The Cargo Room – Antigua Guatemala
First time visitors to The Cargo Room in Antigua Guatemala might mistake the restaurant for a jewelry store and keep on walking if the hunger for food is stronger than the thirst for personal adornment. Yolkobsens made that mistake once, but never again.
A recent splendid evening found us with friends in the restaurant designed with hints of sultan’s tent accessorized with spangled Guatemalan touches. The real star of the place is the owner, Lex Cargo himself. Jewelry designer, restaurateur and the host with the most, this is Senor Cargo.
We highly recommend The Cargo Room for it’s cocktails and light supper menu. Mrs. Y had an excellent margarita and the rest of our company indulged in various martinis, some dirty some not. All pronounced them A-1 as they swished them in martini glasses designed by Lex himself. Cocktail appetizers included a carrot, onion and cheese salad, which shone because of the simple ingredients and the tang of a very good balsamic vinegar. Also found among cocktail treats was a salute to the humble mushroom, which the Cargo kitchen had anointed to royalty in a wine reduction, and again, there was the chime of that good balsamic.
The Cargo Room dining menu is dominated by simple pastas and Mrs. Y was given a plate of spaghetti served in the embrace of a very good pesto. Here the real basil was allowed to speak volumes and not drowned out, like so many inferior attempts in other restaurants, with the clang of sourness from over-processed or store-bought sauce. It’s a lot, so I recommend sharing it among two.
Another winner on the menu was a seafood crepe, which covered itself in glory due mainly to the treatment of the crepe itself. Instead of the wet blanket crepes found in most eateries, this gentle pancake had just the right amount of crispness in its outer and inner layers, which serenaded the seafood filling at just the right pitch.
Winding down the dinner outing, we found ourselves talking with Lex, who was elegantly turned out in a smart bow tie hinting slightly of Union Jack, just-so vest and long, welling boots of his own design. Always an amiable host, he led us through a few rounds of shots from the restaurant’s well stocked tequila arsenal. Instant party.
We went a little overboard on the tequila, quite happily, mind you. So without the Mexican elixir on the bill, we would have spent for four what one person’s tab would have come to in a similar North American establishment. The Cargo room added no gratuity to the bill and was scrupulous about itemizing every order when we finally reached for our collective wallet. Lex kissed us all good-bye at the door. And so adieu, Lex, until next time.
The Cargo Room is located at the corner of 6a Calle Poniente and 7a Avenida Sur.