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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

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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

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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

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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.

07-28-19 Small Bites Radio

07-28-19 Small Bites Radio

https://small-bites.simplecast.com/episodes/small-bites-episode-115-Ht6eLbrq

sm-bites-1-1-2019

07-28-19

https://small-bites.simplecast.com/episodes/small-bites-episode-115-Ht6eLbrq

D and L Coffee Service Inc. presents the #1 listed “Food Radio show Philadelphia”, Small Bites with Donato Marino and Derek Timm of Bluejeanfood.com on Wildfire Radio Podcast Recording Studio this Sunday, July 28th at 635pm EST with a stellar lineup and Gloucester City Democrat Club President Wil Levins of Gloucester City, New Jersey filling in for Donato Marino since Don is under the weather. Get well soon Don.

We start things off by welcoming tenured brand developer and strategist Eric Michael the President of Four20 Creative Collective as well as their Director of Consumer Marketing & Events Beth Lawrence. They recently held an extremely successful event called “Cooking with CBD” at Warehouse on Watts with The Herbal Chef Chris Sayegh, former NHL player Riley Cote of Philadelphia Flyers, and former NFL player Todd Herremans of Philadelphia Eagles. “Cooking with Cannabis” [or “Cooking with CBD” in limited markets] – powered by by FOUR20 Creative Collective’s popular FOUR20 Report industry newsletter – is a roving series pairing innovative culinary talent with a new cities across the country. Each installment offers an individually unique and unbelievably palatable collection of epicurean experiences for the 420 consumer.

Then we welcome food blogger Food in Jars, cookbook author, and canning teacher Marisa McClellan to talk about her latest book “The Food in Jars Kitchen: 140 Ways to Cook, Bake, Plate, and Share Your Homemade Pantry” from Running Press. Marisa McClellan wants everyone to know that a pantry full of homemade jams, jellies, salsas, and pickles can do a whole lot more than accompany toast. They can add bold bursts of flavor to your home cooking. Marisa has also been featured in The New York Times, USA TODAY, Parents Magazine, Wirecutter, Food Network, Serious Eats, The Kitchn, Grid Magazine, SAVEUR Magazine, Edible Philly, and Table Matters.

Going from jars to things in bottles we will have on Wesley Narron the Chief Wine Ambassador for City Wine Tours Philadelphia. City Wine Tours recently started running walking wine tours around 3 Philly neighborhoods. On their tours you’ll go to the heart of a neighborhood, sample delicious wines, taste contemporary cuisine and discover great restaurants. Each neighborhood is different, but you’ll drink good wine and have fun on every tour. Each tour will visit two stops, and sample 6 different wines. Sounds like fun to us.

Last, but certainly not least we will have join us William Malnati the founder of At Will Media. This 33 year old entrepreneur is taking the podcasting world by storm, but his early start was in hospitality. Will Malnati of At Will Media spent his 20’s building a restaurant empire which earned him a spot on both the Forbes and Zagat 30 Under 30 lists. Originally from Chicago, IL, he grew up in a family of restaurateurs: the grandson of Lou Malnati, founder of Chicago’s beloved pizza empire, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria). Will helped develop the restaurant brand Catch NYC, and went on his own to grow the hospitality brand Toro NYC. In 2015 he shifted his focus to media and podcasting and now has one of the fastest growing companies producing audio for brands like WeWork, Morgan Stanley, Viacom, GQ, New York Public Library, and the Clinton Foundation. At Will has been nominated for Best Branded Podcast 2019’s iHeartRadio Podcast Awards for The Atlantic Magazine’s The Future According to Now. They also produced first daily audio product for L’Oréal Group and Hearst Beauty for Amazon’s Alexa and also produce FAT MASCARA, the most popular Beauty podcast. At Will Media was co-founded with Jenna Ushkowitz (actor from Glee and Tony/Emmy award winner) and her original Series Epic Fail was purchased by SiriusXM.

You say you STILL NEED MORE!!! Don’t forget we still have our regular weekly segments from Courier-Post nightlife correspondent and The New York Times recognized for Blog Eating in SJ, John Howard-Fusco for his news of the week and please remember that John’s book “A Culinary History of Cape May: Salt Oysters, Beach Plums & Cabernet Franc” from Arcadia Publishing The History Press is available, Chef Barbie Marshall who is a Chef Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 finalist, appeared on Season 17 of FOX Hell’s Kitchen #AllStars, as well named Pennsylvania’s most influential chef by Cooking Light will delight us with her tip of the week, and a joke of the week from legendary joke teller Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling of The Howard Stern Show fame and his autobiography “The Joke Man: Bow to Stern” from Post Hill Press is available for purchase on Amazon.com. D & L Coffee Services Inc. and Bluejeanfood.com hope you will use the TuneIn app to listen worldwide or also catch Small Bites Radio syndicated on KGTK 920AM, KITZ 1400AM, KSBN 1230AM, KBNP 1410AM, Salem Radio Network, ScyNet Radio, Stitcher Radio, PodOmatic, Indie Philly Radio, Player FM, iTunes, and TryThisDish Radio which is the only independently owned and operated international chef-driven foodie and lifestyle radio network in the world.

https://small-bites.simplecast.com/episodes/small-bites-episode-115-Ht6eLbrq

D & L Coffee Services has an expert staff of highly qualified, certified, and experienced office, technical, and sales personnel. D & L Coffee Services are able to provide your business, home, or special event the absolute best from the beans they sell, vendors they work with, Italian delicacies available for delivery, catering on-site for any sized affair, hands-on barista training, equipment available for purchase, and maintenance/repair services for your espresso and coffee machines. You can stop by their warehouse at 7000 HOLSTEIN AVE, SUITE 3, Philadelphia, PA 19153 during business hours or call the office at 215-365-5521 for an appointment, consultation, or any questions.

https://small-bites.simplecast.com/episodes/small-bites-episode-115-Ht6eLbrq

Olor de Mar at Palo Verde Hotel – El Zonte, El Salvador

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Olor de Mar at Palo Verde Hotel – El Zonte, El Salvador

Situated on the Pacific Coast with a black sand volcanic beach front dining view is Olor de Mar at Palo Verde Hotel from Chef Carlos Burgos. If ever in the area, this is a must stop and stay destination and somewhere you can watch surfers catch some waves or take a surf lesson and do it yourself. Pictured is Ensalda Extrema with snapper carpaccio, Snapper Pargo Verde, and traditional pizza. As with many places around the world, the majority of El Salvador gets a bad rap, but this area is a tropical paradise with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. You could even brush up on your Spanish or try to learn it from scratch while attending lessons right at the hotel with Spanish School El Zonte instructors. Travel the world and find out for yourself. It is what is inside each other that matters, not what politics tell you.

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The Bourse Food Hall – Freebyrd Chicken & #getfried fry café – Philadelphia, PA

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The Bourse Food Hall – Freebyrd Chicken & #getfried fry café – Philadelphia, PA

My oh my, what a beautiful renovation at The Bourse Food Hall. So many choices and only so much I can eat at one time. Well you’re getting a 2 for 1 deal on this week’s post. You get two different food vendors in one post. For the price you pay to read this blog, that’s a steal. Let me start with the one I really enjoyed. That would be Freebyrd’s Nash-Vegas Honey Hot Chicken Sandwich with slow roasted pulled chicken, honey hot sauce, and beer mustard braised onions on a soft roll. It was delicious and devoured in seconds. I will definitely give them a repeat visit and try some of their other offerings. The other selection was from #getfried fry café with their Oh Canada Poutine with bacon topping. I’ll say I’ve had worse and I’ve had better. They have quite a selection of different things to try fried so I recommend you try them and let me know.

El Manantial – Woodbury, NJ

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El Manantial – Woodbury, NJ

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At first I wasn’t sure if I was in the right location when I walked through the doors of El Manantial as you enter into a nice Mexican Tienda and have to walk through to find your way to El Manantial. Once inside El Manantial it is quite a sight to be seen. This is sensory party for the eyes and you can see they are setup for some fun at night. They have specials every day for discounts and things going on which is nice. The food was pretty darn good as well and a large menu to choose from. I had 3 Mexican tacos of bistec, carnitas, and barbacoa which were a decent value, tasty, and filling.