Don’t Sleep ‘Til (Restaurante) Brooklyn

By Steve Mullaney

I’m always a sucker for restaurants that are named after places in the U.S. Hailing from Minneapolis, I once leapt out of a bus leaving San Francisco El Alto to sample the fare at Café Minneapolis. (Surprisingly good, by the way.)

And, I imagine that we’ve all noticed and puzzled over “Café El Paso Texas” on the way to Fuentes Georginas. You’d think that 15 minutes in El Paso would have inspired a restaurant named “Café I Hate El Paso Texas And Wouldn’t Mind Being Shot There If That Meant Being Taken To A Hospital In Another Town”. In fact, that is probably the name of the café in question, it’s just that it wouldn’t fit onto the Orange Crush sign.

With that in mind, I wandered into Restaurant Brooklyn, found halfway between 15 Avenida between Rodolfo Robles and 2nd Calle. Restaurant Brooklyn is clean, well-lit and attractive—boasting tasteful decorations from the owner’s time in, well, Brooklyn. The menu boasts standard Guatemalan fare and snack-type food. The milanesa is a personal favorite, and the hamburgers will knock out hunger in a pinch.

If you are going out for a “nice meal” (and this is a “nice-ish place”, btw) you should expect to pay between Q40-50 depending on the order. Service is responsive and you will be satisfied. In general, however, Brooklyn closes around 8 PM—presumably to avoid the bulla that comes from the Zona Viva establishments that are nearby. The lunch specials, while slightly more expensive than your typical comedor, are also not to be missed. If you can spare Q5 your taste buds will be rewarded with hearty and plentiful offerings. Typically you can choose between five or six different options.

Speaking of Zona Viva, Restaurant Brooklyn is a cheap enough place to, uh, prepare for your own noche de viva. While some of the prices for alcohol seem to be chosen by throwing darts at the wall (tequila, for instance is more expensive here than any other place I’ve been to in Xela) there are the cheapest bottles of Ron XL and the like in any place where you will be eating out. Generally, in Guatemala, each bottle of alcohol that you purchase will be accompanied by a bucket of ice and couple of aguas (be sure to specify if you want Coke, 7-Up or Mineral Water)—don’t go overboard, Brooklyn’s not that kind of place, but it’s a good way to start your evening.

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