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.

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