A Night at La Pradera
by Steve Mullaney
Do you miss strip malls, chain restaurants and depressing casinos? Don’t worry, much like massacres of indigenous people and the Jonas Brothers, these are things that follow the bright light of American Capitalism™ anywhere it goes. If you’re looking for a different way to spend a night on the town, check out what you can do at the hotspot waiting to be discovered: La Pradera.
First, take a bus to Hiper. Are you hungry right away? Excellent! Pull a measly Q5 out of your pocket and grab yourself a slice of Canadian Bacon pizza from That Guy Selling Pizza Outside of Pollo Campero. At Q5/slice or Q10/2 slices plus a soda this is the best roadside snack for your buck. And, because it’s managed by Telepizza you are 45% less likely to get amoebas.
Grab your wallet and head to the Most Depressing Casino known to Guatemala, located above the Pizza Hut. Drinks (Fanta, Coke, etc.) are comped for the high rollers and it is probably the most economical blackjack you’ll ever play in your life. Just make sure to avoid your XelaWho’s mistake and don’t put all your money on red at the electronic roulette machine.
A chain restaurant we can all get behind? Go with Tacontento, which is comfortable, clean, and has an incredible dinner offer if you’re out with friends (or just really hungry) Q195 for a platter of tacos that is taller than you are. While the drinks are overpriced, the food is excellent (the dessert chimichanga is to die for) and this is a pretty pleasant place to have a meal.
If you are looking for cheap drinks then check out the alcohol aisle at Hiper Pais. You can totally buy a nice bottle of Ron Botran for around Q30-40 depending on sales, and a double liter of Coke for around Q12. Then, go and make cuba libres directly in your mouth in the parking lot. Or, if you have a touch of class, you can buy cups from Hiper as well. If you have a big coat you can even sneak your booze into the movie theater which has a 2-for-1 special on Wednesday nights.
End the evening by drunkenly collapsing into a cab and mumbling gibberish at the driver. You’ll probably be able to save Q5-10 by walking left out of Hiper and up the hill where the mechanical parking gate is. The taxis on the other side are usually a bit cheaper than the so-called authorized ones right outside.