Guatemala City: Billares San Carlos - Since 1951 the world's best doblada
This place serves the definative doblada - classic and expertly done. It is legend amoung locals and deserves its reputation. Seek it out.
I have a few threads where I'm posting about Guatemalan food. This place deserves its own post. Homage must be paid.
Only three things are made here: dobladas, pan con frijoles and ponche. All three are stars. The doblada is the superstar.
It is simple and simply delicious. A flour tortilla is grilled until crispy. In the center is stewed beef and chopped cooked cabbage (and maybe onions). Put some green picamas sauce on it for a tiny bit of spice.
Sometimes the whole is better than the parts. Not in this case. Each part is excellent and together they soar. The shredded beef is tender, fat-free and flavorful. The cooked cabbage sweet.
I had one hot at the store and now I'm chewing on two a few hours later at home. The tortilla turned chewy ... in a good way. Best hot, but I'm pretty much blissing out on the room temperature dobladas.
The pan con frijoles is simply beans on a pan Frances. Only here the bread is not Wonder Bread fluff but yeasty and great. The beans are quite tasty.
Ponche is a drink with mixed fruit in it. This isn't quite as good as the home-made version I had at a family gathering, but it is pretty close. Served steaming in mugs, it is pineaple based with lots of chopped pineapple, apple and raisins on the bottom. There could be other fruit in the mix.
The place is in a billiard parlor, but everyone comes here ... rich, poor, young, old, single, famlies with babies. There's a small front room with four tables and a long counter along wall with stools. Place your order at the counter, take a number then a seat and the food is delivered to your table. Give the nice guy who delivers it 5 or 10 quetzales as a tip.
They do major take-out business and people leave with bags filled with dobladas. The line can get long.
The back has a nice billard room with about 30 tables and a row of tables where people play dominos.
They deliver on motorcycles to zonas 1, 2, 3 and 6. I believe there is currently an offer that if you buy 8 dobladas you get a free pool or domino game to play.
The menu (in quetazelse ... currently 8 for $1) BTW, these are not snack-size. One makes a filling meal. There are four pan Frances rolls with the frijoles order
Dobladas q 10
Pan con frioles q 4
ponche (par la tarde) q 3
cafe q 3
coca cola y saboris
jugos de fruta q 3.5
agua pura q 3.5
Cicarros q 11
No one was smoking while I was there
The place had the look of greatness about it. The food delivered.
Billares San Carlos
12 th Avenida 5-34
Hours: Daily 10 am - 1 am