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Thread: La Union

  1. #1

    Default La Union

    I don't have a kitchen in my new apartment (around $200/month in Los Robles), so I've been eating at La Union, just a few blocks to the East of me. I've done this every day I've been here so far (4), and I've found my favorite servings. For breakfast I get Guillo Pinto with just the right amount of hot sauce on it and scrambled eggs with what appears to be pieces of ham scrambled into it. This plate costs C$23--almost exactly $1. For dinner (I only ever eat two meals a day down here), I have Guillo Pinto, a chunk of roticery chicken, and sometimes a maduro. This plate runs me C$48--almost exactly $2.

    I've been getting by on $3/day for food now ever since I got here, and if anything, I'm less hungry. My biggest cost were the fluids. I would buy a Gator-aid or Poweraid or Gaseosa at every gas station and pulperia I passed. These run anywhere from C$8 (small gaseosa) to C$20 (Poweraid) to C$26 (Gator-aid). These really started to add up. I kept some of my empties, and have started carrying them around with me--full of purified water. That way, I only buy something in the street if I make it through the 1-2 that I brought with me. I fill them up at my apartment from the 5 gallon drum of purified water that I bought from La Union (C$180--full). Now that I have the container, I can refill it at the pulperia just around the corner for C$44 a pop. This drum has lasted me a couple of days now, and by the looks of it, each one will probably last me a week.

    So, that's $3/day in food and around C$6-7 a day for fluids. My current place is $200, and I have a possible place lined up in Casares for $200 in another month...but I might even be able to do better than that now that I have plenty of time to do my research.

    Yesterday (7/28/2012--Saturday), there was a big to-do at La Union. They were celebrating the changes made by their new parent company: Walmart. I guess I shoudn't be surpsied to seem them making their mark down here too. La Colonia cannot compete, their prices are higher than in La Union. But from what I understand Pali' is still less expensive.

    In any case, I'm a regular (2 times a day) at La Union on Carretera Masaya, just south of Metrocento. If any of you make it through there and see a dashingly handsome white guy eating in the corner, then come say hi. You can add drlemcor to your list.
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: La Union

    Quote Originally Posted by drlemcor View Post
    I don't have a kitchen in my new apartment (around $200/month in Los Robles), so I've been eating at La Union, just a few blocks to the East of me. I've done this every day I've been here so far (4), and I've found my favorite servings. For breakfast I get Guillo Pinto with just the right amount of hot sauce on it and scrambled eggs with what appears to be pieces of ham scrambled into it. This plate costs C$23--almost exactly $1. For dinner (I only ever eat two meals a day down here), I have Guillo Pinto, a chunk of roticery chicken, and sometimes a maduro. This plate runs me C$48--almost exactly $2.

    I've been getting by on $3/day for food now ever since I got here, and if anything, I'm less hungry. My biggest cost were the fluids. I would buy a Gator-aid or Poweraid or Gaseosa at every gas station and pulperia I passed. These run anywhere from C$8 (small gaseosa) to C$20 (Poweraid) to C$26 (Gator-aid). These really started to add up. I kept some of my empties, and have started carrying them around with me--full of purified water. That way, I only buy something in the street if I make it through the 1-2 that I brought with me. I fill them up at my apartment from the 5 gallon drum of purified water that I bought from La Union (C$180--full). Now that I have the container, I can refill it at the pulperia just around the corner for C$44 a pop. This drum has lasted me a couple of days now, and by the looks of it, each one will probably last me a week.

    So, that's $3/day in food and around C$6-7 a day for fluids. My current place is $200, and I have a possible place lined up in Casares for $200 in another month...but I might even be able to do better than that now that I have plenty of time to do my research.

    Yesterday (7/28/2012--Saturday), there was a big to-do at La Union. They were celebrating the changes made by their new parent company: Walmart. I guess I shoudn't be surpsied to seem them making their mark down here too. La Colonia cannot compete, their prices are higher than in La Union. But from what I understand Pali' is still less expensive.

    In any case, I'm a regular (2 times a day) at La Union on Carretera Masaya, just south of Metrocento. If any of you make it through there and see a dashingly handsome white guy eating in the corner, then come say hi. You can add drlemcor to your list.
    When I was there (La Union) a few weeks ago they were doing lots of renovations, must have finished up. The La Colonias have salad bars and some fine rotiserrie chicken as well.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  3. #3
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: La Union

    I was in MGA for a brief 3 days, just coming back to Texas today. One of the things I make sure to do is go to a grocery store when I am there. I was very, very partial to the La Colonia located at Plaza Espana. It is where we did our grocery shopping, or most of it anyway.

    That location had lots of things that you could not normally find in country at the other La Colonias, and for sure the La Unions. When I lived there I could always get Dr. Pepper, Shake and Bake, Hebrew National (usually) hotdogs, and other things not normally found. They even had Heinze 57 off and on (to which I am an addict). They also had a much better variety of Mexican things I would look for like different brands of Mole, some different hot sauces, pickled vegetables. I did not like La Union, sure they had some bulk cheap staple items, but that was about it. La Colonia had much better selection of vegetables and fruits, namely local Spinach, occasionally Mustard Greens, and other stuff that my neighborhood fruit stand never had.

    For a long time La Colonia was getting flash frozen expired meat, namely pork, from the US. You could get slabs of babyback ribs, pork tenderloins, and pork chops for a really good Nica price. They were usually a little less than the covered over Kroger or Albertson's label price. Those were a helluva buy down there.

    I found the decent cut of beef prices to be less at La Colonia, and the selection better. For a spell La Union was carrying some prepackaged stuff in small steaks and such and while not cheap it was a small 1-2 person cut that worked well for me and or when my family was there. But they discontinued that.

    Also La Colonia had a better deli selection in terms of meats and cheeses, they did not have the number of weekly rock bottom price specials that La Union had, but they did have real Virginia Ham, decent Salami, and even Corned Beef occasionally. I like the variety of the La Colonia ready to eat food section more than I did La Union's. I don't know about now, but you used to be able to buy two decent slices of Pizza and a small desert cookie for around $2 USD. I never ate breakfast at those places, so I don't have a frame of reference.

    My take on eating cheap in Nicaragua is to load up on the veggies the nicas don't eat much of and go meat less as much as possible. I always bought Jamaica by big quantity at the markets and or got Tamarindo as well so we never really drank too many cokes and such, unless I was splurging for the Dr. Pepper. We also made fruit salad a lot with fruits that were about to go and that will carry them a day or two more.

    What always amazed me about grocery shopping in MGA was that no two chain grocery stores were ever the same or carried the same things. Not even the more standard La Unions. La Union has better prices on non-food item consumables and paper products that is for sure and they have better quality things like garbage bags and plastic storage item. One thing about La Colonias, they buy a lot of discontinued items or close outs so shopping there can be a big hit if you hit things right.

  4. #4
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: La Union

    Always been partial to the La Espana La Colonia myself. Used to be the place to buy hard to find items. They always have Crystal Lousiana Hot Sauce something I like to have on hand. You never knew what you would find in there, think that was the first place I ever saw Dijon Mustard here. They have always had a good selection of Asian food. Nowadays just about all the stores have some of the "luxury" items.

    Never fails that at least one of my MGA shopping days starts just up the road at the Sinsa, then La Colonia, then the always beautiful Pricesmart.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  5. #5
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    Default Re: La Union

    I was in MGA for a brief 3 days,
    Hon, next time you can come by our way, be sure to bring more of that awesome Elijah Craig! I'll buy it from ya' and you can help me drink it!! We can throw a pig on the grill, or some pizzas in the oven, or make Felix grace us with some incredible fresh fish outa' Casares! Hope to see you before I get too many more grey hairs!
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

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