RSS Feed

Category Archives: Restaurants

Belize – 2019

Belize – 2019

Ever heard of Belize? If you said NO, you’re not alone and I was surprised before I left how many people have not. Maybe it’s because they were previously named British Honduras until the 1980’s or maybe it’s because they are a tiny little country hard to find on map since they are the same size as the state of Massachusetts. Either way, it was a wonderful place to visit and hope to return again sometime soon. My base camp in Belize would be Hopkins Village which is a coastal village in Southeastern Belize. Hopkins is a Garifuna village on the coast of the Stann Creek District in Belize and is considered by some Belizeans to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population in Belize (that last part was from Wikipedia to make this post sound smart). I’m all about the food, not the history, so below are some of the places I visited during my stay around the area, book a vacation for yourself, tell them I say hello, and hope you enjoy now that you have heard about Belize.

Nice Cream – Hopkins, Belize

b27

I can’t believe I don’t have a single picture of any of their ice cream here as I visited Nice Cream EVERY single night I was there (except Monday as they are closed) as their ice cream is AWESOME and the owner was such a joy to get to know. This is a MUST stop for anyone visiting Hopkins.

Ella’s Cool Spot – Hopkins, Belize

This is a really COOL SPOT with delicious lobster coconut curry. This was the first time I ever had breadfruit fries and I must say they were really good. They have a swing that was able to fit my entire family right at the waterfront for us to relax until the food was ready and service was top notch.

Maxim’s Bar and Grill – Hopkins, Belize

Hidden a bit down the main road is a good meal waiting to happen. We had fresh plantain chips that were to die for and I would love to see some spots in the states add this to their menu, fish fingers that were finger licking good, and an entrée of coconut milk shrimp with rice and beans. This place was hopping with all tables filled and a smile on everyone’s face.

Geckos – Hopkins, Belize

This was such a treat eating here. The jerk chicken was being smoked with wonderful scents floating around everywhere as we sat at the table and the chicken and sautéed veggies were awesome. The owner was really nice and even let us be at the restaurant even though he wasn’t open yet. We’re sure glad he did!

Lucky Lobster Bar and Grill – Hopkins, Belize

A little further down the main road in the Sittee Point area of Hopkins is a nice stop. You have Lucky Lobster and right next door is Oasis Fitness Gym & Café. They are both owned by Gary and Kathy. We were LUCKY enough to run into Gary the night we were there and he was so kind and such a joy to hear his story of how they ended up in Hopkins. He also provided us a flyer map of the Hopkins area that after receiving it I took it everywhere as it was AMAZING and even better than Google Maps. Not only was the company good, but the food was good as well as I had the grilled lobster tail, sautéed mixed veggies, and double baked potato.

Driftwood Beach Bar and Pizza Shack – Hopkins, Belize

They have a nice setup here with a good bar, plenty of games to play while waiting for you food, and beach volleyball available. The food was delicious as well, so that never hurts. I really liked the vibe here. I had a plain small pizza and lobster tacos.

Tina’s Kitchen – Hopkins, Belize

With a great wide open view of the beach, church, and playground area is Tina’s. They even have a few Garifuna dishes as well. I went with a chicken quesadilla that was really good and the traditional Bundiga topped with a whole fish. The fish was so TASTY!!!

Innies Restaurant – Hopkins, Belize

Sitting right on the main street makes dining here a good spot to people watch and see what’s going on around town while eating. I had their chips with fresh salsa and stewed chicken with rice and beans.

Shadel’s Magic Pastry Shop – Hopkins, Belize

This is a tiny little shop with a bunch of different choices that you may not expect from them. I had the vanilla and chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie.

Jashlenn’s Corner Bakery – Hopkins, Belize

Some of the friendliest people you will meet run this bakery. They have a nice variety and I only wish I could have tried everything, but they were going on vacation for 3 weeks. I had the fresh glazed donut with sprinkles and it was great.

MeetU – Hopkins, Belize

Once you tire of eating outdoors and want a little comfort, air conditioning, television to watch, and modern ambiance then MeetU has you covered. The service was very friendly and they brought the food out extremely quick compared to other dining destinations in Hopkins. I had the Spicy Ginger Beef which was extremely tender, flavorful, and overall just phenomenal and an order of wonton soup.

Che’il Mayan Chocolate – Cockscomb Jaguar Sanctuary, Belize

b4

Sitting at the foot of the Cockscomb Jaguar Sanctuary is a delicious little treat to get you ready to hike the trails. I had the orange mile chocolate and it was divine. The chocolate was so creamy and rich and just melted in your mouth immediately. I even bought another bar leaving the Sanctuary.

Bunches of Fun Banana Farm Tour – Stann Creek, Belize

You are able to tour a working Fyffes banana farm that was spotlighted on HGTV and see how their daily operations work. The tour is extremely informative, well done, and definitely worth a visit. Once the tour is over, you get to enjoy fresh green banana chips that were cooked while you are there. They were SOOO good!!!

Martha’s Restaurant and Bar – Pomona, Belize

Sitting in the tiny little town of Pomona is Martha’s where the locals dine. I ordered the coconut rice and beans and stewed beef, and it was out of this world wonderful. Highly recommend.

Hibiscus – Armenia Village, Belize

Just a few minutes North of St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park and Caves on the Hummingbird Highway sits Hibiscus. They place was filled with people the day we stopped and the delicious food and prices couldn’t be beat. I had the baked chicken that fell right off the bone with rice and beans.

Pirate Crab – Voorhees Township, NJ

Pirate Crab – Voorhees Township, NJ

3

Pirate Crab is a restaurant within a restaurant as you have to enter in the doors of OkiMaki Sushi Burrito and walk to the rear of Oki Maki to get to the hostess of Pirate Crab to be seated there. It’s an interesting concept and two very different crowds of who is walking through the doors for what. I had the shrimp with head on and crawfish boil with the pirate sauce that includes potatoes, corn, and sausage. This is a messy meal, but it was enjoyable and tasty. The presentation could use a little assistance as they serve you your meal in a plastic bag. Prices are reasonable and competitive for seafood, but not budget by any means.

Concerto Fusion Cuisine – Morrisville, PA

Concerto Fusion Cuisine – Morrisville, PA

You can tell Concerto Fusion has had a storied past from the awards and medals shown as soon as you step in the door, but things change at times. The decor and setting is trendy, but could use a little touch up and maintenance in certain areas. We had four appetizers which were baked scallop Hong Kong flavor, steam shrimp dumplings, baby back ribs, and soft shell crab. I would skip all four the appetizers altogether if I ever visit again as I don’t like like to go negative, but needless to say I wasn’t happy and I would instead try their sushi as others in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying their sushi selections as an app. What I wouldn’t skip was my entree which was really good. I had the Thai Salsa Black Pepper Beef. Every bite was tender and extremely flavorful and would highly recommend going here if they consistently make this dish this well as an entree.

Double Knot – Philadelphia, PA

Double Knot – Philadelphia, PA

With its sleek ambiance and exceptional service Double Knot really shines, but they go above and beyond when they create the perfect trifecta with amazing and delicious food to boot. The chefs tasting is the way to go as why not let the chef send out what they think will be the best thing to serve that day. Every course was delicious and can honestly say each was fantastic. I highly recommend a visit here and make sure to dine downstairs if possible.

The Love – Philadelphia, PA

The Love – Philadelphia, PA

Sitting at the doorstep of Rittenhouse Square from Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr is The Love. It is a beautiful dining destination with a warm ambience. With impeccable, personable, and friendly service they shined throughout service. Each meal was explained and served with care. So you ask what about the food? Well that’s where they definitely showed THE LOVE. I enjoyed the meal as everything was delicious and would certainly return. Pictured is:

Salted Halibut croquettes

Summer Corn Soup with coconut milk, lemongrass, miso, crispy rice noodles, and togarashi spice and this was the highlight of the meal. REALLY GOOD!

Love Bird which is buttermilk fried chicken over comeback sauce, buttery Georgia grits, braised collard greens, and a side of steak fries.

True Love which was strawberry shortcake sundae, strawberries, poppy, and buttermilk ice cream

Porch and Proper – Collingswood, NJ

Porch and Proper – Collingswood, NJ

The building sitting directly across from Joey Baldino’s award winning Zeppoli at 619 W Collings Ave, Collingswood, NJ has had quite a storied past in a very short period of time. It ranges drastically from the disgraced Chef Alex Capasso’s Blackbird all the way to amazing Indian cuisine coming from Chef Rakesh Ramola’s mind when Indeblue was there. Well now Jason Simkins is looking to put his legacy in the history books of this location with his creation and vision as owner of Porch and Proper with Chef Anthony Marini at the helm showcasing an exquisite and delicious menu. They are doing a fabulous job and are proving that Haddon Ave isn’t the only place great dining can be had in Collingswood and maybe awards will continue on Collings Avenue. I had a great meal and will be interested to see how the menu grows and changes through the seasons. Below is listed what is in the pictures of what I had to eat, and don’t worry, everything was great and I would eat it all again in a heartbeat.

House-made bread

Proper shrimp with persillade, tarragon caper mayo, and lemon

Black Chittara with Maine lobster, truffle butter, and chilies

Soft shell crab with Jerusalem artichoke puree, kohirabi slaw, and chow chow vinaigrette

Icelandic cod with farro, blue crab, mushroom conserve, and crab veloute

Black Sesame Cheesecake

Homemade strawberry candy

Macona BBQ – Collingswood, NJ

Macona BBQ – Collingswood, NJ

1

The BBQ game is just getting better and better around the Philadelphia/South Jersey area. This is a tiny little spot, but a nice diverse menu with a good choice of specials daily. I had the 3 meat platter with ribs, pork, brisket, beans, mashed potatoes, and corn bread. The brisket and pork were a highlight. The brisket was some of the best around and the pork had a Latin sort of flair to it with its seasoning which was a nice touch. The corn bread was a surprise as well as usually I am not a fan, but their version is delicious and closest to a muffin that is moist, silky smooth, and yummy with real pieces of corn throughout. They are a welcome addition to the wonderful Collingswood dining scene.