Delicious Argentinian Restaurant Opens on Ambergris Caye: La Fonda De Nilo
A new restaurant opened a few weeks ago about 2 miles south of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. La Fonda De Nilo is a charming, surprisingly spacious space with screened-in seating and open-air tables all surrounding the hearth where most of the food is prepared.
But let’s pause for a second…because maybe you are like me – and you don’t know much about Argentina’s cuisine and way of cooking. Because, if asked last week, what is the food of Argentina…I would have said: red meat…and maybe strong red wine. But it is more!
The food of Argentina is varied and has a heavy Mediterranean influence (97% of Argentinians have some European roots). From the Spanish colonists and later the Italian and Spanish immigrants to the country in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Argentina is most well-known for barbecue and grilling – called asado – but also for chimichurri, (the delicious sauce), yerba mate (the most popular drink), and for pizza. (Here’s a list of 15 Famous Dishes You Should Try)
Additional interesting facts about Argentina – it’s not just soccer and red meat – not at all! It’s BIG. It’s the largest (in area) Spanish-speaking country in the world. Che Guevara was born there. One of the most famous people in the world is Lionel Messi – the captain of the Argentinian football team. (He is considered by many to be the best football player in the world)
And yes, Argentines eat lots of beef. More than 100lbs of beef per year per capita. Second only to their neighbor Uruguay in consumption of red meat worldwide.
Okay…enough fun facts and details about the country, let me get to our meal at La Fonda de Nilo.
The restaurant is located south of San Pedro town- just between 2 of the island’s biggest resorts, Alaia Belize and Mahogany Bay Resort on the main road. It’s just north of the beautiful Victoria House Resort.
I found this commercial for the spot! The narrator sounds a bit like Dracula. I like it. And it shows how busy the restaurant can get in the evening.
It lists the hours: 2 pm to 9 pm – Open all days except Tuesday.
We were there at 2:15 pm – and were the first customers.
Inside, the chef and owner, Nilo was preparing the food for the day in the oven. Delicious bread and fresh ravioli or sorrentinos – the ravioli of Argentina, larger and round.
This is Nilo. From Argentina, he spent a year in Tulum, Mexico and is now in Belize. My Spanish is about as good as his English and…we needed a translator 🙂
We chose a spot outside – the porch is really nice…a great spot to watch the world go by.
The menu is pretty simple.
Steak front and center. But we wanted to try the empanada – Argentine Empanadas and that gorgeous-looking pasta.
One plate of empanadas – a tender bread filled with ground steak and veg and then 2 with spinach and cheese. These are great and the dipping/spooning sauces make it even better. A herbed chimichurri and a fresh salsa with some vinegar – almost a chunky fresh vinegrette. Delcious.
And then we ordered the ham and cheese sorrentinos with bolognese sauce. You have a choice of a few different sauces from pesto to alfredo. The meat sauce we ordered was so tasty…simple and bright but rich…delicious.
Covered in gooey cheese and a side of really fantastic warm soft bread.
Both Jeff and I loved it – big fans of Nilo and his new spot. I can only imagine that it is going to be very very popular.
The staff is helpful and very attentive.
We will be back for the arrachera AND the pizza. Soon.
Check it out and let me know what you think. I’m a big fan.