Antigua, GT: Doorway dining
Walking around Anigua I noticed a number of small eateries that are little more than an open door and a table with plates of prepared food.
Sometimes it is pina coladas served in a pineapple. One place has roast chicken. There are various snacks and sweets.
They keep irregular hours, some working the morning, others not opening until 6pm or later.They rarely have names.
The first joint I tried is almost next door to my hotel. I chirstened it Carpinteria because that is what is above the door. At one time a carpenter must have had a shop there.
This place sells fresh squeezed orange juice that they serve in soda fountain glass. There are no seats, you just drink it on the sidewalk and return the glass.
They also have atol of the day, dobladas, Guatemalan tacos, chille rellenos, tostadas, chicken salad sandwiches and ice cream. Fresh tortillas are always on the griddle.
I got one of all the snacks and it set me back 16 quetzales (about $2). The expensive item was probably the sandwich. The standard price for thiese is 5 quetzales, (about 55 cents).
The sandwich was good. These are on soft rolls like Mexican bollas. There's a smear of chicken salad and a lettuce leaf. Carpintera had one of the better versions I've tried, very fresh-tasting.
All the other snacks were tasty if a little oily... but in a good way. I think they use corn oil. The snacks are put in the bag with at dab of cooked cabbage and hot sauce, if you like. The tostada had a smear of guacamole toppped with the cabbage.
The chille relleno was better than usual and surpisingly hot. There was a ground meat filling.
I found this place better than the street vendors or Central Market food stalls.
If you are walking the streets of Guatemala and see one of the places, give them a try.Of course, use common sense. If the food is tired-looking or something doesn't look right, keep walking. Carpinteria was very clean, the food looked good and it was covered with plastic to keep away any curious fly. A vase of beautiful garden roses was in the corner.
At worst, it is a wasted dollar, at best, a tasty, authentic, inexpensive snack.