It’s lunchtime! So the food series continues!
What do you do in Antigua besides eat, Ashley?
Take pictures of my surroundings
Contemplate my purchases
Feel guilty about my duffel bag of purchases
Whip out my calculator to crunch numbers and decide if I can survive for the next 5 days with the money I have left after bingeing on souvenirs
Be happy! I am really, really happy spending time alone!
I’m doing stuff－in my pouting child tone
Most of my time in Guatemala has been spent planning, working, taking on new work and reflecting. Antigua is my equivalent to a “real vacation”.
Plus I’m simple. I was telling the hard-working, always exhausted hun-bunz what my days consist of and he says that’s why he’s been with me for so long (because I’m predictable and it doesn’t take much). I shared this with my ma (translation: mom) and she saw a comparison to a dog. It was dead on. Think about it for a sec－I enjoy a good meal & walking/wandering around. That’s the life of the happiest pup if you ask me!
I sought out in search of an Asian Bowl restaurant but was unsuccessful.
On my search for this restaurant while bouncing down the narrow cobblestone streets of Antigua among other cheerful tourists; I noticed the bright and modern restaurant Pinche.
In American Spanish-slang, pinche is the “kitchen boy”. He is the worker who cleans up the chef’s mess, scrubs pots and carries things around. I’ve also heard it in a derogatory tone, thrown together with a slew of curse words to mean inferior and useless.
And to see it in Antigua, plastered on the front of a restaurant. Marketing and strategist genius if you ask me! An urban taco and margarita restaurant with the name of your abuela’s go-to expletive when you’re not around. I wished I was a child with my mom, walking past just so I could say, “Ma, can we go to Pinche?” or “Ma look, the pinche is open!”
That reminds me of the time my adorable little/big bro called my mother “estupido” while pouting in the backseat of the car as children. He was pissed because my mom wouldn’t let him take candy to school for breakfast (how unfair could she be). Just as quickly as she said “no” and gave him the eye that only my mother can deliver, “mi mama estupido” came out of his grinning lips. His delivery was epic. No hesitation, no doubt, pure confidence and adrenaline must’ve ran through his little body. Somehow thinking that she couldn’t figure out what the words meant, he put on his seat belt and got comfortable in his window seat as my sister and I stared at him. We knew in our souls that his understanding of life was about to change. Spanish immersion programs have black kids thinkin’ they’re geniuses boy! My brother didn’t learn too many other sentences after that stunt. He never had a passion for the language after that exchange.
The restaurant decor is extremely modern with maplewood-colored planks on the border of the bar, grey stones lining the floor, and white, shiny tiled walls and matching wood table fixtures. The style is comparable to Chipotle but in bright vibrant colors. The chairs were my favorite. Great accents to the clean, fresh design. The seats and backs were joined with thin, vibrantly colored, matte-finished twisted metal. Very eye-catching and highly noticeable against the bright white background of the walls. If you have ever been to Belair Cantina, this restaurant has the same quirky charm. Okay, so in conclusion I would say that Belair Cantina and Chipotle had a Latina baby. As I looked up, a unique feature was the open concept roofing at the center of the room. There is a large square space between the ceiling and supporting frame where you can see the clear blue sky and feel the cool breeze.
Spanglish quotes written in unique lettering in an array of brights, broke up the crisp walls adding even more flare.
The kitchen was open. As the chefs prepare your menu selection, you are able to stare them down if your heart so desires. Much like many of the other establishments I patronized, the music of choice was American Pop Hits 2016 with a few 2017 chart-toppers weaved throughout. 3 big screen TVs were in the large spacious room I chose to sit in and WWE was the main attraction on each. I must say that wrestling is NOT what it was when I was a child. It was so real, so raw, so fueled by emotion, so unpredictable, so sensational! Oh the joys of being an impressionable kiddo.
This was no hole-in-the-wall joint. This place easily seated about 100 comfortably.
While I sang along to Justin Bieber Sorry, I was automatically drawn to the soup section of the menu. I enjoy the savory flavor of a red tomato-based Guatemalan soup loaded with veggies, strips of tender chicken and ripe avocado.
They had exactly what I was craving.
The soup interestingly came in a crisp taco shell with condiments and sides galore!
Along with the sopa (soup) came
Matchstick tortilla chips
Pico de gallo
Since I was given enough goodies to make a separate meal, I decided to ball out and dump them all in the taco shelled bowl! As I was dumping everything, my mind drifted to images of a guy experiencing his first trip to the strip club and throwing all of his singles at the first woman who pranced by, in glee. I was in heaven!
I couldn’t go to a taco place called Pinche without getting a margarita!
This margarita. This (clap) Margarita (clap). THIS MARGARITA! DIS HERE MARGARIDA!
I ordered the Jalapeno Margarita.
I have made a similar concoction both for hun-bunz and for get-togethers. It’s always a hit! This thing is so tasty! If ever you are asked to bring food to a picnic, show up with this baby!
Nobody will be thinking about a slab or ribs,
your played out potato salad,
your under-cooked brats,
medium, supposed to be well done, thawed, freezer burned burgers
your box of 10 cent unfrozen,
your dry, salty “girl what’s this” macaroni and cheese,
your soggy mush-mush fruit salad,
the one veggie burger you bring for yourself wrapped in aluminum foil, then sealed in a recycled Ziploc bag that you’d already reused more than once
your “famous” taco salad with, SURPRISE, the nacho cheese Doritos and if you’re fancy the spicy nacho bag,
or that cheap bag of Lays!
As I took my first sip, I was “back down memory lane”
It was just as I had remembered but with a hint more of the jalapeno.
The lime, Jose Cuervo, cognac, jalapeno, cilantro, triple sec and agave nectar blending together like they were fetuses in the womb, taking photos for the ultrasound.
The best part-it’s frozen! I swear I slid down in my art-deco, red twisted metal, statement piece seat a tad bit as I enjoyed it!
The soup, it was tasty. With my hodge-podge of add-ins, it still was delightful. The tomato-based soup was smooth in consistency and the blend of the spices used with the few slithers of tender chicken was welcomed. Simple, familiar tastes are always warming and bring me many smiles and memories.
The chunks of everything I added were nice surprises and added welcomed textures and taste variation. I slowly enjoyed each spoonful and sporadically added bits of the crunchy shell as I enjoyed this warm blend. I am typically a minimalist when it comes to extras on food. I enjoy the taste of a dish as it stands alone but each addition added to the richness of this soup and every unique bite warmed my heart with memories of home, old and current friends and blends I put together in my own kitchen.
I ate and drank all that I had ordered and I probably sang a little louder with joy.
#TheBpumEats and reminisces