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In Dining

Antigua Real serves up authentic food from a variety of countries.

Antigua Real boasts pan-Latin menu

Mukwonago's Antigua Real calls itself a "Latin café" which sounds appealing and intriguing -- as long as it isn't just a fancy way of saying "Mexican restaurant." After a recent visit, we discovered that it's clearly not the same old plate of comida you'd find at the "South of the border" Walker's Point restaurants.

Instead, Antigua Real is a mix of dishes from Mexico, Spain and Guatemala. The restaurant, which opened in 2006, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and includes an attached bar and gift shop with an array of clothing and trinkets from Mexico and Guatemala.

Having been to Guatemala twice, we had high standards for the authenticity of the food, and our dining experience started out very well. We were thrilled to find Famosa on the menu -- the only beer exported from Guatemala (in Guatemala it's called "Gallo") -- along with a variety of other imported beers, wines and traditional Latin coffee drinks, most of which included ingredients like Mexican chocolate, coconut and/or roasted corn.

Although tempted by many dishes, we went with a classic Mexican meal called Tres Amigos ($9.95) that featured three large tostados and a side of refried beans and rice. We also ordered something slightly more exotic: the enchiladas poblanos ($9.95) which turned out to be mammoth enchiladas sprinkled with cheese and smothered in an incredible mole made with cinnamon, unsweetened chocolate, five kinds of chilies and pumpkin seeds. It came with black beans, plantains and a rusa salad.

We found both dishes, in different ways, to be excellent. The tostados included large, crispy shells loaded with fresh ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and chicken. (Diners have the option of choosing chicken, ground beef, steak, pork or vegetarian.) The shredded chicken was a nice mix of light and dark meat.

The enchiladas were larger than we expected, but we didn't have a problem polishing off every bite. They were soft, sweet and tangy, with a kick of heat at the end thanks to the numerous chilies.

The kids' menu is more extensive and unique than most, with choices including a Mexican pizza, taco salad and mini chimichanga. Most of the children's meals are $3.95. Our bambinos shared the pizza, which has a crunchy top and bottom and comes filled with beans and cheese. They really liked it.

Both the prices and the service were fair. We would have liked a little more attention from our waitress, but overall she was attentive and friendly. We also appreciated the space, which is warm and colorful, with "Day of the Dead" art combined with Guatemalan masks and maps.

We will definitely return to Antigua Real as a destination -- we'd love to try their breakfast -- or if we're ever tooling around the southwestern suburbs.


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