Street Food Saturday: Empanadas from Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, Belize

I will never forget the first time I ever tasted an empanada. I was 18 and working with a girl from Argentina who brought them in one day for us to try.

I was immediately hooked. 

Those empanadas were definitely integral in opening my eyes to the world of culinary travel an unmentionable number of years ago.

For today’s post on the A to Z Blog Challenge, I can’t resist sharing a photo of my favorite empanadas here in Belize. They are masa based, stuffed with fish and served with a cabbage relish that is divine. They are lighter and less filling than many other empanadas I’ve had, which means I can easily scarf down an entire order on my own.

If you visit Belize, I definitely recommend giving these a try! Also, try the coconut shrimp curry – it’s one of my favorite dishes of all time! 

Empanadas Elvi's Kitchen Belize

Empanadas from Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, Belize

Ambergris Caye, Belize Restaurants: Sunday Brunch at Red Ginger inside The Phoenix Resort

One of the “must try” Ambergris Caye Sunday Brunch spots I keep hearing about from my friend Rebecca at SanPedroScoop.com is Red Ginger at The Phoenix Resort.  When I was down in October I had hoped to make a visit, but like usual, ran out of time.  Ironically, we were spending a couple nights at The Phoenix (including a Sunday) during my trip last month, so we planned a morning dive with my friend Robbie, giving us just enough time to hit brunch before it ended.

Red Ginger has developed quite a reputation both on and off the island for its tapas, wine specials, and of course, its Sunday Brunch.  The menu is simple as compared to other restaurants you might be used to back home, but the options are excellent, and there are some lunch entrees and flatbread pizzas available as well.

Red Ginger at The Phoenix Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize

Bar inside Red Ginger at The Phoenix Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize

We asked our server what he recommended, or the menu item(s) Red Ginger is most known for during brunch, and he quickly replied with the Huevos Rancheros being number one. Despite my deep-rooted love and passion for Mexican food, Huevos Rancheros is something I typically never order nor have I really ever been a fan of.

Deciding not to shy away from what was said to be the best item on the menu (despite the orange crepes that continued to call my name), I went with the Huevos Rancheros ($18 Belize).

Best. Decision. Ever.

Red Ginger Belize Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros ($18 BZE) from Red Ginger

Especially hungry after scuba diving, the plate arrived and I may have audibly let out a squeal of delight.

If you aren’t familiar with Huevos Rancheros, it’s a classic Mexican breakfast dish that is quite popular in the Americas as well.  Traditionally, it is simple fare of fried eggs on corn tortillas with a tomato-chili like sauce.  Some restaurants may serve it with rice and/or beans on the side as well.

Red Ginger’s take on Huevos Rancheros was a bit more hearty and all-inclusive.  Starting with a large, thick flour tortilla, there was a generous slathering of beans, eggs over-easy (you can choose how you want the eggs cooked), chunky salsa, queso fresco (love the cheese on Ambergris Caye!), and some chopped cilantro.  You can choose a side of bacon, ham, or sausage and I went for the bacon, my favorite artery clogging part of the pig.

Despite being starving after diving and the fact it was nearly 2pm and we were eating our first meal of the day, I could barely finish it — don’t underestimate that thick tortilla!

The Huevos Rancheros had a little spice, but definitely was mild enough for non-spicy eaters.  The thick tortilla with the beans, gooey egg yolk, and fresh crumbled cheese was a definite win.  The bacon was crispy and thick with just the right amount of fat.  Sounds odd, but not all bacon is really the same and I’ve become quite picky about bacon in my world travels.  I’ve found that bacon in Europe is often pretty boring and bland, and pigs in Taiwan make for great sausage, but fall short in the bacon department as well.

Huevos Rancheros at Red Ginger inside The Phoenix Resort

Thick tortilla, beans, eggs, queso fresco, cilantro, and a side of bacon

Sadly, I was fairly dehydrated from diving and all the travel the day before, so I opted not to drink any alcohol, but I have heard fantastic things about Red Ginger’s Bloody Marys and Mimosas.  Given the fact I have been craving the Huevos Rancheros since that day, I think it’s safe to say I need to come back on my next trip in June to get my Huevos Rancheros craving satiated and report back on Red Ginger’s Bloody Marys!

Red Ginger can hold large groups for brunch as well

Red Ginger is open for Sunday Brunch from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and the menu offerings can change every week, but rest assured I think the Huevos Rancheros is a regular menu staple.  If you are a guest of The Phoenix Resort, you are entitled to 10% off your bill at Red Ginger, along with the other affiliated food outlets — Caliente, Wine de Vine, and Blue Water Grill — during your stay.

I was hosted by The Phoenix Resort for this particular (lodging) portion of my media week in Belize, but all views and opinions expressed are my own. For more on travel in Belize and upcoming posts and articles from this media tour, please join my new Belize Travel Examiner page on Facebook.

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