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Rinconcito is one of those hard-to-translate Spanish words that can be rendered as “my house” or a “little corner”. Rinconcito Latino (“RL”), located on the corner of Elmer and Hudson Streets in Chambersburg (where the original Pete’s Steakhouse used to be), is now a first-rate Guatemalan restaurant; the pizza ovens which it inherited from Pete’s tomato pie business are now employed baking a variety of breads.
There must be a dozen decent Guatemalan restaurants in town, yet somehow RL manages to be among the best. Maybe it’s the family atmosphere: On my visits it seemed like Mom (or perhaps Auntie) was cooking, and the daughters were waiting on tables. Dad wandered around the front-of-house passing out take-out menus. No one, except the youngest daughter, spoke English, yet because everyone was friendly and cheerful, that proved no obstacle: the menu has clear English translations, and between sign language and my pigeon restaurant Spanish, we were able to order exactly what we wanted.
We’ve now sampled a range of menu items, and the food has been consistently good. While presentation is just OK, the portions are huge, prices are low, and the flavor is outstanding.
Take, for example, the Bandeja Paisa shown in the header image: rice, beans, fried egg, avocado, grilled beef steak, crackling pork, sausage, and sweet plantains. A huge amount of food for $11.99. Everything was good: the sausage was incredible.
Or the Carne Adobada platter ($8.00!) shown above. RL does an outstanding job with this Guatemalan classic: the meat came spicy, tender, juicy, and perfectly charred. Really one of the best in town.
RL has a nice selection of Pupusas. These come generously greased, with the melted cheese leaking out the side and browned on the grill. Not delicate, and certainly not low fat, but delicious if you’re in the mood.
Or check out the tostadas! In most Latino restaurants, chicken can be pretty bland. Here it’s subtly spiced and really scrumptious.
Significantly, RL is open very early every day and provides a full breakfast menu with home baked breads, sweet rolls, and eggs. Also, open every evening until 10. A great, new addition to the local Latino restaurant scene.
Latino | Restaurants