Panajachel Journals

The Gringa Who Ate Panajachel

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A December 2003 trip to Panajachel by Andariega

Orale Steak House Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala More Photos
Quote: On our road trip through Guatemala, we stopped for a few days in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. The scenery was incredible; the food was not. Fortunately, we did find a couple of good restaurants. Unfortunately, it took quite a few tries.

Orale Steak House

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Restaurant

Orale Steak House Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Quote:
We had just arrived in Pana. I was driving along Calle Santander, doing the tourist gawk, when all of a sudden I had to brake and swerve to miss a dancing Santa Claus. Well, we were parked, and right in front of a steakhouse, so we might as well get a bite to eat. The waiter, already outside and glaring at the tourists who tried to kill Santa, took us in and seated us. We opened the menu, and even though we both speak Spanish, we had no clue what half the items were. We called over our grumpy waiter, who grudgingly gave us descriptions of said items. We still didn’t completely understand but thought it best to take our chances with the food instead of with the waiter. The menu is long ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Orale Steak House
Calle Santander s/n
Panajachel, Guatemala
762-0017

Restaurant El Cayuco

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Restaurant

Restaurant El Cayuco Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Quote:
The end of our vacation was approaching and money was getting tight. We wandered past this small restaurant. It looked a little funky, but it smelled good and the prices were reasonable. Sitting at a corner table, we had a view of the whole dimly lit place. There were very few customers that weren’t eating. Was this a sign? A rather unfriendly waitress dumped the large handwritten menus on our table and left before we had a chance to order drinks. The bartender was too engrossed with the soccer match on his tiny TV to pay us any mind. The menu was surprisingly varied, offering regional specialties, appetizers, soup, salad, sandwiches, and burgers. There were many main courses to choose from, i...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Restaurant El Cayuco
Calle Santander s/n
Panajachel, Guatemala

Restaurante Al Chisme

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Restaurant

Restaurante Al Chisme Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Quote:
After a half a dozen meals on Calle Santander, we decided to venture into another part of town. In our wanderings, we stumbled upon Al Chisme. We had read a good review about the place and thought we would try it. Before entering, we read the various signs posted outside. The special of the day was Chicken a la King served with queso fundido (melted cheese), peas, and rice for Q25. On weekends, there is live jazz, when a liter of beer, chips, and guacamole cost Q25. There was a showing of Harald Proch’s photos, mostly portraits of the local indigenous, in the restaurant. We then entered and were immediately seated on the porch, with a view of the street. The breakfast menu is surprising...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Restaurante Al Chisme
Avenida de los Arboles
Panajachel, Guatemala
762-2063

La Cueva del Oso

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Restaurant

La Cueva del Oso Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Quote:
This is the closest restaurant to the Hotel Monterrey, where we were staying. We went past it every day and never thought of eating there. The last night of our visit, trying to stuff two tons of stuff into three little bags, we grew frustrated and hungry. We had to return quickly and resume fighting with our luggage, so off to La Cueva del Oso (Bear’s Cave) we went. We went in and were surprised. It was charming. How had we not noticed? Upon entering, what used to be a driveway is now a dining area. It is surrounded by lush, flowering vegetation. The tables, covered in blue-and-white checkered tablecloths and each with an umbrella, have candles on them. The accent lighting is perfect, dim enou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

La Cueva del Oso
Calle Monterrey s/n
Panajachel, Guatemala

Mana’s Coffee and Bagel Shop

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Restaurant

Mana’s Coffee and Bagel Shop Photo, Panajachel, Guatemala
Quote:
On our way out of town, before heading to the coast, we decided to eat. We wanted something fast and simple. Mana’s Coffee and Bagel Shop was the perfect place. It is located in a tiny shopping center on the main tourist street. There were virtually no locales open other than the restaurant, but across the street were a few stores for our last-minute souvenir shopping. The kitchen is inside the building, but all the seating is outside in the courtyard, surrounded by cement planters. The plants are young now, but when they mature, I think it will be quite beautiful. The tables, a few with umbrellas, are set up around a tree. The yellow-and-green tablecloths match the umbrellas. The dining area an...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 22, 2005

Mana’s Coffee and Bagel Shop
Calle Santander s/n
Panajachel, Guatemala