Review by Julia, Food Critic
8 September 2016
San Pedro — You might not guess that one of the quickest and least expensive breakfasts in town could also be one of the best tasting, but in this case it really is. That, along with the restaurant’s cozy charm and perfect location for people watching, warrants a rating of five gold stars.
You’ll find Lole’s Place by heading up about 25 meters from the public dock and taking your first left at the main crossroads. From there the restaurant is a short 2-minute walk located adjacent to the health food store. Actually, it would be quite hard to miss with the 7-foot tall menu outside that aptly reads “Lole’s Place.”
The restaurant is small and busy but with high turnover, so you should be able to get seated fairly quickly. The owner, a cheerful man who speaks excellent English, greeted me with menu in hand, immediately followed by his lovely wife, Wendy, who was ready to take my order.
The menus were in both English and Spanish and offered just about anything you can imagine for breakfast, ranging from eggs, sausage, pancakes, fruit crapes, smoothies to fried plantain. I was amazed to see several complete meals costing just 20Q. Also, don’t forget to look at the back page under the “Extras” because that’s where I found the homemade hash browns.
I decided on the veggie omelet (20Q), a side of bacon (12Q), orange juice (6Q), a hash brown (5Q) and coffee (8Q). I asked if the orange juice was “natural” before I ordered it because many local restaurants serve Tampico, a horrible orange-colored sugar water liquid, instead of freshly squeezed oranges. This I don’t understand because surely this disaster drink can’t be any cheaper than buying oranges directly from the market?
While waiting for my food I noticed that the open storefront made the place feel much larger and could see why the location was so popular: I had a front row seat in which to watch the fascinating goings-on of an ordinary Saturday in San Pedro. Many people like Lole’s because it’s a great spot to relax at 6:30 AM before all the busyness completely takes over the town’s main street, but It’s that busyness that I love.
Although there were three full tables in the restaurant I was served within 10 minutes and everything smelled and looked wonderful. My veggie omelet was filled with grilled zucchini, carrots, onions, red and green peppers, and plenty of gooey mozzarella cheese. The best thing about it was that the onions and peppers were caramelized from being cooked beyond al dente, which is a really nice change from finding raw onions and chunks of carrots in my eggs (yes, this happens). The bacon was done medium well, neither under cooked and fatty nor burned and tasteless. Moreover, I was really surprised to get six slices for only 12Q. The side cup of papaya, banana and strawberries was fresh and delicious and the coffee was actually pretty good.
The bread was a nice whole grain but I was disappointed that the “mantequilla” was actually what I’ve come to call Guatemala’s “mystery margarine” something that doesn’t even resemble a dairy product. But, hey, I’m not about to complain because Land O’ Lakes wasn’t included in my 20Q breakfast. Besides, the homemade strawberry jam with cinnamon more than made up for the artificial fat that nobody should be eating anyway.
Because I’m always on the lookout for the perfect breakfast burrito, I ordered the Big Burrito Omelet to go (38Q), which was a mix of veggies, mushrooms, chicken, and mozzarella all wrapped in a large flour tortilla. Walking around on the market I could smell the burrito in my backpack, and even though I wasn’t hungry it made me look forward to lunch time. It turned out to be quite a tasty mid afternoon snack, but not as good as the vegetarian one from IL Giardino in San Marcos (a concoction of yumminess wrapped in a grilled tortilla).
Until next time…Bon Appétit!
*Stars Ratings* Ratings range from one to five stars. One star is poor – don’t waste your time or money. Two stars is fair or satisfactory – only eat here if they’re no other choices. Three stars is a good place with some issues. Four stars is quite good – definitely worth a visit. Five stars is excellent – there’s no doubt that you’ll have a great dining experience.
I’ve eaten here a few times. They open early, like at 7am, the food is excellent, coffee hot, and the ladies personable. And oh, the price is right. No Q50 Huevos Rancheros like some of the other tourist places. Q20-Q25 for a good hearty B’fast. Just down from the dock where the boats come.
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