Peel off the skinny jeans and put the craft brews down. Homemade Guatemalan food, soda with real sugar (!), and Styrofoam plates await.
Situated on the west end of 16th – closer to the Lyric, but removed from the other establishments in the Plaza – is Antojitos Guatemaltecos. It’s everything you could want from an authentic hole-in-the-wall: a small but hard-hitting menu, huge portions for low prices, and food fresh from the stove. The friendly women behind the counter make fresh corn tortillas all day, and they’ll give you some recommendations. Trust them: they know what’s good.
Antojitos operates a bit like a speakeasy: everything is in code – that is, if you’re not familiar with Spanish – and you enter through a semi-obscure door (not the same entrance for the tienda). Then, when you get inside, there’s a system:
- Start off with a drink from the cooler. The cooks make horchata and fresh fruit juice daily, so make sure and get something adventurous.
- Then walk to the other side of the place to order at the steam table, where all the food is displayed. Tell the staff what you want – there’s no physical menu – and your food will come with Central American-style rice and black beans.
- Use the bottle opener at the steam table.
- Sit down wherever you want, and enjoy your food – there’s a lot of it! The staff will bring you warm corn tortillas.
- Y por el amor de dios, no intente hablar espanol. Unless you’re fluent, you’ll be embarazada (jajajajajajaja).
- Pay at the counter when you finish. Expect to cough up less than $10 for a huge meal and a drink.
This place is for diners wary of raw denim-clad crowds.
It’s about as local as you can get.
And it’s consistently, amazingly delicious.
In the run up to #confluencecon on Saturday, Oct. 26th, I’ll be profiling all of the potential Plaza District eateries where we might go after the conference. You can find my poll and a list of all of the restaurants/bars I’ve profiled so far here.