Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Food Explorer - Cayo Belize

So I recently spent a bit of time doing more inland exploration.  Cayo is an amazing district!  I absolutely love it.  Our time was spent 60/40 between San Ignacio Resort Hotel (from here out known as SIRH), and the ranch at Banana Bank.  Details on the resorts and the amazingness of the stays will come in future posts - today is all about the food on the trip.

I struggled a bit with structure here.  Should I go best first or saved for last?!  I didn't want people to fall asleep before the good part - but no one wants to end with a sputter either.  Finally I decided the best way was to order the meals as they were eaten through a day - not necessarily by day mind you - but lunches (cause I had no fabulous breakfasts worth talking about), snacks, dinner, desserts.  Let the highly professional (not) assessment of Cayo food offerings commence!

bacon burger belize cayo
Mount Bacon 
Do you see what I see?  I said "sure, add some bacon" when asked by the waiter.  His manager would be happy with the upsell, and let me tell you - I was more than happy with the MOUNTAIN of bacon that showed up; thick cut heaven on a bun.  SIRH wins an award for best bacon upgrade I've ever can barely see the meat under that stack of bacon.

cayo belize guava limb cafe
Guava Chicken Wings
The Belize Tourisn Board awarded the 2015 Restaurant of the Year award to Guava Limb Cafe.  Being in San Ignacio that put it as stop number one on the culinary exploration list.  Our experience surely didn't disappoint, so much so that we went back both days; just couldn't pull away to a try a local rice and beanery when this wonderment was being offered up.

Cayo belize guava limb cafe
Port Loin Panini
Day One pick went to the Guava wings.  Perfectly cooked, and that sauce was a sweet guava bbq mix up that was killer.  They'd be in the conversation for best wings in Belize. Day two saw me going with the Pork Lion Panini (and a side salad cause I was already sick of french fries - what is wrong with me?!).  It was massive!  I didn't even need to eat dinner that night; I did of course eat dinner...but I didn't need to eat it.  The pork was great - I should've asked for some of that wing sauce for a bit of a topper - but I didn't think of it.  Guava Limb is very generous in their portions.

guava limb cafe cayo belize
Shrimp Wontons (what was left!)
Peanut Sauce
My travel mate is pretty much a walking food disposal so appetizers were a must, even with ginormous portions.  One was the shrimp wontons...OMG...could've eaten 15 dozen.  The first day were spring rolls.  The springs rolls were fine - but what blew my mind like a Cat 5 Hurricane going through the house made of straw was the peanut sauce.  When it first arrived I thought it spicy mustard...which I was really looking forward too (cause when I ask on San Pedro they look at me like I'm not in a Chinese restaurant asking for a staple they invented).  So first taste was a bit sad - but then it was 180'd and my life was changed forever.  What you see is me eating the left overs with my finger...what you don't see is that I also licked out the ramekin.  Yep, and I'd do it again.

san ignacio resort hotel cayo belize
Filet Mignon
What's better than a bacon wrapped filet?   2 of them...herb butter patties melting atop; creating rivers of goodness flowing over the side like the many Belizean waterfalls in the Cayo District.  Too much food - after the first filet I was in love, part way through the second it was a chore.  All be it my favorite chore of all time.  Also - why does Google not know that "mignon" is a word?!  Really?!  That is a crime against humanity, Google! Bet they are big PETA supporters...oh well; more steak for me.

san ignacio resort hotel cayo belize
Cookies, ice cream,
"Cayo" Lime Pie

The "Cayo Lime Pie" - to freaking die for. Possibly the best I've had.  The food was good at SIRH...but these desserts were phenomenal.  Much more tart than I'm used too, but very well balanced with the creamy sweetness of the custard.  Presentation was flawless - appearing that the little bits on the meringue had been set individually (and maybe there are). A quick note - I had a cookie on two occasions.  The first was as described as follows - the second was likely cooked in the same batch; however two days of fridge time in between left it limp and tasting like a fridge...if the cookies aren't fresh - skip them and go with the Cayo Lime Pie; however if the cookies are fresh, be about to change.

Perfect chocolate chip cookie.  I thought it a thing of myth and legend.  After SIRH I believe it possible...not yet achieved, but a possibility that is attainable in my lifetime. This cookie was firm and stood solid when held out, but gave way to a bite like soft warm butter with a firm outer shell.  It was moist and giving, yet the sugar was so plentiful it had crusted on the outside like an armour (that is how the rest of the world spells "armor" for my American friends) of love crystals.  Surely the rest of the people in the restaurant thought I was getting "extra special" under the table style attention as I involuntarily shifted and "oh'd" as I ate this bit of love crafted just for me.  I assure you I wasn't getting any such attention.  So why was the cookie not perfect? wasn't as big as the table.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Year One

dive sail snorkel fish ocean paradise eco ecological
Ecologic Divers Dock,
San Pedro, Belize -
Photo by Robyn Clark
A year in.  Completed the entire season and now a bit of "down time" before the next season...I guess I get some - taking a few days to head to the mainland again to explore another district of Belize. Orange Walk last time, now it's on to Cayo; which is supposed to be fabulous - but that's a post for future Kendall.

Business Perspective - 

In total it was a great season.  Certainly not without its issues and certainly not without a few failures - but those that know me understand that I look at a failure as a moment in time; something you learn from, don't dwell on, and get up from smarter and stronger.  Never really been big on making all my goals public knowledge, while I thought about listing them for my 6 readers I decided against it.

A taste however is always on the menu.  My main goal is going to be cut very close...and I'll happily share about when it's complete; pass or fail...I'll tell you.  I think we're gonna achieve it though.  The major company goal was to make enough money to get two engines to get Blue Attitude back on the dock - and WE DID!!!  Engines acquired (a post in itself...) and being installed now.  Can't wait to have her back on the dock.

Overall I take my time when I'm new to an operation - and we all had a lot to learn this year; the change to a charter model drastically adjusts cash flow management (I'll spare you the details, but to some of my "number geek" friends it is quite exciting).  Cash flow management can be such a challenge as we may have need to save cash to provision charters during slow periods, or pay guys while we all take our 2 weeks in September.  So you're always looking and thinking "we I think I'm gonna make that maybe I can spend the money today?!"  Never a good idea but you got do what you gotta do.  The other trick is the meaning of tomorrow.  If someone is going to pay me money "tomorrow" that means at some point in the distant future in hopes that I'll forget about it - guess what...I won't forget...just get annoyed and not do business with you again!  However if I owe someone money and they want to collect it "tomorrow" that means 'write me a check cause I'll be on your dock to pick it up before the roster crows and if you aren't there I'm liable to burn your house down.'  So there's that...
Sailing Birthiversary Party for Parker
and "Jake" - a top memory 

Personal Perspective - 

Ah...I live in is good!  Living abroad is an amazing experience.  It's really interesting the change in perspective and goals in life.  I say that - but I know plenty of people that live here and are basically the same I'm sure they were in their "previous life", if you aren't fitting in the community here - you're not learning something about life.  

The bars get old.  I do enjoy seeing friends and chatting, so that means bars.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy my time there...but I also enjoy my money staying in my wallet!  It is nice that it's hard to walk past Lola's without someone yelling "HEY Kendall, come in for a drink!"  Of course that drink usually means I'm not getting home in the near future...which is not a bad thing...most nights.  

Girls and dating - still a non-existent scene.  My brother's at Lola's right now...and I'm supposed to go chat with his girl's friend.  So I will...not like he needs my help - *update ahead - fun girl.  Women are just too much effort. Perhaps I'm still suffering from "post marriage jadedness" or some such thing.   There has been a girl or two of interest; but sorry folks...I don't kiss and tell.  Lets just say nothing lasted.  One I wasn't quick enough with (oh well).  One turned into a "you coming over" every night girl (I don't play that - ain't nobody got time for that shit).  One I still chat with, never went out with...I mean dang...she's young; not illegal young, but girls under 30 are crazy and I'm not keen for short term stupidity with girls that live here.  A couple had true colors that were extremely unappealing.  In the interest of openness and honesty - I do have a good friend to pass some time with.  We know we're not either one's future, but it's fun for now...and we keep each other from making bad decisions with other people.  Something to be said for that.  
Okay - time to head to met the brother and do my brotherly duty.  After last nights "season's over" party with the boys I'm pretty done...but I won't leave a brother hanging.  UPDATE - Thank God I didn't leave a brother hanging; what a night.  That late night led to another super late night. Sure I had to fly around the country, conduct business, and watch a parade on 3.5 hours sleep.  But those be the nights that life is about.  When I'm breathing my last I can pretty much count on the fact that I'll be treasuring the times I didn't reach home till 4am...not the times I was sleeping by 9pm.