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Trip Report Metiz French Delicatessen - Antigua Guatemala

Although there are a couple of restaurants in Antigua Guatemala that claim to specialize in French food, they don't even come close to the "je ne sais quois" found at Metiz Delicatessen frances. 

Okay, so Parque Central is not the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the La Catedral is not Notre Dame, but you could get a few amuses bouche chez Metiz and then float around town afterwards enjoying a fine post-meal Gallic buzz.  Yolkobsens do regularly.

The owner, a young Parisian expat, is the chief cook, marketer, buyer and seller at this finely arranged store on the 4a Avenida Sur (#1), just south of the Parque Central and the grand Catedral.  He is very generous with samples at his counter as well as with explanations of where the savoury delicacies come from and how they're made.

One of our favorite lunches is put together with take-away Metiz cheeses, charcuterie and bread, which we top off with a glass of wine or two. Here's what we put in our picnic basket last time.

We can't resist cheese.  Metiz has a fine selection, many of them French, but there are  other international varieties.  One of the discoveries made in this smart little deli is a Fontal cheese, made in Tecpan Guatemala.  It has a  mildly nippy first tickle on the palette and rounds off with a buttery-nutty finale.  Next we ordered another of our preferred cheeses, Curado, from Spain. And it has a remarkable trove of taste for it's five months of aging.  At first it fools you into thinking it flirts with a light Emmental prelude, but on further investigation you find that it has a long-term commitment to much more nuanced and almost earthy flavors, including a teasing of a smokiness.  Normally, we prefer the true French blue cheese, but since its pretty popular, there wasn't any to be had that day.  So we got the Danish Gorgonzola, and, loyal to the fine Italian tradition, the Danes made a version with a creamy chorus singing back-up to the sharp zest and the signature blue green Gorgonzola vibe.  

Next, we went for a "rillette du porc," from among  a wide selection of house brands prepared in the Metiz kitchen.  His selection of pates, terrines and rillettes range from the aforementioned  which is spiced pork, in the traditional coarse shred style to the extremely refined chicken liver pate.  There's duck spread irresistibly presented under the house label as well.

We can never resists another house specialty, the "saucisson sec."  This is a classic French narrow, mainly pork, sometimes with a mix of beef, cured, dry sausage.  Metiz can't keep up with the demand for his Parisian sausages. He assured us that more were on the way, and suggested that we console ourselves with a beef and pork model from Tecpan Guatemala.  It was excellent, we had to confess, but we still prefer the Metiz house brand.

Metiz also makes sandwiches to go if you don't want to tote away a whole picnic.  The sandwiches with the house brand or imported prosciutto (not too salty, perfect) and cheese are my personal favorites.  

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