San Pedro, Belize

My fiance had been telling me about the spicy pad thai at Rendezvous since I met her, and she'd been fantasizing about it since she first had it, more than three years ago. It was perhaps the thing she was most excited to come to Belize for. They make their own wines, and we tried the cabernet sauvignon, which was light and fruity, perfect for Belize. They serve some complimentary soft bread with softer butter and parsley.

I'll just say that the Combo Exotica was amazing. It's different every day, and I imagine it's always a good choice.

We both got the famous pad thai. We never order the same dish anywhere, always wanting to try everything, but I knew Shana wouldn't want to share this dish she'd waited so long to have. It's chicken and shrimp in a tomato sauce I actually liked, perfectly spicy, peanuty and more. It's true - it's the best pad thai I've ever had too, partly because it's so fun and different and interesting. The flavors are just really well-constructed and balanced.

It was so great to eat a meal like this in my sandy, flip-flopped toes, shorts and the bright coral t-shirt I've worn two days in a row, with Nina Simone and other good stuff playing. Whatever else you do in San Pedro, make a trip to Rendezvous.

In Town:

Wild Mangoes:
Crazy fusion banh mi - A Thai meatball (Italian) version of a French-influenced Vietnamese sandwich in Belize from an American chef at a restaurant that labels itself Tex-Mex. It was delicious. They used soft bread, but it still had pickled carrots daikon and cilantro, spicy mayo, plus there are all those hot sauces on the table for heat, and crispy meatballs. It's a nice little twist on a bahn mi. I'd order this two dozen more times.

Shrimp stuffed jalapeños: The best I've ever had in my life. The beading was crispy crunchy, perfectly fried and non greasy. The cilantro dipping sauce and roasted salsa most and the table sauces and the shrimp cheese herb filling of the jalapeños is all amazing.

Thai coconut ceviche: very coconut-y, very Asian-y flavored

Amy the chef's salad was awesome: romaine, avocado, papaya, pineapple, pickled ramps, cashews, hearts of Palm, chicken (I subbed in shrimp), mango something vinaigrette, I may be forgetting an ingredient or two - awesome

Al pastor tacos - great, especially with roasted salsa, all the table salsas, and that avocado dressing from our order (twice in a row!) of those stuffed jalapeños 

Mango coconut banana smoothie - perfect for rehydrating after snorkeling all morning

I'd recommend this place to anyone, anywhere in the world. Did I mention it's on the most beautiful beach I've ever seen? 

The desserts that passed us by also looked amazing.

Belizean Chocolate Company:

Also the best chocolate cookie I've ever had, seems to be made with crystallized sugar, shortening or else just a ton of wonderful butter, eggs, and amazing chocolate that just melts as soon as it hits your tongue.

The next day we got two more cookies and a chocolate brownie: moist as fuck
I really wanted to try the chocolate tort and the chocolate cheesecake - next time!

Make sure you're in town for a Thursday night so you can go to the famous Chicken Drop! You bet on the square where a chicken will poop.

Matachica Resort:

We could've had dinner there, and the food we passed by looked fine, but there's more fun food to be had elsewhere. It's expensive at Matachica, and they're trying to give the kind of French style upscale food you'd get in America. Pass. They do have complimentary breakfasts as well as more elaborate breakfasts you can pay for. I tried getting breakfast in town once, but there are very few options. I wound up trying a Chicken Johnny, which was a bread biscuit filled with chicken and a little mixed together mayo and mustard. Unless you wake up really late, you should probably eat your resort's breakfast. Though, if you have better breakfast advice, please do let me know. I hope to get back someday.

Just a picture of their cute salt and pepper container and our turtle key coming for a nibble.

For the complimentary breakfast, you get assorted fruits, toasted bread, a boiled egg, peanut butter, butter, jam and your choice of a fry jack (pictured above), banana bread (not bad) or yogurt.

Or you can pay for other simple breakfasts (as above and below).

Neither impressive or interesting nor bad.

Right next to Matachica:

Where we liked to go for dinner and/or drinks in the area: Rojo Lounge

Very friendly bartenders. They drink with you. They play great music (like, actually great music. They're hipper about discovering cool new music that I am). You can have a good time here. The other patrons are there to be fun and friendly too.

Nice cocktails

Grouper cakes: like really good crab cakes, with a perfect crispy fry with a coconut dipping sauce

Belkin stout braised pork baos:
 Softest bao ever, with delicious bao flavors, amazing, why is the food so good everywhere on this island??

Cheesey Chaya dip: an iron rich green mixed with melted cheese and Parmesan and maybe more herbs with toast points - good! Share amongst four.
We also tried a tasty white shrimp etc. pizza slice some nice lady wanted us to try. 

Za jiang mien: spicy, tasty, added sriacha to get quite enough flavor and right at heat maximum, julienned jalapeños and peppers, slices of cucumber, Hamburger Helper-shaped noodles but freshly made, crumbled pork sausage almost makes the meal feel Italian. The heat smacks you when you stop eating and makes you really want their homemade ice cream. 

There's a great dessert menu here too, including soursop and pandanus, local fruit ice creams. But they were out of those the day I got ice cream, so I got the mudpie: espresso ice cream with caramel, Oreo cookie and more that I don't recall.

I really, really, really want to come back to San Pedro. I don't often feel so strongly about seeing a place more than once, but it is so nice here. While I enjoyed Placencia, for instance, I wouldn't bother going back there. And of course, there are always more places to see and things to do all over Belize.

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