When searching where to eat in Belize, I found many great restaurants and cafes. However this great Belizean food shack was a lucky find that I happened to stumble upon in one of the island’s fishing villages, Placencia.
A nine-hour plane journey, an overnight stop off in our favourite South Beach, Miami for cocktails at The Delano; 2 hours onward flight to Belize City, followed by a half hour wobble through the sky in a tiny tin-can plane over jungle and blue seas, landing and taking off twice to drop fellow passengers off on the way… This is the journey that has transported me from my office job in London to the Creole seaside village of Placencia, Belize.
After a heavy lunch of Creole fish curry at Omar’s Caribbean Cuisine and a visit to John The Bakerman, we wandered down the dusty track past barbers and supermarkets, coffee houses and bars, right to the end of the peninsula. Shacked up beside the pier and overlooking the clear blue waters was a hut full of pots and pans, with a bbq cooking up something delicious on the side. Brenda’s Food Shack was the name…
As we followed our noses to the tiny barbecue to see what was cooking, a large, colourfully-clad Creole lady approached, “Hi, I am Brenda!“. She told us that she was preparing Jerk chicken and sautéed prawns. We were quick to tell her that we were full from our meal so as not to disappoint (though I can tell you it was definitely we that had lucked out on this one!), but still smiling she went on and gave us a complimentary coconut macaroon for dessert. We reluctantly moved on and said we would come back for a bbq lunch.
The next day we ventured back, as promised, and ordered four Jerk chicken meals. Brenda served us each a box with rice ‘n’ beans, cabbage salad and grilled grapefruit, all topped with the main event of lightly charcoaled Jerk Chicken- tasty and toasty! Next day we went back again on the way to lunch to munch on an appetizer. My brother requested a box of pure chicken, no rice or frills. Sweet and lightly spicy: finger lickin’ good!
Sarcastic and full of character, Brenda told us ‘my purpose is not to look good but to feed the people… this is my place, it is small but I like it.’ As I looked up, out across to the pier surrounded by crystal blue waters and clear blue skies, I didn’t question her pride in position.
Best places to eat and drink in Placencia, Belize
Best atmospheric dinner: Rumfish y Vino
Best bakery: John The Bakerman
Best coffee shop: Above Grounds
Best ice cream: Tutti Frutti
Best hotel food: The Turtle Inn
Best jerk chicken: Brenda’s
Best seafood: Omar’s Creole Grub