Wednesday October 16, 2013
Although I used to get really excited to go out to restaurants with Matt, the nice change of someone else making the food and usually much better than me, of all our time in the Rio our biggest eating out experiences have been grabbing a pizza from our own marina as part of their special on a Friday night where they play a movie on a big outdoor screen after serving dinner. I think that when we first got here we equated what would be Guatemalan food with the same bland and terrible food back in Honduras. Plus with the dinner club meeting every night where knowledgeable chefs prepared our meals for us, there was no reason to venture out. Our excuse after traveling through Peru and Colombia was we assumed that if the food here was closer to that cuisine, then we’ve already tried it.
There have been rumors ever since we arrived here in June though, that there was one restaurant not to be missed. It’s called Kangaroos, and they claim to have the best burger in the Rio. If you’ve followed along long enough now to know of our fast food weakness, you know that it usually revolves around a nice juicy burger. And all we had found so far in the Rio were chicken burgers or chicken patties. Those just weren’t going to cut it. A plan to check out this famous burger was hatched with Luki and Elmari shortly after they arrived back to the marina after their stateside travels, and after putting it off for a week we finally planned a night to go. I took this rare chance to go out as an opportunity for a semi-fancy cocktail hour and spent a portion of my afternoon making myself girly again by straightening my hair, ironing my clothes, and pulling out the llama skirt I had picked up in Peru. Before the sun could set on us and hide the entrance to the channel this restaurant was settled in, the four of us dropped into t/t Skebenga, three out of the four of us with roadies in our hand for the drive over.
We puttered through the glass calm channel and tied the dink up right in front of an outdoor eating area. The waitress motioned for us to take a seat wherever we felt like, and we quickly slid into one of the tables right on the water. Beers were ordered as we all perused the menu. I think it was an unspoken agreement before we went that all of us would get the burger, but then I opened the menu to see they had fish tacos. I love fish tacos, but never get to make them because, well, Matt hates fish. He’ll only eat it if it’s fried and covered in tartar sauce, or if he’s caught it himself. Even then he doesn’t really like it, he just likes the sport of spearing and is conscience enough to eat all his catches. The orders were placed, and I caved ordering the tacos while everyone else gave specifications on how they wanted their burger cooked.
While passing the time while our food was being prepared we all talked a little more about our travels since dinner club conversation usually revolves around boats and not much else. We told them all about our love for Peru with the exception of our slight loathing of Puno. They just laughed, having been the ones to warn us not to go there. They were lucky and had been able to experience Lake Titicaca from the Bolivian side without all the hassles of obtaining a Visa since they’re from South Africa. In return they shared their stories of the States, mentioning places I’d never been to but desperately want to visit. As they regaled the sights from the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, I was only able to interject knowing comments about Las Vegas. Each of us were happy that the others had enjoyed their time away from the marina and their boats, but we all agreed that living out of a suitcase is much harder than taking your home with you everywhere you go, even if it needs constant maintenance and repairs.
As we talked, our food was placed in front of us and we eyed the plates that sat in front of us. My three comrades had a heap of ground beef towering over their plates with extras like fried eggs and bacon hanging off. I stood by my fish tacos as they were placed in front of me since they looked delicious, drizzled in sauce and decorated with avocado slices. We all dove into our meals and that’s when I realized my mistake. Although my food looked heavenly, it had absolutely no flavor to it. It was completely bland. Looking at the others I tried to read their faces on how the best burger in the Rio tasted. The consensus was that it was just ok. Not terrible, but not anything special either. The night could have been a disappointment, but I think the fact that we were out enjoying each other’s company overruled any tasteless food we might be eating. The final verdict? I’ll take the dinner club over this any day. Same great company, but much better food.