The first afternoon we were starving and grabbed lunch at Fido’s just down the beach from the Phoenix. It was only fair and pricey for what we had, I wouldn’t go back for the food but it did have nice atmosphere. That night we ate at Elvie’s Kitchen on Middle Street, it was very good! What stood out for me were the stuffed jalapenos they offer as an appetizer. I expected them to be a frozen variation like we get at home, but these were hand battered and stuffed with 3 different cheeses that netted a delicate goat cheese flavor, one of the best things I ate on the whole trip.
The next morning we found Neries Taco. After reading so much about it I was anxious to try them for a cheap breakfast. It was about 9am and they were busy but not overwhelmed. I stood in line and made my way to the counter where I was completely, and intentionally, ignored by all three of the people behind the counter. They waited on everyone but me, and behind me for about 10 minutes, never making eye contact or acknowledging me in any way. WTF? I am not the ugly American, and I am not overly sensitive. I was in shorts, tee, and thongs just like most of the other people. Anyway I was hungry and not to be deterred so I stayed put and blocked the spot until they saw I wasn’t leaving without tacos. It was the only time in my 7 days in San Pedro I felt anything but kindness from any of the locals. I finally got three of the pork tacos with pepper and cabbage. They were small but quite good just like I had read. I am not sure I can recommend it, or that they would want me to, but I am interested to hear if anyone else got the same cold shoulder there.
Lunch was at Mathieu’s, VERY nice people and great cooks! They are planning to open for dinner at some point, it should be excellent! We had dinner at Carambas one night, we all loved it. Tip: if you walk on past the restaurant first, they’ll try to lure you in with a coupon for a free appetizer with rum punch, both of which were excellent. That conch ceviche dip was the second best we had, and 4 nice rum punches for our group! I must add however, that after I ordered my Creole Snapper, I was told I would be charged an extra $10 because the fish were a little bigger that day…..so much for a free coupon. I wanted to ask the waiter if he worked at Neries in the mornings, or if I looked like I fell from a plantain chip truck, but we were having fun and went along. All of our meals were delicious, I would definitely go back again. Another lunch/dinner spot we found was EL Fagon, right across from Neiries. It’s a small, authentic little place with a dirt floor, great food, and great service. We loved it, even though my wife was “startled” when a big crab walked over her foot under the table.
Another place we liked very much is a little ceviche place we’ll call Rubens. We decided to call it that because it’s no more than a blank door behind Cholo's sports bar that faces Caribena Street. He opens when he wants to around 2pm, if the door is open, so is he. Sometimes he sits in a golf cart just outside the door. I saw a blip on this place in another post and decided to try it. I’m certainly no authority, but it was the best I’ve ever had. It had tons of conch and shrimp, more sliced than diced, absolute heaven. Ruben was shocked that he was on the internet and anyone found him that way. So if or when you do go, please tell him the same. Tell him Rick and Randy are making him famous but he needs to write his name on the damn door! The Wild Mango was very good for lunch, and only good for dinner. They do make a great Mojito! There are so many good places to eat, such a refreshing change from all the stifling rules and regulations restaurants must abide by in the states.
We also took a couple of neat excursions. We did the half day Hol Chan/shark alley trip with Alphonse, a very fun trip, and a great guide. Then we did 2 full day trips; a snorkel/fishing/shore lunch trip with Oliver, and one up and around the north end to Bacalar Chico to snorkel and see the cut. We had a great time on both, but we really liked the one-on-one experience with Oliver. It was a VERY unique experience and the best beach lunches I've ever had on a cool little private island just west of Caye Caulker.