May 16, 2008

El Fogoncito, La Ceiba

El Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasColorful El Fogoncito

Update: It appears that every restaurant that I recommend will close down. This one did, too.

Another new restaurant has come to La Ceiba. El Fogoncito, a Mexican chain restaurant, opened recently. We tried it out − and will wonders never cease? − we'll be going back. That alone is high praise from La Gringa for Ceibeño restaurants. :-)

coved ceiling, El Fogoncito, HondurasI love the way the restaurant looks from the outside (photo at top). It's huge and it's colorful. So many of buildings in La Ceiba are dirty white or bare concrete and moldy so just looking at this restaurant tempted me to try it. This photo shows the coved ceiling about our table.

chips and hot sauceHere is another wonder: They serve a teensy-tiny bowl of chips with two types hot sauce before you order. Just not done in La Ceiba. Restaurant owners would be too worried that you would order a glass of water, eat their chips, and then leave. Not only do they serve "free" chips, but the waitress brought us a refill without us even asking! For a minute, I thought I was in Texas, except that the chips were thick and way too greasy.

Fogoncito menuThe menu consists of lots of tacos, some seafood and chicken dishes, and lots of big meat plates − Hondurans do love their meat. I was a little offended by the Gringadas section, which consisted of chicken fingers, beef fingers, and hamburgers. What? No fish sticks? (Oh, you know I'm kidding, right?)

Since they don't have unsweetened tea, I ordered the te de jamaica (iced hibiscus tea), which comes with refills, although I was a little concerned that it would be too sweet for my taste. But it was fresh and prepared pretty much the way I make it. El Jefe ordered the horchata which was very good but a little heavy on the cinnamon. No refills on the horchata, though.

burritos, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasI chose the burritos which were the closest thing to the Tex-Mex food that I miss so much. I just had to rock the boat again and ask if I could have burritos mixtos (one pork and one chicken). The waitress looked a little concerned and said she would ask, but a split second later she was back with my mixtos.

fajitas, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasEl Jefe ordered fajitas mixtas. He was disappointed with the quantity of meat but they were good, as were my burritos which were really stuffed with meat and cheese. The beef and pork were a little too salty for my taste, but I liked the chicken.

El Jefe only took one bite of the guacamole and declared it to be old. I reminded him
that he's just not going to find guacamole like La Gringa makes in any restaurant. He said, "You got that right!"

Reina, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasOur waitress was Reina and she was wonderful. Very attentive, friendly, and always with a big smile. This was my second photo of Reina as she was displeased with the first. She said it made her look too fat, which it did because of the angle of the shot. She liked this one better.

Even if I didn't know, I would have guessed that this was a chain restaurant. With very few exceptions in La Ceiba, only chains teach their waiters and waitresses to smile and .... well, do the stuff that most people expect waiters to do. As you can guess, Reina got a tip above and beyond that 10% added to the check.

Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasEl Jefe asked which of the several desserts on the menu were available, just because that is what you do in La Ceiba. It saves a lot of time and heartbreak. Reina looked at him with surprise and said "All of them!"

cheesecake, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasEl Jefe had this huge piece of cheesecake. As you can see, I am not yet a professional blogger as we had already started attacking the cheesecake from both ends before I remembered to take a photo.

tiramisu, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasI ordered the tiramisu. It was just okay. A little too wet and spongy, with a flavor that wasn't exactly coffee, but something else that I couldn't place. Next time I'll try the brownie sundae.

bar, Fogoncito, La Ceiba, HondurasSome of the prices seem a little high for what you get, but overall, it was good, it was something different from the myriad of restaurantes tipicos, and we'll definitely be going back. I want to go on a weekend night when they have dancers who dance on this long bar.

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