Adventures in Belize: Day Five – It’s Possible That All We Do Is Eat

We awoke in San Pedro to another gorgeous, warm, sunny day. We lazily wandered over to the breakfast nook beside the kitchen: a shaded, breezy enclave where we found hot coffee waiting for us. (With real – not powdered –  milk. Oh, the luxury!) A lady we had seen the day before came out with a big smile and a bowl of pineapple, papaya and orange segments for us to nosh on while our main breakfast dish was being prepared. We happily ate the beautiful fresh fruit while studiously avoiding the strange, watered down from-concentrate juice provided. Just a few minutes later, she reappeared with two huge plates of waffles with strawberry syrup and whipped cream. Oh yes, we had definitely booked the right place.

Javier.

After breakfast, J and I settled in to the comfy chairs in the courtyard, reading, not quite ready to go out and seek adventure yet. At one point we looked up to see a giant iguana, its head bobbing up and down, checking us out. In a theme we’d explore that day, we kinda wanted to bring it home, but decided to just take pictures instead. Seemed to be the best option, since getting an iguana across several borders seemed like a lot of work.

We got a surprise visit from J’s dad around 10am and we ended up heading back to a relative’s house where they were staying. And what did we find at this house but three of the cutest dogs we had seen in a lonnnng time. I was very happy to have a dog fix as I had been starting to miss our furry friend at home. The house was on a lovely man-made lake that afforded the owners a beautiful view.  I could have gotten used to living there, no question. We only stayed at the house briefly as the in-laws were in search of some lunch and knew of a small place in town that was supposed to have great, homemade fast food. We piled into a cab (a much bigger one than the famous “biggest little cab” in Belize City) and headed off. Upon our arrival, we discovered that the place was closed for the day…naaaaaaaturally. However, a very helpful man with one arm told us that his sister had a really good foodstand just around the corner from where we were.  He gestured – with his good arm – to the road behind us and over to the right. Figuring we had no other choice, we walked in that direction and sure enough, when we turned right, our helpful guide was there, pointing with his one hand to Francis Fast Food.

Scrumptious Panades. My fave.

The tiny place only had three chairs and two stools: just enough for the five of us to stop in, but what a find. Truly authentic Belizean food for dirt cheap. Panades, garnaches, salbutes…all staples of the Belizean diet done quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, perfectly. Orders of 10 of each dish were cranked out in minutes by the fabulous Francis while her husband entertained us. The regulars showed up at noon on the dot and looked quite perplexed at the people taking up the usual seats. (Sorry, folks, but it was just too good.) Once all the food was devoured, we dropped off the family at the water taxi and we headed back toward the B&B to take a dip at the neighbouring yacht club’s pool.

Feeling refreshed, we popped out for a bite of our own lunch, We’d have gone back to Francis’, but they closed at 1pm and it was going on 2pm by the time we were ready. So we stopped into Wild Mango’s which boasted a gorgeous beach-side patio and possibly the best meal we had on the entire trip. Gazing out at the sea, we patiently waited for our two dishes to arrive. And when they did, we were very, very pleased:

 

Baja Fish Wrap. You want this.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich. You also want this.

Uncomplicated fresh food that filled our bellies and made us smile. If you’re in San Pedro, you can’t miss this spot. It’s worth the wait if there’s a line up! They’re open til 3pm and we had no trouble getting a table at 2. Start with a Belikin and I’m pretty confident in stating that any meal you choose will satisfy you.

Sadly, we *did* have to leave San Pedro that day and the last water taxi was scheduled to leave at 5:30. We bought our tickets, packed up our stuff and were very happy to discover that we had time for one last beach beer. We found a place that looked like a nightclub in Miami with huge banquette seats and plush pillows. We watched some kids play an impromptu game of volleyball, stared blankly at the sea and took in the scenery before us.  Unsurprisingly, when we boarded the taxi back to Belize City, I was an unhappy camper, even tearing up a little as we left the Cayes behind. Not that I wasn’t looking forward to the rest of the trip, but I fell in love with the Cayes in those few short days and was truly saddened to leave them behind. But as the sun set and the millions of stars came out, I decided right then and there that I had to come back – that I would come back – to enjoy them all over again.

Sunset over the sea.

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~ by foodNURD on March 31, 2011.

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