Belize City does not top the list of tourist destinations in our tiny country.
While the city does have sights – like historical though slightly crumbling Fort George area – and exploding cultural energy, to the first time visitor (and sometimes to those who have visited for years) it can definitely seem a bit chaotic and very overwhelming.
But if you live in the country, you will probably find yourself visiting and then sooner or later looking forward to trips to “Belize” (the city is most often called just “Belize” by those who live here.) It’s the spot where much of the countries business is done (accounting, finance and legal work), where you can find some of the best shopping in the country AND some of the best food.
Not necessarily the finest resort style dining – not so much linen table clothes and fancy imported chefs – but GREAT food prepared by Belizeans – some who hail from all over the world.
Just this week I was introduced to Chef Roger – a Lebanese chef and caterer who is making AMAZING Mediterranean foods in his home in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City. He started doing take away shwarma or gyros on Saturdays for friends and family.
And then people started enjoying the food on his front deck and…a new eatery was born.
I was in Belize City visiting Mirab’s – the department store of Belize – and checking out the construction of their new store. Soon to be the largest retail space in the country. HOLY IMPRESSIVE. But I have lots more on that.
Let me first show you THE AMAZING FEAST that Chef Roger prepared for us before any shopping was done.
And before I get started – my burst bubble: I was back in San Pedro at the end of the afternoon – after eating 5 mini-baklava on the water taxi on my way home. I stopped by my favorite supermarket for some dinner fixings and to brag to the Belizean-Lebanese shop owners about my meal.
“Who? OH you mean Chef Ro-ZHAY. We are eating there Friday”. They have know about Chef Roger for years.
Sigh…so it’s not a scoop for them…maybe it’s new to some of you.
Fresh homemade cheese and tabouleh, nuts and pickled vegetables, falafel and pita and kebabs of all sorts, pita, hummus and babaganoush and the piece de resistance – a garlicky spread, just oil and garlic and lime…whipped together into something that I want to eat on EVERYTHING.
Cashew and pistachio filled and honey soaked.
The Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City is an upscale residential area on the outskirts of the city – the area where our Prime Minister lives.
The Chef has a facebook page with his information and suggests that you call 20 mins ahead if you are stopping by for lunch – and perhaps the night before if you would like a spread like we had.
Or give him a call and have dinner put on the plane to San Pedro – now THAT is an impressive meal with friends.
Trust me, you’ll love it.
See some post below for some other ideas for exploring Belize City.