Clarissa Falls Restaurant

Having frequently mentioned Clarissa Falls Resort, and the delicious food served there, we decided it was high time to do a column featuring the restaurant in its own right. Clarissa Falls has become our favourite San Ignacio area lunch spot, and not only because owner/manager Chena Galvez is high on our list of favourite Belizean persons. The Belizean food served here is dependably delicious, and though we never tire of our usual choices, we are not disappointed by branching out and trying new selections.

Sip a glass of Chena’s home-made lemonade and listen to the falls ripple over the rocks in the Mopan River below, as you peruse the menu. It features predominantly “Mestizo” style Belizean dishes, and if I had to pick one, I’d say its best feature would be the soups. Every bowl is cooked up freshly, just as you order it, and is chock full of wonderful vegetables, meat or beans (or a combination). Each is served in a huge bowl with a basket of steaming, handmade corn tortillas, making a satisfying meal for anyone.

The Menu (prices in US$)

A good way to start your noon or evening meal would be with a few tacos, of the soft variety, made with beans, beef, chicken, or pork and chopped fresh garnish (75 cents for two), or perhaps a couple of enchiladas smothered in sauce with onions (75 cents each). Then choose from a half-dozen salads, pastas, and several choices of main course such as: Escabeche, a soup-meal consisting mostly of onions, in a zesty broth, with tortillas ($5); Relleno Negro, another local dish, being dark soup with vegetables, chicken and a boiled egg-filled meatball, also with tortillas ($7.50); or, stuffed local squash, offered with beef, or vegetarian style ($7.50). Although some wouldn’t consider it a “Belizean dish,” I have to say, the Spaghetti al Ajo La Clarissa (translation: GARLIC), was a heavenly, buttery, garlicky, delight! (Price: $5.)

For dessert, be sure to ask for a slice of Chena’s black, spirit-soaked, fruitcake. She candies all of her own tropical fruits for this decadent creation that has become a Christmas tradition for all of her lucky neighbours!

Clarissa Falls Restaurant is also quite popular with vegetarians, offering several meat-free selections, all as delicious as the rest. Breakfast is served here, too, and for only $5, you get a full meal; fresh fruit, eggs, tortillas and more.

It is easy to get here by car, taxi or bus (or canoe). It’s located 5-1/2 miles west of San Ignacio. The turn-off to the north is visibly marked by a bright green bus stop shelter, with the words “Clarissa Falls” painted on it. Telephone: 501-9-23916.

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