Lunch at Elvi’s Kitchen on Another Perfect Beach Day
I have no vehicle for driving about Ambergris Caye. No golf cart (new ones cost $15-22K BZD…I mean SERIOUSLY?), no car, no bicycle (I seem to be the only person on the island that arrives at their destination drenched in sweat…how does everyone make it look so effortless?)…sometimes I take a taxi, sometimes I hitch a ride but mostly it’s walking. So here is some of my walk to town yesterday. Another beautiful day. Breezy, mid 80s and sun. Lots of sun. A buoy washing up on shore… Coral Bay Villas…very very pretty condos. I arrived in town just as the Roman Catholic School bell was ringing to end lunch. The herd pounded past me dust flying. Just outside the school gates, a few women and men sell snacks for kids. Sometimes shaved ices, sometimes fruit but mostly candy, candy and more candy. It’s kinda beautiful. As a kid in Ridgewood, NJ, we had Pat’s Deli that packed us full of Swedish fish, red hot fireballs, bazooka, whistle pops and candy cigarettes (can you believe they used to sell those?), the candy here is served on a bicycle cart. I wasn’t going to eat lunch out…but the call of San Pedro’s best dessert (here are all the winners) was just way too strong for me. Miss Elvi’s Coconut Pie. Warm with iced cream. I headed over to Elvi’s Kitchen on Middle Street. Is pie going to be enough? Hungry, I took a look at their new menu. Elvi’s has been on the island for years…and years. See this tree covered it lights? The original Elvi’s Hamburgers was a tiny outdoor place beneath this tree. Elvi’s is featured in every guide book there is. It’s a spot that could easily sit back and rest of its laurels. But they don’t. Not at all. In fact, in the past few years, Elvi’s has crept into, easily, my top five favorite restaurants. Jennie Staines, hometown girl and the chef at Elvi’s, is SUPER passionate about food, both local and international. She has updated but not changed many of Belizeans classic dishes and made them even more appealing. You’ve got to try it out. Here is just a section of their brand new menu. And one of my favorite parts of the restaurant. On the wall, they have a photo of Jennie serving Prince Harry during his visit in 2012. I like to zoom in and pretend that it’s just me and Harry. (Here is my trip to Belmopan to “meet” him.) I switched my order from tacos to whole fried fish to conch soup…and was very happy. SO GOOD. Creamy, packed with conch and veg, coconutty with delicious coconut rice on the side. And $18bzd. Much more of a chowder than a soup…it is good. And left me just enough room for coconut pie. It’s a coconut day…or…maybe not. Coconut pie is still in the oven. Not a problem…the second best dessert in town is also at Elvi’s. The amazing frozen Caye Lime pie. With frozen whipped cream (the second best thing about it) and my FAVE part…ginger snap crust. So so delicious. And I didn’t even take a picture until it was almost gone… And coconut pie? I’ll be back for you in a few days. Miss you.