If you’re like Mrs. Yolkobsen, you’re a bit or a lot of a snob about going to McDonald’s or any American fast food chain while on holiday or when you’re at home for that matter. My sister dragged me to the Antigua Guatemala McDonald’s and I was glad she insisted.
Here you have pretty much the same menu, but with better coffee than what you get at your hometown franchises and there are options for spicier condiments to suit local tastes. But the big difference is how pretty this McDonald’s is.
Antigua Guatemala has one of the most temperate climates you will find anywhere as long as you are not visiting in the raining season (usually June through September). Most days you can count on daytime temperatures around the mid 70s F. So most of the action at this franchise takes place outside in a courtyard garden and not in one of those glassed in compounds which distinguish (or not, depending on your point of view) the McDonald’s North American cousin outlets.
Located downtown at 4 Calle Poniente, this franchise takes the best traditions of fast food institutions and mixes them with a vital Antigua Guatemala tradition, the courtyard garden. When you walk through the old Spanish colonial town, your eyes will naturally be drawn to the inside views of the courtyard gardens. This is often the case during the day when the massive gates of colonial homes are left open far enough for a visitor to get a quick look at the lush and lovingly tended “jardins.” You’re treated to them in glimpses, which makes it all the more delightful. If you are brazen enough to stick your head in and take a really good look, most people inside are happy let you appreciate their garden full-on. Many local hotels maintain a courtyard garden so if you are staying in Antigua Guatemala it is hard to miss seeing a lot of these small verdant wonders.
So, back to McDonald’s. Here you find a garden with draping orchids, lilies, baby’s breath and hanging baskets heavy with vining flowers of all descriptions. And, set in a place where it can be most admired, is a statue of Ronald McDonald in a stately pose. That way you won’t be confused about where you are.
“Hola. Bienvenido a McDonald’s. ?Le puedo tomar su orden?”