Utila, Honduras: The Food

I recently had the pleasure of spending two weeks in Honduras with my family. We spent 2 days in Roatan and 12 days in Utila.

Our time in Roatan was just so we could catch the ferry the next day to Utila, without having to worry about timing and whatnot.

Because there are so many pictures and experiences I want to share with you, I am going to break this up into two posts. This post will mainly talk about the food, as well as some of the surroundings we saw while eating.

We flew into Roatan and stayed at The Bananarama Resort in West End. We spent most of the day at the beach and had some whole fried fish. It was delicious and a great way to start the vacation.

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The next day we took the ferry to Utila. Just to give you some background on why we chose Utila, my grandpa was born and raised in Utila. My grandma was born and raised in Puerto Cortez (on the mainland Honduras). They met in Cortez and moved to the states and haven’t been back to Honduras since.

Well my grandpa is getting up there in age, so my grandma finally decided this was the year to go back.

So we did, and we spent two fun-filled weeks there exploring the island and meeting all of our cousins and family members.

Utila, in a word, is breathtaking.

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There is beautifully clear water, warm weather, nice people, and delicious food. During our 12 days on Utila, we explored, ate, and enjoyed.

Food We Ate:

While we were in Utila, we went to a couple different restaurants, and also ate some homemade food.

RJ’s Grill:

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We went to RJ’s three times during our stay. The first night, I had grilled chicken with a bunch of different sides.

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It was so delicious! There was BBQ sauce on the chicken, which I wasn’t expecting, so it made it even better. The chicken fell right off the bone– so magical.

The next time we went I ordered steak. It was okay. It was overcooked for my taste, and the meat was pretty tough, but it tasted good! The baked beans were also pretty great.

One thing I’ve noticed about ketchup in other countries, it is super sweet. Maybe it’s the sweetener they use, but no matter where I go outside of the US, the ketchup is just too sweet for me.

The last time we went to RJ’s, we had a private lunch made especially for us. They made conch soup, beans, rice, boiled carrot and plantains, breadfruit, and vinegar cabbage with carrots and onion.

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If you have never eaten conch soup, you are missing out. Especially homemade. It is so delicious and magical.

Mermaid’s:

We ate here a couple times, mostly for their pastelitos.

Pastelitos are these delicious pockets of meat. Most of the time, they’re referred to as empanadas in other places, but in Honduras they are known as pastelitos.

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We also had pizza from Mermaid’s as well, but it wasn’t that great.
If you haven’t read my Nicaragua post, then let me fill you in on something. All the pizza I’ve ever eaten in Central America, never has pizza sauce on it. It’s basically bread, cheese, topping. It is so weird to me!
While the pizza at Mermaid’s was decent, I would have rather had a little bit of sauce on it to make it less dry from the thick crust.

Relapse:

We went to Relapse on our second day in Utila because my grandmother was craving some conch soup. The entire restaurant is basically over the water, looking out at the ocean.

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They had a ton of seafood and other “American” cuisine. Mostly everyone ordered the Mariners Soup, which had different seafood, including conch and lobster.

I, on the other hand, ordered the suicide wings. With a side of plantain chips.

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Fun fact! They put lemon pepper on the plantain chips, which was delicious! I’ve never thought to do that before.
The suicide wings, I was told, were supposed to be very hot. I’m a lover of spicy food, but they really weren’t that spicy to me. Granted, a lot of the food on the island wasn’t inherently spicy, either.

Along with this, I had a Port Royal Beer, as well as a Funky Monkey, which basically tasted like a banana-y piña colada.

Other Foods:

We didn’t really eat out a ton while there, we did eat breakfast in the apartment, and we occasionally bought pastelitos or baleadas while out and about. While we were at the public beach, Sandy Bay, we ate some baleadas and pastelitos.

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Baleadas are more of a breakfast food, which is a tortilla with beans, cheese, eggs, bacon, chorizo, or whatever you want to put in there. Think of something similar to a breakfast taco, except it stays flat and folded in half.

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We went to an Argentinian restaurant that served chicken schnitzel, which was all right. They had a lot of smoothies, which I would love to try next time I visit.

We also tried pizza from a different place, that made thin crust, almost New York-style pizza. It was also okay. While the pizza had more sauce than the previous one, it was overpowered by some sort of basil flavor.

Lastly, we ate some delicious homemade fish caldo. The owner of the apartments we stayed in is friends with my grandparents and great aunt, and she was kind enough to cook us some amazing fish caldo.
Caldo is just soup, but nobody really eats the fish caldo like soup. You put the veggies and rice on your plate, put the fish on the side, and pour the gravy from the soup over everything and eat it as you please. Oh, and you can’t forget the squeeze of lime juice!

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With this caldo, we had cabbage, carrots, plantain, potatoes, Kingfish, and rice.

Drinks:

I can’t talk about food without also talking about drinks! Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
When I travel somewhere, I always make an effort to try at least one local beer. While in Utila and Roatan, I was able to try four!

The first one you saw above, which was Port Royal. The second one I had was Salva Vida. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of it. Third was Imperial.

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And the last beer I tried was Barena.

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Along with beer, I also had quite a bit of Flor de Caña. Although it’s made in Nicaragua, it’s still a very popular rum on the island.

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And of course, my favorite tropical drink, a piña colada.

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Some of the non-alcoholic beverages I enjoyed were fruit juice, coca-cola, Honduran coffee, and fresh coconut water from a young coconut (and the meat!).

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***

That’s basically what we ate while in Roatan and Utila! My next post will include what we did and where we went while in Utila, with a lot more pictures!

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