You know you've been in a place for awhile when you start repeating yourselves! Like this time last year
, we enjoyed a fine opening day lunch at Aji,
one of our neighborhood restaurants, but since we forgot our camera last year, this time we came prepared to snap some photos of the great setting and delicious food prepared by Chef Hugo.
Unlike last year, when heavy rain forced us to eat at the bar, this time around we had a lovely table outside in the trees, with a beautiful beach-side view.
Our tabletop decor
The special menu
Like last year, they offered a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert for a very reasonable $25 BZ ($12.50 US) and drink specials as well. I rarely get to indulge in wine here because of the high prices, but at $10 BZ ($5 US) a glass, this Sauvignon Blanc was a welcome treat!
We decided to order different things for each course so we could taste as many dishes as possible. For our appetizers, I ordered the Seafood Fritters, while Barry ordered the Hummus with veggies and chips. Both were fresh and delicious, and the fritters were HOT. Perfect!
For our entrees, I got the grouper and Barry the vegetable pasta. Again, delish! As I told Barry, I wish folks down here didn't make that high-carb white rice taste SO delicious by cooking it so perfectly in coconut milk, because I know it's not good for me...but I can't resist it cooked Belizean style! Mmmmmmmm.... And the fish was perfectly cooked.
My Grouper Caribeno with steamed veggies and that addictive coconut rice
Barry's Pasta Arrabiata
We ordered one of each dessert, the Chocolate Rum Cake and the Caye Lime Pie. Both were yummy and attractive, but I think we both agreed that the tartness of the pie with its delicious lime glaze was the top choice. I wanted to lick the beautiful plate and would have if I'd been at home!
Right before our desserts arrived, our good friends and snowbirds Ruthie and Chunky, just back on the island from their six months in Minnesota, arrived on Forrest Jones' Hobie Cat from south of town. It was funny because I'd noticed the Hobie sailing up and wondered how they had enough wind as we could feel almost none from our table, sheltered by trees. Apparently they had plenty of wind out on the water. We were surprised to discover that the very boat we'd been watching was "crewed" by our friends. We greeted them with hugs and were truly delighted to see them!
Ruthie, Barry, and Chunky
After meeting Forrest and saying our goodbyes to Ruthie and Chunky, who should we run onto on our way out but Ben and Joanna Popik, island friends who run Island Films
here on Ambergris Caye. We hadn't even seen them in the foliage of the restaurant. We all noticed that an extremely large black cloud was forming behind us to the north, and since they had farther to walk than we did, Joanna suggested that they better walk fast once they passed our building.
I'm afraid they didn't make it home without getting wet, because not long after we got safely inside our condo, the rain came fast and hard. Wow! We were imagining the folks at the restaurant having to scramble to get everyone sitting outside the palapa, and their food, safely under cover. We were so lucky that we had had perfect timing today!
Forrest's Hobie at the Aji dock
Here is what it looked like just five minutes after we got home:
Storm! Forrest's Hobie visible just north of our condo
Once the storm had passed, we saw the Hobie heading south right outside our windows. With wind out of the north, they should be pushed right home. We waved from our dock, but I don't think they ever saw us.
Forrest, Chunky, and Ruthie heading home