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Restaurants getting expensive
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Fretless
Super Senior River Rat


Joined: 15 Nov 2009
Posts: 1057

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While nothing like the Real Deal, there is a 'Chinese' restaurant in a hotel (Can't remember the name) that serves an adequate approximation of Chop Suey/Chow Mein, Taco Chino (eggrolls), Fried Rice, WonTon's, etc.. It's located about halfway between Bruno's & Vista Rio on the opposite side of the bridge . Kinda pricy but huge portions (share with others or take half home to eat later).

Make sure you specify 'sin sal' (no salt) when you order though. They can be a bit heavy handed to my taste.
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tanny
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Fretless - I've eaten there too. I agree completely with your review, but I was looking more for recommendations for local fare in some of the restaurants in town. I've tried a few, but if you have a favourite I'd like to try something new...
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Scoop
Floundering Founder


Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3750
Location: On board m/v Steel Magnolia, Rio Dulce

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inshallamiami wrote:

Quote:
Scoop...what restaurants do you recommend, besides, um, Vegas?


Wow, you trying to get me in trouble or what?

Well, since I'm not associated with a particular restaurant anymore, let me suggest the tapado and caldo de mariscos at Linda Vista Restaurante (at Bahia Bacadilla -- near Boom Boom Room -- nothing to do with the now closed Vista Rio), the chicken burrito at Rositas as well as her other selections (she has gotten a bit pricey, preferring the affluent Guatemalans over the nickel and dime gringos -- imagine that!) but great food, the roballo a ajo and camarones at Don Julio's Las Brisas Hotel y Restaurante next to Finca Paraiso, many many good menu items at Denny's Beach -- and, as mentioned above, Las Mexicanas/Kangaroo always have great meals, I've been happy with breakfasts and lunches at the RAM Marina convenience story, have had some good meals at Costa Libre restaurante in town as well as Jocelyn's, MAR Marine has many tasty specials, same with Bruno's, Tijax and Catamaran. Vinas del Lago in San Felipe and Sundog, of course, is unsurpassed for great sandwiches and soups. I'm sure I've missed quite a few -- including the street food vendors (some of whom serve some pretty good fast food meals).
Have had good meals at Rio Bravo, Posada del Rio, Ranchon Mary's, and even that little place next to Tienda Ingrids.
And, no, I don't recommend Las Vegas Bar for a great culinary experience -- however, you might get some other interesting experiences there!
I'm not a particular foodie like Fretless (he's also a great chef, so that goes without saying) and I'll eat stuff that would get him quivering and shivering. And I'm not a quetzale-pincher and rarely complain about anything other than indifferent service.
And, a note for tanny: it's very rare for any employee at restaurants on the Rio (or in many other locations in Guatemala) to receive Q100 per day. Most are fortunate to receive Q72 per 8 hour shift but hopefully work for a business that provides all required benefits (it's amazing how many businesses here don't). Sad, but true.
Everyone has different tastes and preferences so it's best just to get out, wander around and explore. That's the fun of it.
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elpolvo
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Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 3959
Location: rio grande y rio dulce

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here are a few more that are as good (mas o menos) as any of the others mentioned so far (except my favorites Sundog and Las Mexicanas).

ON THE WATER
Backpackers - they usually employ a chef trained in a culinary school and often serve gourmet offerings on special occasions.
Tortugal
Hotel Vinas del Lago (San Felipe)
Mansion del Rio Hotel (San Felipe)
Tijax
Catamaran
Casa Perico
Marios

ON THE STREET
Hotel Escondida (i can't reveal the location - it's hidden)
Pollo Express (several street locations in fronteras)
Que Deli (fast food burgers, sandwiches and fries)
Jocelyn's has about three locations but I haven't seen anything served there that made me want to order it... except for bottled cervezas.
Some of the street carts that set up by the Bus stations after dark have some pretty good fare... especially if you're inebriated.

and...

anywhere Texan Mike is serving his Tex-Mex and chicken fried steaks.

if you're lucky enough to get an invitation to a cruiser's pot-luck on Thanksgiving or Christmas at one of the marinas
you'll be treated to some of the best home-cooked food on the Rio Dulce, and the Chili cookoff on March 2nd is always good. (Location varies)

ps- i don't disagree with anything posted here so far about the food and service on the Rio Dulce.

-elpolvo
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Scoop
Floundering Founder


Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 3750
Location: On board m/v Steel Magnolia, Rio Dulce

PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for jumping in here, elpolvo. I knew I'd forget a few.

But, alas, Que Deli closed its doors. Don't know why since it seemed pretty busy most of the time. That just leaves us with 10 or 12 fried chicken places, not including the ladies who cook amidst the diesel fumes and passing cattle trucks. That's where you get your favorite dried up flattened tilapia. Yes, I'll bring you one in a dirty sock when I head to the states. Wink
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Captain John
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Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 2132
Location: Captain John's Rio Dulce Marina

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do people come to Guatemala and expect US American (Gringo) food?

This is Guatemala, the people here are very good at preparing traditional Guatemalan cuisine, they are not always good at preparing cuisine of other countries. Try eating at the local restaurants that cater to the local community and you will find some very good and tasty food. If you don't like the food that Guatemalans eat then maybe you shouldn't be in Guatemala.

When I am in another country or even another city / town I have always looked for the restaurant that the locals consider the best. I will ask a taxi driver, take me to the restaurant that he would take his family to and I have always had some of the best meals imaginable. Last week I was in Mexico and I did just exactly that and the experiences were outstanding.

On the subject of cost, I have to agree with Scoop. It costs money to build and maintain a restaurant. Equipment costs money and it breaks and has to be repaired. It costs money to pay employees and electricity to keep the beer cold. You cannot expect someone to serve you a cold beer and you not pay for the cost of that convenience and the ambiance that the restaurant has provided for you. If you want to drink warm beer under a tree then go buy it at the Despensa and go sit under a tree. If you want a table or bar to sit at with friends and community then expect to pay for that. I like some others who have responded here are tired of hearing people complain about how much it cost for someone to kiss your ass.
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tanny
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be some confusion about my comment about beer prices. i didn't ever suggest that restaurants should charge the same price for beer as Dispensa. The issue was RELATIVE costs ie. selling price compared to operation costs including what they pay their staff. Here, restaurant staff receive less than $10 US a DAY! Yes, there are other costs involved - people aren't stupid - we realize this! The beer is away over-priced at 5 times retail given operation costs, and that was my point. Imagine paying $8-10 a beer in a crappy restaurant in the US! Yes, those of us who complain could move somewhere else (brilliant observation!) - My suggestion is that if you don't want to hear complaints don't come to social media!
I do thank those who have posted good info about local restaurants - thanks for taking the time. I'll be trying out a few soon.
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encor
Superb Senora Rio Cronista


Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 3243
Location: Cognito

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

capt john sez Despensa

tanny sez Dispensa


very different words, check your diccionario. or even pay attention to how it is properly spelled on the storefront, as well as on their plastic bags.
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Last edited by encor on Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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dennysbeach
Senior Lake Rat


Joined: 22 Oct 2009
Posts: 374
Location: lake isabal

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is that there is very little extra money floating around Guatemala these days. My sales volume has gone way down since 2006 and it is not possible to lower prices due to this. To remain open for business I had to raise my room rates and food and drink prices as my hotel is basically for Guatemalans now and they seldom visit during the week.
We basically sell Brahva and Ice to the few gringos that come to visit. The Guatemalans are still hooked on their Gallo and happily pay 2 bucks a bottle.
Brahva was introduced as the competition's answer to Gallo but due to the difference in taste it never really took off and now a case of Gallo costs almost twice as much. Dorada Ice was introduced to compete with the now much cheaper Brahva, both of which I almost never sell to a Chapin.
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Captain John
Super Windy Senior


Joined: 06 Feb 2007
Posts: 2132
Location: Captain John's Rio Dulce Marina

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

encor wrote:
capt john sez Despensa

tany sez Dispensa


very different words, check your diccionario. or even pay attention to how it is properly spelled on the storefront, as well as on their plastic bags.


In Spanish (and since the store is in Guatemala it would be Spanish) Despensa means 'Pantry" and Dispensa means "Waiver". Since I pulled the spelling out of the air and I seldom go there it would be difficult to say what is on the sign but I would assume Despensa would be closer to correct Razz
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tanny
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

encor,

That's 'Tanny' to you (not tany).
Completely different word! ...pay attention! LOL!
Sorry about the typo. Schitte hapns.
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encor
Superb Senora Rio Cronista


Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 3243
Location: Cognito

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and that's a fact
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tanny
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="dennysbeach"]The problem is that there is very little extra money floating around Guatemala these days. My sales volume has gone way down since 2006 and it is not possible to lower prices due to this. To remain open for business I had to raise my room rates and food and drink prices as my hotel is basically for Guatemalans now and they seldom visit during the week.[/quote]
Basic economics seems to suggest you're doing the exact opposite of what you need to do to attract new customers. If money is scarce, what is to be gained by raising your prices?
Perhaps you should lower your prices not increase them? Just common sense, really.
Promote your hotel. Promote your restaurant. Get involved with the boating community - organize a regatta, announce lunch specials on the Cruiser's Net...We never hear diddly about Denny's Beach. Hard to support a place that you never hear anything about...
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inshallamiami
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Sep 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Rio Dulce

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would love to know WHY Sundog and Kangaroo's restaurant can provide a nice meal and others cant? They are friendly (no overt stink eye and even smile on occasion) their prices are reasonable, and they are clean. the last item is a biggy.

I enjoy ALL cuisines, and prefer small local restaurants, and they don't have to be cheap, but many of the food places here ARE pretty awful.
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tanny
Senior River Rat


Joined: 29 Jan 2013
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

inshallamiami wrote:
I would love to know WHY Sundog and Kangaroo's restaurant can provide a nice meal and others cant?


Perhaps less staff turn-over?
I know many other places find ways of firing kitchen staff before they've been working long enough to qualify for benefits...
Hard to maintain consistency when you're constantly re-training new staff...
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