By Steve Mullaney
Is there restaurant life outside Zona Uno? Yes, definitely. If you’re willing to take a little hike or sit on a micro for five to ten minutes you could discover CAFÉ/BAR SAUGATUK’S.
Saugatuk’s at street level looks kinda funky. The place is essentially a wooden cabin built on top of a green house. Unfortunately, between the “Pizza 3 X 10” advertised in cardboard on the door and the old-school Canada Dry sign, Saugatuk’s also gives off the vibe that patrons regularly die of alcohol poisoning.
If you make the trip up the stairs, however, you will be rewarded with a pretty sweet bar. Saugatuk’s pops on the inside. The décor is casual yet trendy, and there are a lot of souvenirs from the owner’s time in Michigan (along with the obligatory posters for Gallo, Cabro and Brahva). If you’re looking to relax there’s a couple banks of futons, or if you’re looking to pound ‘em down there’s plentiful table seating. Either way, Saugatuk’s has an atmosphere that makes you want to turn your one hour outing into a three hour evening.
There’s also a sign in the bathroom altering customers that there’s a 50Q fine for puking. That’s worth the bus ride alone.
How’s the food? Think old-timey diner meets bar food meets Guatemalan kitchen. Definitely recommended are the burritos (20Q) which taste like lovin’. You get two big burritos packed full of ground beef. The chicken fajitas (20Q) are also recommended. “Pizza 3 X 10” is the best bargain at Saugatuk’s- it looks like the pizza you get at middle school and even comes in a cafeteria-style red basket. I, for one, enjoyed the middle school pizza so for me it was nice.
Drink specials are decent, but you need to hunt for something reasonably priced. Screwdrivers (desarmadores) are 14Q, but a shot of tequila is a ridiculous 17Q. Similarly, beer prices rotate a lot, so make sure to pay attention to the menu to find the liter that’s 5Q cheaper than the rest. The chocolate is delicious (7Q simple, 8Q con leche) and comes from the La Vienesa just down the road.
Getting there: Take a Terminal/Hiper/Hospital micro to Plaza Cianni (4 Calle & 24 Avenida). Walk down 24 Avenida one block to 5 calle. Saugatuk’s is on the left-hand side.