Yesterday I tried a new restaurant! Campo Tex-Mex on Front Street in downtown San Pedro.
But let me back up just a bit. Many people seem to think that the life of a blogger includes lots of free meals at all the newest places and deluxe hotel stays weekly – my life is decidedly not that.
I don’t waiver from routine very often. But yesterday I wanted to check out one of the newer spots in town located in one of the older spots in town. Campo Tex-Mex in the old Coral Beach Hotel – the home of the first dive shop on the island.
Situated right in the heart of San Pedro…
As soon as I entered, I started thinking about the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican food. And even more…about what I consider Belizean-Mexican food.
There are lots of articles out there but from reading a few, here is what I’ve decided the BIG differences are.
“Mexican Food”: Mexico is a HUGE varied country – in climate, in culture and in food. Basic elements in the food are corn, beans and chilis (ALL native to this area – these ingredients were unknown in Europe and Asia until Columbus came to the Americas). Tacos and burritos – yup, those are Mexican food. Cilantro & lime is a big part of the flavor. (And two of my favorite things in the world – they make EVERYTHING brighter and fresher and better.)
“Tex-Mex Food”: But Tex-Mex – now that’s different. It seems that the MAJOR difference is “yellow cheese”. And generally, instead of cilantro, more cumin is used. (Cumin is originally from the Middle East.) A popular flavoring in Tex-Mex chili and sauces. Fajitas, chimichangas (deep fried burritos) and queso are all Tex-Mex foods.
I had QUESO at Campo Tex-Mex.
The last category I’m going to add is Belizean-Mexican Food. A cuisine that is Mexican and Mayan – and rolls up under the category of Yucatan Mexican food. It is VERY popular in Belize, especially Northern Belize (including Ambergris Caye). You’ll see these items all over San Pedro. Like pork pibil and ceviche and salbutes and chaya. Here is a link to more information on these delicious options. Another interesting article on how annatto (the spice in rice and beans) and sour orange and pickled veggies play a big role in Yucatan food. SO GOOD.
Now that is clear – my lunch at Campo Tex-Mex. For those who love margaritas – and there are few alcoholic drinks as refreshing as a margarita – Campo has a full menu with fun specials like the Unicorn Margarita. (Hint: it’s pink color comes from flower petals.)
I went for a lunch time lime juice.
I think another thing that makes a spot “Tex-Mex” is KITSCH! Fun lights, bright colors, pinatas and sombreros. They’ve got it all. Even a little moustache so you can take your photo with the staff.
Air conditioning is also fantastic on these hot summer days. Free chips and salsa to start? Yes please!
We tried a tasty BIG burrito and these really good sour creamy-chicken enchiladas.
Portions are BIG – which I think also defines Tex-Mex? I’m not sure. A super fun spot to bring a party – maybe get there a bit early (5-6pm) for discounted margaritas?
Try it out! A new spot on the island by the island’s most famous chef – Chef Chris Aycock (formerly of Blue Water Grill, now at Rain and Aqua at Grand Caribe.)
And VIVA MEXICO! Check out their facebook page for information and specials.
For LOTS more information on food and drink on Ambergris Caye Belize, check out my new book – for 50 BIG Experiences on Ambergris Caye, Belize.