The Belizean IHOP Ė Estelís Dine by the Sea
Only a couple of places will offer breakfast whenever you desire it on any given hour in San Pedro. So whenever you got the urge, head on over to Estel's Dine by the Sea; it's a common ground and a staple for whenever San Pedro is hungry. Why? Cuz they deliver the goods; a Belizean IHOP of sorts Ė breakfast when you desire.
Itís the perfect place to kick back with a few beers, cocktails or my favorite the red wine sangria! YUM! The perfect place to cool off on a hot tropical day; it's right on the beach, the beautiful Caribbean sea is your panoramic view and the smell of great Belizean food is your invitation to dine at Estel's.
This is San Pedro's best place for a hearty Belizean/American-style breakfast of bacon, hash browns, fried jacks, eggs (any style) and freshly squeezed juice. Later in the day you can order burgers, tacos, large burritos, Mexican meals, and excellent seafood dishes (fresh fish). Estelís is a really cozy spot on the beach, right in the middle of town, next to Central Park. There's a terrace outside where you can enjoy the gorgeous days of Ambergris Caye and watch pelicans, fishermen cleaning their catch of the day and kayakers passing by.
Very little places offer you a great dining experience by the water; itís hard to get much closer than Estelís. They have set up tables on the beach right next to the shoreline underneath the swaying palm trees. All that is left is a hammock for your siesta after a hearty meal!
A broad range of memorabilia and antiques line the walls of the restaurant. The old piano is gone but it has been replaced by a drum set which is used by musicians who stop by, even for impromptu performances. This is a great draw to the diner.
For the first time in our review adventures, we had the pleasure of combining the hearty meal of breakfast with the satisfying items of lunch. Plus it was Saturday; grill master Charles Worthington was in action with the thongs and BBQ brush behind the grill, so we knew we were in for a treat.
There was no need for us to check out the menu, which FYI, is written on a giant chalkboard in the middle of the restaurant, because Charles and Irenie had our food ready. It was midday, but our first course, you can say, was breakfast delights:
Mayan Eggs Ė Scrambled with tomato, onions, bell peppers and sausage, served with refried beans and fried jacks. Yum!
Shrimp Omelet - An omelet filled with shrimp, mushroom and plenty of cheese. (This one was my favorite; Iíve never had shrimp with eggs before, but I loved it!)
Banana Pancakes Ė Rich and fluffy pancakes served with honey or maple syrup! GOOD!
That was breakfast; and now on to lunch Ė YEAH! BBQ Ribs was what I was craving for. Over the years Charles has perfected his meat tenderizing and grilling techniques, making for one GREAT BBQ platter. We had just about everything on the grill Ė Ribs, Spicy BBQ Wings, Italian Sausage, Pork Chops and Chicken - Juicy, Tender, Finger-licking, mouth-watering, eye-rolling, lip-smacking, toe-curling delicious. Yes, itís that good! These came with potato salad, fries, onion rings and rice with beans. Not your typical platter, but you can always ask for what you are craving for and combine it into one plate.
Oh wait! I forgot another one of my favorites. If you like it HOT, you gotta try the Bacon Wrapped Jerk Shrimp! WHOA! They will ignite your mouth, but they are so good that you keep taking another bite. The red wine sangrias kept coming along, as well as great bloody marys and one very dirty banana. Superb cocktails!
One of my favorite deserts on the Island, which I havenít seen anybody else do, is Estelís Fruit-Filled Jacks. These are ďawesomelyĒ delicious mini fried jacks filled with fruit in their own syrup topped with powdered sugar. Ask for your favorite fruit filling Ė Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry, Mango and Strawberry. I canít explain how great they are; maybe itís because I love fried jacks so much! You just have to try them.
I tip my hat off to Estelís Dine by the Sea. Charles, Irenie and Mark for running the place; Estela for being an amazing chef and training all her excellent cooks and for the entire staff who is so friendly and attentive. There was no doubt that we were going to have an amazing dining experience at Estelís Ė I could not eat until the next day, but I had a belly full and a smile on my face. Thanks guys, Estelís got my vote 100 times around. And with the restaurant about to reach its milestone 20th anniversary next year, we send an early congratulation to Estelís Dine by the Sea.
To our visitors and guests from the world over, you canít say youíve really enjoyed San Pedro if you didnít come to Estelís. Itís a must!
- by Dorian Nunez