After winding along the hairpin curves enroute from Guatemala City to Chichicastenango, you might need to stretch your legs or enjoy an extra cup of coffee. Ahead is a brightly-colored sign. Maybe this is a good place to stop. Here in the mountains, the morning air can be chilly. A hot cup of coffee definitely sounds good! As you walk up to the door, the smells of wood smoke and hot corn tortillas beckon to you. Once inside, rustic tables and chairs offer space for many travelers.
What would be good to order with a cup of coffee? Homemade pie – what could be better? Well, pay de papaya y piña! What about the cake with chocolate sauce? Mmmm. Decisions, decisions.
If you’ve traveled this way before, perhaps the story is giving it away. Do you know the name of this place?
¡Sí! ¡Muy bien! El Chichoy has welcomed travelers for decades. Nestled right by the road, it is the perfect stop for a meal or just a refreshment.
In the Guatemalan mountains where the Chichoy is located, Guatemala’s indigenous languages – totaling 22 – are still spoken. Although many of the people now also speak Spanish, some words are slightly different or are used differently. These people and their unique use of language were part of the inspiration behind Understanding the Guatemalan Patient. We hope they will be just as clearly understood by those who serve them as their completely bilingual neighbors.
A recent conversation with a fellow Guatemala lover brought back many memories of favorite Guatemalan meals. Ah, the spicy-sweet smells wafting from Doña Luisa’s in Antigua! It seems that few visitors can pass by without stopping in, perhaps for a slice of cinnamon raisin bread, a chocolate ice cream or a piece of the reportedly excellent carrot cake. Then there’s the American Hotel in Guatemala City with their coconut cream pie – Dr. Hammer’s favorite and the subject of legends!
However, when it comes down to it, Guatemala’s more traditional flavors are her best. Warm corn tortillas, frijoles (black beans), platanos fritos (fried plantains) with miel (honey) and queso fresco (Farmer’s cheese) make an amazing breakfast!
Feeling hungry? Same here! Maybe it’s time to cook up some Guatemalan deliciousness. Then there’s only one thing left to say, “¡Buen provecho!”
What about you? Do you have a favorite Guatemalan or Latin American food or meal memory? How about a favorite restaurant? We’d love to hear from you, so please drop us a comment in the box below!