Eating at Antigua Cocina Guatemalteca is a delightful, surprising, and refreshing. Every single time. The food is familiar and comforting but provides a unique flavor profile. This has been my favorite Nashville restaurant experience so far…and one of the rare places where I’ve had repeated visits since I’ve moved here.
Please note: this isn’t Mexican food. It’s Guatemalan. If you haven’t had dishes from this amazing Central American region, it is primarily rooted in a fusion of Spanish and Mayan foods, and features corn, beans, and plantains. There are certainly many similarities between this and other dishes from Mexico or South America (they have their own spin on soups like caldo de res as well as tacos, enchiladas, and tamales) – and this is one of the reasons why eating it is such a pleasure.
You might think to yourself, “I know what an enchilada is.” Not until you’ve had the enchiladas guatemaltecas ($4.25), a beautiful dish of beets, lettuce, beans, and roasted meat with an egg on top. Just one is plenty, filling, and amazing. Their tacos ($2.25 each) are served rolled styled, with shredded meat and cheese and have a nice crunch, yet unique soft center. The chile rellenos plate ($10.99, but also available as a side for less), features corncakes of shredded meat and vegetables, cooked with a layer of egg. It’s light and has a delicious cheese sauce on top.
Their signature plate dishes (A La Parrila/Grilled Meats) provide generous portions and most of them include rice, refried/spiced black beans that are extremely addicting, a house salad, homemade corn tortillas, and friend plantains. Two options that really stand out are the Costillas Asadas ($14.99), which are grilled short ribs sliced in a thin Korean style – they’re tender and come with a variety of salsas to flavor with – and the Churrasco ($14.99), a large, flat and tenderized steak that is served with the same sides.
The service is very friendly and the food is exceptional. Highly recommended!