prescriptions. After a few drinks, I wondered by La Merced and found myself in front of Hector's Bistro.

Hector's is a tiny place, with tables crammed in everywhere. I ordered a soup and snook, pan seared with seared potatoes. The soup was one of those pureed veggie types (I don't recall what though, on account of too many glasses of wine and a long day, got up at 5 a.m.) but it was good. The fish was definitely overcooked though.

On Sunday, I explored on my own. I went behind the local markets to see the chicken buses, then went thru the local markets to check out street food. In the comedor area, some vendors have set up make-shift cafeterias which an array of foods (see 1st photo). I didn't want to buy any so I couldn't inspect them carefully.

My plan was to brunch at Meson Panza Verde. However, upon arrival I found their brunch menu uninteresting so I asked to see the dinner menu. I wanted to eat there because the hotel/restaurant is beautiful. They agreed to serve me crab cakes and pasta with lobster from the dinner menu- and I was seated by the fountain (see photo 2). The crab cakes contained little cubes of potato and they were fishy. The lobster and the pasta were overcooked and I couldn't place what kind of greens were in the pasta (not basil, see photo 3) but it threw the taste of the plate off.

Dinner was at a less impressive but nevertheless beautiful courtyard of Posada de Don Rodrigo (see pic 4). After no luck with two Eurocentric meals, I decided to try something more local - chile relleno and enchilada. The chile relleno was fine - ground beef stuffed in a pepper that is battered and fried. The enchilada was nothing like the enchilada in the U.S. It's a crisp tortilla topped with mostly beets, and served lukewarm. So far I'm betting 0-3.

(will continue posting later).

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving
Entertaining

The Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving

by Kristin Donnelly | The best way to cook a stress-free dinner is to think ahead, which is why we've created this comprehensive...

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie
Food and Cooking

19 Great Thanksgiving Desserts That Aren't Pie

by Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy | When the usual pie lineup feels boring and uninspired for your dessert repertoire, you've got to make...

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package
Food Trends

An Ode to 5 Thanksgiving Foods That Are Better from the Package

by Kelsey Butler | Nostalgia is a factor not to be discounted when it comes to food, and these five holiday staples sometimes...

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online
Shop

Better-Than-Homemade Goodies That Can Be Ordered Online

by David Klein | Mail order cookies, cakes, pies, and other sweet treats are better (and more prolific) than ever...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.