La Iguana Perdida likes Wine & Cheese
October 13, 2014
La Iguana Perdida’s Dive Instructor celebrated his 29th birthday last month and so we headed for a boozy lunch in San Juan La Laguna. We were all feeling slightly worse for wear from the party the night before, which wasn’t made any better by the rough and choppy afternoon waters of the lake as we cruised from Santa Cruz across on the 30 minute trip. Relieved to disembark the lancha we shook off our hangovers and jumped into a tuk tuk to make the 5 minute journey up the hill to reach the new location of El Artesano.
This little place used to be right on the lake front, but the ever rising water levels have meant that they have had to relocate to somewhere further away from the shore. In our opinion the new location is far superior and they have done a great job of making you believe they have been there for years! The whole place (albeit tiny) is decorated with antiques and as you are seated in and amongst the fruit trees and various artifacts that hang on the walls you can actually believe you are in an artisan restaurant in old Paris.
The owner and cheese connoisseur greeted us like we were old friends and as we sat and perused the menu, he gracefully tended to the other customers who where dining there. With only three or four tables it makes for a very intimate setting. Having chosen our wine and opted for the famous cheese platter accompanies by a few side dishes we sat back and relaxed. When the cheese plate arrived we all gasped at the beauty of the presentation. It looked like a painting, with a dozen or more different types of cheese interspersed with various nuts, jellies and pickles, things we never imagined possible finding in Guatemala.
He talked us through the cheese journey which went from the mildest to the strongest and as soon as the heaped baskets of soft homemade bread arrived we all delved in! The side dishes didn’t disappoint either, with marinated sardines and honey glazed roasted vegetable to name a few. The quality of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar was noticeable to our, now more sensitive palates having lived in Guatemala for anywhere between 7 months and 17 years and we all mmmmm and ahhhhhh’ed over several more carafes of Cabernet Sauvignon as the last of any grogginess from the previous nights party dissipated. Despite the variety and quality of both the food and the wine, the most remarkable thing about this place was the price tag, which we all agreed was a good enough reason to make this a monthly if not a fortnightly event for us! And so with satisfied appetites and feeling very happy indeed we tuk tuk’ed onto the next town San Pedro for dessert and coffee! A very Happy Birthday too!!