Boca de Tomatlan, Mexico
January 22, 2005
The menu was surprisingly varied, offering regional specialties, appetizers, soup, salad, sandwiches, and burgers. There were many main courses to choose from, including carne asada (grilled beef) served with guacamole, fries, salsa, and tortillas for Q15, a tofu burger with fries for Q15, chicken chao mein also for Q15, Chicken fricassee for Q20, and many more reasonably priced options.
Waiting for the waitress to return or the bartender to surface, we had a chance to take a good look at the place. The funk kind of grew on us. What had looked ratty now seemed homey, what had looked dirty was now full of character. The building had very few walls but instead had slightly tattered shades made of locally woven cloth. The same cloth, in all different hues, was also covering the ceiling and the tables. Clear plastic instead of material substituted for windows and let in a small amount of light. Plastic chairs of different colors were haphazardly scattered around the tables and bamboo lamps and curtains, and a few sickly plants, gave the place a tropical feel. Off to one side were two very dark areas partitioned off by hanging carpets. Something sinister, maybe? No, just people drinking and watching soccer.
Finally the waitress appeared, and we ordered. She eventually came back with our drinks, and about a half hour later, with our meals. I had ordered the plato chapin for Q13 and Libby the carne asada for Q15. They were almost identical. Mine came with carne asada, rice, fries, salsa, tortillas, and a drink. Libby’s was the same but with guacamole instead of rice. The food was surprisingly good; the beef was tender; the fries were crispy; and the salsa was incredibly fresh, as was the guacamole. Only the rice was a little boring, but even that wasn’t bad. The portions were of an average size, much more than we had expected.
We asked for the bill. Once again, the waiting game began. Then we waited for the change. Good food, great prices, lousy service, but all things considered, if I were on a tight budget, I would probably eat at Restaurant Cayuco again.
From journal The Gringa Who Ate Panajachel