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Arrived Saturday afternoon, 9/15, unfortunately none of our bags arrived until late Monday. We stayed at Aquamarina Suites. Housekeeping did a great job and the staff went out of their way to help us with American Airlines issues and anything else that we needed.
September through October is slow season so unfortunately some of the restaurants we had wanted to go to were closed for vacation and wont be opening until the middle of October (Casa Picaso and a couple others). All the hotels looked to be running at about 15% occupancy. The weather was good except that it was so windy at times that the local dive boats wouldnít go out. We did manage to get 7 dives in during the week and that was with AA not getting our dive gear to us for the first 2 days. We should have taken some of the essentials in a couple carry-ons. Lesson learned, again. With all the hype about heightened security, plus we had been lucky in the past, we decided to check all 4 pieces. Wouldnít you know it this was the first time I didnít take a carry-on.
Calientes. Seafood ceviche was excellent!! 10 stars. Chicken nachos not as excellent. I think they use funny cheese and the chicken was kind of indeterminate. Multiple margaritas were very good.
Estelleís. Donna had a shrimp sandwich here last year that was excellent and was hoping to re-live the experience. She tried both the broiled and the fried shrimp. They were good but did not live up to her expectations. I had the ceviche. Sorry, Estelles was good but the competition is tough and Calientes wins. Their chicken burrito was huge and good but needed some peppers to kick it up a notch.
Palmilliaís at Victoria House
For appetizers Donna had a shrimp hamaca or hamachaÖ something like that. Another 10 stars plate. Excellently seasoned. I on the other hand had the shrimp cocktail. Kind of boring. Definitely could have used some horseradish in the sauce.
For Dinner Donna had the lobster, which she loved, and I had the best snapper ever. It even tasted kind of like lobster but with better texture. My opinion, not hers.
The service was perfect. They even set up a table on the beach next to the sea wall lit with tiki torches. The rain even held off until we were completely finished with dinner. Came inside and had their molten chocolate cake for dessert.
The Bar at Victoria House.
Again, excellent service. For an afternoon snack we shared a greek salad with shrimp that scored very high. This is a great location to sit back and relax.
Fidoís Sand Bar
Unfortunately we didnít get to eat here. The menu looked great though. By the time we made it that far South we had already passed too many other tempting places. Next time we will eat there for sure.
However, we had great experiences both times we were there at the bar. On one visit I asked for a Lime Daiquiri. The bartender, I wish I knew his name, said that he had never heard of a lime daiquiri and didnít know how to make one. But after some of the staff encouraged him he gave it a try and I have to tell you it was one of the best lime daiquiris I have ever had, second only to Pusserís in the BVI. He needs to pass that recipe on to the others at the bar.
Blue Water Grill
We ate here twice. The first time we shared a order of hot wings and another shrimp sandwich ďpo-boy.Ē The hot wings were ok but not hot. The shrimp bo-boy was good but I think we need to leave the shrimp po-boys to the folks in New Orleans. On the advice of one of the boarders, we shared a slice of key lime pie. It was very good. Hard to say if it was better than Le Bistro at Portofino. They are different but equal.
Next time there we had the lobster and corn chowderÖ and another slice of key lime pie. I liked the chowder but, like the hot wings, it was missing some seasoning. The key lime pie hadnít changed. Still at the top of the list.
Ricoís at Banyan Bay
We liked this place a lot. We were the only ones there for lunch and they seated us in the gazebo over the water. The service was perfect. We started with hot wings that, while they werenít exactly hot, they were very well seasoned. We shared the Belizean Style Rice and Beans with Stewed Fish. The server split the lunch on to 2 plates for us and I think added some extra of everything to both the plates. It was great!
We love Jambel Jerk. The first night that we went there the manager told us the kitchen was closed and all they had was Jamaican Me Crazy Shrimp. We had our mind set on coconut curry so we said we would come back another time. The next time we came by there the restaurant was closed, probably for Independence Day celebrations. As we are walking up to the door the 3rd time, at about 8:30, the cook and some of the crew told us from their buggy that they were closed. While we are standing at the corner trying to determine our next plan for dinner, the manager comes outside and asks them all to go back to the kitchen and cook us dinner. He had remembered us from a couple nights earlier and didnít want us to be sent away again. We had the coconut curry shrimp dinner and the grouper filet jerk style. They were both fantastic.
Donna had a shrimp dinner cooked in a tomato sauce. It was very good. I had the snapper in garlic and lime. Also very good. Not thrilling but very good.
Lunch from Amigo Del Mar day trip to Turneffe Elbow
The food alone was just about worth the price of the trip. Chicken Pibil, Potato Salad, Rice and Peas and Coconut pie for dessert. Sounds simple but it was all cooked perfectly and seasoned right. And the view of the atoll while you ate wasnít bad either.
I really donít mind that the sand floor has been replaced by cement. It just seems a little bit easier to keep clean and one leg of your chair isnít 4 inches lower than the other. The food was still great. Donna had the Lobster and I had the lobster and snapper kabob. I think the lobster tasted as good Victoria House. Donna gave VH a slightly higher vote. The only thing that bummed me out was that Papi didnít have any flan. We thought it was great when we had it there last year.
I think if things go well, Papi will probably have an outdoor deck on the roof next year.
We had breakfast here probably 3 times. The seasoning they use on their home fry potatoes makes them exceptional. Their fry jacks are also really good and Donna likes their pancakes. The lobster omelet cant be beat. They are very nice people but I did see some people leave because of slow service. We are pretty casual but that day it did seem like they just didnít care about taking food orders or making the food. The food is honestly good and the people are friendly.
We ate bbq from street vendors 4 times. 3 times from the same couple, mostly because they were so dog-gone nice. Always saying hello when we passed in the street, even when they werenít selling bbq. Just traveling by during the day. I think we would have felt guilty buying bbq from anyone else. They were just always there when we would come out late at night looking for a snack. And it was good.
We started planning the next trip to Belize before we left the AC.