We’ve been in Belize for six days now and have exhausted all the restaurants nearby. There is one a bit further into town, but it’s only open Fri/Sat/Sun so we haven’t been able to try it out yet. After almost a week of the same stuff, we’re ready to try some BBQ.
We hang out around the pool for a while, just reading and relaxing. There are some folks from Canada that have just arrived, so we talk with them and have a couple Belikin. Belikin seems to have a stranglehold on beer in Belize. They make Belikin, Lighthouse and are the local bottler for Guinness. Those are the only three beers we’ve seen anywhere.
The Canadians are understandably happy to be in Belize. They’ve had a long snowy winter. Everyone back home is concerned about the spring thaw and hoping it will come slowly, otherwise flooding is going to be a major concern. For a couple weeks though, they are replacing that concern with making sure they don’t get too sunburned.
We leave and start to walk down the beach.
The beaches here are eclectic. The ones in front of unimproved property are littered with a stew of plastic (allegedly garbage dumped into the sea by Honduras) and seagrass. Walking along we see soda bottles, five gallon buckets and doll parts decomposing slowly in the unforgiving tropical sun. The flipside is that in this kind of an unmaintained environment, we also see dozens of kinds of birds, crustaceans and plants. A mix that we would never see if things had been “improved”.
Intermixed we see lots of properties in various states of improvement. It’s kind of a neat to see a mix of single family homes and mid-sized resorts along the beach. It’s still possible to buy a small home in town for $130K and on the beach for $300K. Prices go through the roof if a just finished 6 bedroom house is what you’re looking for, but there are still a lot of options.
Finally we arrive at our destination. We’ve read about The Lazy Croc on a bunch of websites, but are pretty skeptical. I mean, really, we’re not exactly in BBQ central. As we walk up things start to look like they are going to work out fine. About a hundred yards down the road we catch our first scent of the smoker. And a fine, fine scent it is.
Arriving at the property itself, we see the typical house dog (seems like every property has a house dog here) lounging out front welcoming guests. We follow the signs around the side of the building and past the smoker. It’s legit. Not some weird central american approximation of a smoker. The smoker is well used, just the right size and obviously well loved.
We get to the back of the building and find three picnic tables and a bar. That’s the entire restaurant. Out the back is a lagoon in which the namesake crocs live. This is either going to be really good or a train wreck.
Inspecting the menu there doesn’t seem to be any particular specialty, so we get the three meat plate to split. Pulled pork, chicken and beef ribs are the meats. We get mac and cheese, beans, potato salad and cole slaw as side dishes. And a couple Belikins to wash everything down.
I start with the pulled pork. One of my favorite dishes of all time and one that I use to compare BBQ joints. Lazy Croc was shockingly good. Astonishingly good. Top three I’ve ever had. The meat was slow roasted within an inch of it life, and tender, but without losing texture nor drying out. This ribs were also fantastic, falling off the bone but still full of flavor. Chicken is chicken, but the sauce at Lazy Croc was delicious.
Occasionally a croc bubbles up for a breath in the lagoon. Everyone jumps up and runs to the rail to see. The croc goes back down. Everyone returns to eating. It’s an afternoon well spent.
And with that we wander home and contemplate what to do with the evening. Perhaps a chicken drop.