Tuesday, August 5, 2014

10 must-try food and drinks in Placencia! And, why you shouldn't watch JAWS week on A&E if you live on the beach.

Most people will come to Placencia for relaxation, because the minute you turn to drive down the peninsula, you are surrounded by beautiful images of the water, gorgeous homes and hotels, palm trees, birds, the shoreline, etc. I have heard that Placencia is where people from the rest of Belize go to vacation. It may not be a place people visit to necessarily have a food or drink experience (no craft beer here-- only Belikin beer can be sold.....but there are other unique drinks here); you can't get all of these elsewhere, and it will really enhance your vacation(to have authentic local stuff as opposed to chains!) This list is based on my experience in the last 6 months, as well as the opinions of visitors and locals that I have talked to...
(not based in order of importance :) )

1.) Marie Sharps--a carrot based hot sauce made locally. It is so, so good, much better than Tabasco or any other regularly used sauce in the US. There are many varieties, and at Ming market they sell small sample bottles for $.90 US--this is also a great souvenir to take home!

2.) Tutti Frutti Gelato-it is as good as it looks in the picture! It is ridiculous. The owners bring their ingredients from Italy. It is in the heart of town, right by Rumfish, and you can walk there from our place!
3.) Coconut rum with coconut water and a lime (preferably out of a real coconut!) Barefoot bar calls this "Crazy Coconut." Not all the bars have coconut water. If you can find Marlin on your trip, he will sell you a large container of coconut water for $5 US, and you can keep this in your fridge and mix it with local coconut rum all week. You can also buy coconut water at any local store. The local brand Old Master is the tastiest coconut rum in my opinion :) At our resort the first thing we do when you settle in is make one of these in a coconut!

4.) Speaking of drinks....at Rumfish they have premixed drinks at the bar, with fresh ingredients, and they make all kinds of margaritas and mojitos. The best one is a watermelon mojito and the orange jalapeno margarita. Ask what the mixes are that day, you can't go wrong :)
5.) Eat gibnut because it is a good story (you can tell people you ate rat). Gibnuts are cute, weird, and gross all at the same time. They taste fine and it is a local delicacy that even the Queen ate when she visited Belize, where it got its nickname The Queen's Rat. It looks like Bambi and a rat had a baby. Just eat it. There is a spectacular local place to get local food called Mim's--it looks like a shack from the outside but it always has a line of locals and tourists for lunch.
6.) Seaweed shakes--either from the Shak or Brewed Awakenings--they are so good and also nutritious. I felt I was coming down with something not long ago and after one of these I felt fine. Psychosomatic or not, they are fun and that is what matters. Brewed Awakenings is always crowded and has all kinds of coffee drinks that are way better than Starbucks--even their espresso shots--it should get its own listing.
7.) Espresso martini from Maya Beach Bistro--this is a drive but you are going there anyway, so do yourself a favor and get one! This one is courtesy of Shannon, an espresso martini connoisseur, and we agreed that it was the best ever.
8.) Stewed chicken, rice, and beans-if you don't add this to your Belize food list it is just not legit. A fun way to do this is--call Dawn's Grill, Crow's Nest, or the Galley, and ask them to deliver you lunch on a day you are lounging at the beach. For $5 US, these three places will deliver you the food and all three of these places are very good. Throw some Marie Sharp's on it. It also comes with potato salad or coleslaw--mix that all up with the rice and chicken juice if you really want to have a good time. I have been eating this lunch about 4-5 x a week for several months. I still love it and despite white rice's bad reputation for making people fat, I have never felt better and am in fact not fat yet. This also comes with a fried plantain which deserves its own listing. Yum.
Now imagine eating this on the beach:
9.) This one is a real sleeper and really sets my list apart. I originally thought that the tortilla chips down here were not so good. Then, I found these:
These are the best tortilla chips ever. One day you are here, stop at one of the many farmer's markets and buy 2 large avocados, an onion, a couple tomatoes, some cilantro, and a lime. Maybe a jalapeno if you are so inclined. Mash all this together and add some salt. Then, get a belikin and sit on your beach chair and feel smug because you made this happen for like $5 US.

10.) Our guest Kate said that this wine was the best she had ever had, and the only place they have it is at La Dolce Vita-I am adding this to the list because there is a complaint that wine is not good here and it is expensive. This was good and not expensive, yay! They bring it over from Italy. That is two things on the list brought from Italy if you are keeping track. They are known for good food and wine, so that makes sense, and, you can have it in Belize instead of across the globe.

Some other random going ons here. Ray, Dave's best friend from childhood, is coming to visit this week so Dave is like a kid on Christmas. We leave soon for a visit to the US and 2 weddings, and then we are back to start the end of low season and our first high season! We are starting to get some reservations for December through February and we couldn't be more excited!

Dave and Vic are working on building brand new custom beds, kitchens, and built ins for the cabanas. It looks amazing but I am going to try to hold off on the pictures until it is done. I will add this picture of the bedroom in the casita--yes, we jammed a king bed in there temporarily, because it is the only bed we can tolerate sleeping on together, between our abnormal heights and the dog. Even though it is the smallest bedroom I have ever had it is my favorite :) I mean, a turquoise ceiling??
I caught this picture the other day.....it has been an outrageously beautiful week, although the rain is back a little today:
Dave caught this sunrise the other morning...
And finally, this was this morning :) Are you thinking "awwwwww!" I bet you are! The poor dog has oil based paint all over his back and legs, due to me painting the door frame yesterday (we held him for 99% of the time needed to dry. How does that 1% always get you??) so my next project is going to be to deal with that.

Last thought for today is, it is Jaws week on A&E. Jaws was on last night, tonight is Jaws II and Wednesday is Jaws III. I have had a fear of being in ocean water where I can't stand since I saw this movie when I was 10. I haven't watched these movies since then. Now that I live on the water, this was poor timing on A&E's part. They had the nerve to remind the viewers that most shark attacks happen in 3 feet of water, in case you thought that would keep you safe. And yes, I am going to watch them all. 

Ironically, the water has been so clear this week that Dave and I snorkeled out front, and we saw a ton of fish.....not the least of which was an irritable looking barracuda. You better believe I did research about the chances of this fish having a problem with us. Turns out there is very little chance of this. However, something to be aware of; and don't YouTube Barracuda attacks on humans. if you see this fish, simply pleasantly swim the other way:
 Because after watching YouTube and Jaws, like me, the above fish will actually look more like this to you: (Also an actual barracuda but I am sure this one doesn't swim near shore.)



3 comments:

  1. I would add Dawn's Grill 'n Go's hot sauce, Goss Cocoa Powder (a latte must) and Mr. Natural yogurt.

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