105 miles to Guatemala

While our car’s tripmeter registered only 105 miles, we felt nearly a continent away as we noshed at Cafe Antigua in Oklahoma City. 

This Guatemalan restaurant in the Gatewood area of Oklahoma City might be better known for its Antiguan-grown coffee and breakfast dishes, but we settled on some dynamite lunch specials. I ordered the chile rellenos and chicken tamale while my husband chose beef picadillo flautas.

 

My dish came with what tasted like basmati rice sprinkled with cilantro, an iceberg-diced tomato salad and warm corn tortillas. The green sauce served on the side packed some serious heat with a hint of sweet spice - perfect for adding some zip to the dish, which stood just fine on its own.

What looked a bit like muddy water crystalized into a fresh and flavorful black bean soup with hints of refreshing cilantro. It was a nice start to the increasingly complex tastes that followed. A fresh tomato-puree sauce topped the poblano pepper stuffed with meat. I

expected to find white chunks of chicken in my tamale, but the red pepper slices and a green olive were pleasant surprises beneath the masa. A long line at a favorite hamburger joint, Nic’s Grill, led us to new territory at Cafe Antigua. With a full stomach and now plenty pumped up on Guatemalan coffee, our trip south of the border was a culinary adventure well worth the trip.   

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