Review, Ambergris Today
Only three weeks after opening, a small restaurant by the name of ‘El Fogon' has been garnering much attention from island residents and other restaurateurs that most of the days they run out of food an hour after midday. Why this sudden popularity you may ask? There is a special little secret that I am about to reveal.
Patty Arceo, owner of El Fogon came up with a bright and unique idea to offer a menu dedicated to the home style cooking of Belizean Creole and Mestizo food all prepared in an open fire hearth (or ‘Fogon' in Spanish). What Patty has recreated at her establishment is an atmosphere typical of the old San Pedro Village kitchen 25 years ago with an outdoor fogon where all the food is cooked and prepared. On El Fogon's menu you can find any, if not all, of the typical home-cooked Creole and Mestizo foods that are typical to Belize, in particular San Pedro; you name it, they got it.
The menu of El Fogon is quite extensive for such a small and quaint restaurant, but what Patty has come up with is a small lunch menu that rotates every day of the week. A definite staple food that you will find every day is the traditional Belizean Rice and Beans with stew chicken or beef. Added to this will be three to four other items on the day's menu, something pretty much like the lunch specials for the day. You just need to call in and place your order of your favorite dish.
Food is not the only thing on the menu. During ‘Happy Hour' from 3p.m. to 6p.m. El Fogon serves up all your local favorite appetizers or snack foods (bocas) like Chicken, Conch, Horse Conch (Maimula), Lobster Dip, Bean Dip, Shrimp Cocktail, Chicken Wings and Conch Fritters. Enjoy them with a cold beer or drink.
Also on sale is a variety of local breads such as Creole Bread, Powder Bun, Capricho and other sweet breads. Patty also brings in local wines like Cashew and Blackberry wine, jams, jellies and sweet stewed cashew all the way from Barrel Boom.
Patty Arceo is running a family business which she had been envisioning for almost three years. Now a reality, she is keeping alive a special part of the island's rich culture, that which includes the delicious dishes, savory desserts and wonderful creations of our ancestors.