I am just back from grazing. Except on Sundays, three meals a day are included with my immersion Spanish homestay. So today, on my first full day here, and a Sunday, I did get a bit hungry before I was finally ready to wander out to find food. Just down the hill from here yesterday, I had seen a ceviche stand set up by a nearby park. Today I had the chance to try it.
I’ve had ceviche home prepared many times, but it was nothing – nothing – compared to this! Simply fantastic, subtle and perfect spicing. I had taken the option of mixto with both prawns and fish. I asked whether this was just a weekend thing, but no, they are here at lunchtime daily. Fairly expensive, but easy to see why. Totally, simply totally, worth it.
In other food exploration today, I’d have had a local ice cream, but the vendor disappeared into the crowd and I got distracted so didn’t bother to follow. Funny how the ice cream cart vendors always and everywhere announce themselves by ringing a bell as they roll along.
The favorite quick snack here is a tostado spread with avocado with a little cheese, parsley, onion and tomato sauce. I had two – one on my way farther into town and one on my way home.
And then I just have to tell you about Pollo Campero. This Guatemalan chain is literally everywhere in this country and is slowly spreading to other locations as well. It is a fantastic success – Guatemala’s answer to KFC, but the chicken is reputedly less greasy and a bit more spicy. KFC, you’d better be watching your back!
I needed a little something to bring back with me to my room. I had located the restaurant most highly recommended in town for really good Guatemalan food but didn’t have enough appetite to justify it tonight. So I stopped in at Pollo Campero to pick up something light, and ended up with a chicken sandwich.
Well, it was a big sandwich with a slab of breast filet, and it is nearly gone now. I was too full to finish it. I absolutely can see why Guatemalans who fly to the states leave with their carry-on luggage full of this chicken, stinking up planes, and making anyone else who has tried it hunger crazed. The stuff tastes amazing. Really.
After this ceviche and the Pollo Campero, I have a whole new respect for the Guatemalan palate. I am also in one of those states where I feel so full I naively imagine I will never want to eat again.
Food goes to the back burner tomorrow. What ever my homestay family prepares I will eat. Tomorrow I get down to work to reactivate my very dormant Spanish.