Monday, January 02, 2012 12:20 PM
Best BBQ in San Pedro? Estel's on the Beach!
There is a lot of really good food in Belize. Off the top of my head, some of my most fondly remembered meals have been served up at Hannah's in San Ignacio, El Fogon in San Pedro and Miss Robina's roadside lean-to in Burrell Boom! We have tried lots of eateries on the island, with the expected mixed reviews but there is one place we return to time and time again; Estel's Dine by the Sea. Breakfast in San Pedro for our family always means Estel's. While I am usually keen on hunting out hidden gems, the out of the way places overlooked by the typical tourist, sometimes the best loved, highly trafficked places live up to their reputation and popularity. Estel's is just that kind of place!
This Caribbean style restaurant has been welcoming in hungry guests for years in this colorful rustic conch shack on the beach. We have tried out a few other local spots but keep coming back to Estella and Charles Worthington's place on the beach in downtown San Pedro. An all-day breakfast menu certainly is a draw as, after a long night of rum punch and bell ringing at Pedro's, it's hard to know for sure when breakfast might seem like a reasonable idea! Patrons can choose from a dizzying array of menu options all listed on the giant chalkboard propped up against the back wall by the register. Eggs as you like them, pancakes, fry-jacks, cinnamon buns, breakfast burritos...anything and everything you can imagine comes piping hot out of their tiny kitchen!
A full bar with outstanding (and very potent) house made sangria and dozens of other tropical beverages is another plus! Our kids enjoy the melon smoothies and watermelon juice while I generally go straight for the Bloody Mary's! While breakfast is almost always the order of the day, Charles and his crew serve up a full lunch menu with Belizean favorites including a killer stew chicken with rice and beans and, as I discovered this week, the most amazing BBQ on the island!
Not too smoky, not too sweet. Estel's has it just right and if you want it, you may want to come early (and wait patiently) or order in advance! Hovering over his gigantic cast iron barrel grill, Charles can be found for the good part of every morning carefully maintaining the right temperature, moving food from hot spot to hot spot, basting, turning, basting again until it is just right.
You can choose from ribs (my favorite) chicken and thick juicy pork chops or a combination. He's got all the customary sides to choose from as well: rice and beans, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and french fries. I can assure you it is worth the wait. The quality of the meats is top notch and the sauce (a highly guarded secret) is mouthwatering!
Aside from the delicious food, the powerful drinks and pleasant service, my favorite thing about a trip to Estel's is Charles' hospitality. His clientele is always as nice mix of locals and tourists and all are greeted with a smile like old friends. If you travel to San Pedro, it is unlikely that you will pass your time here without someone pointing you in the direction of Estel's for a great meal with a great view. Be sure to stop in, sick your toes in the sand and tell Charles that Michele and Big Rob from Playa sent you!