Escabeche in Belize. San Ignacio Escabeche from Cahal Pech Village Resort.
Escabeche from a local restaurant in San Ignacio, Cayo. Cahal Pech Village Resort Restaurant & Bar.

On the last day of my western weekend getaway, I decided to visit the Cahal Pech Village Resort. Nestled in the heart of San Ignacio atop a hill – it was to be the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon. Now you could hike there like I did, but know that you’ll be in for quite the workout, as the road up the hill is quite steep.

Now, as I made my way into the resort, a gracious staff member greeted me. Although my intention was to unwind by the pool, a sudden rain shower also extended its greeting; presenting me with a dilemma. Do I sit at the restaurant with its garden view, or do I choose the bar overlooking the three outdoor pools? (Well – the bar is right next to the man-made waterfall so -) bar it is.

Settling in, I decided to try the Cucumber-Lime-Ginger juice. A choice offered at a reasonable BZ $6 a glass and served over ice.

(And before anyone starts throwing hate because I ordered juice at a bar, for reasons I won’t get into, I needed to be sober – ok?)

This concoction was a perfect balance of refreshing, earthy, citrus-y and sweet. And though the ice carried a faint note of rusted pipes, it didn’t deter me from indulging in not just one, but two additional glasses.

After a while, I started to get hungry and looking over the menu, I notice that they had Escabeche. It’s priced at BZ $16 and served with a choice of corn tortilla or white rice. But above all, it’s one of my favourite dishes so of course I had to give theirs a try. I chose the tortillas and after what seemed like forever (the wait was more like 15 minutes, but I was itching to start eating) my meal arrived. And to my surprise, there was rice as well, that aside, I went in for a taste.

Now, if you don’t know what Escabeche is. It is an Authentic Belizean dish. An onion soup, with chicken that is pan-fried before being added to the soup, served typically with corn tortilla. This Mestizo dish incorporates vinegar and pickled jalapenos to its base. Plus herbs and spices such as garlic, dried oregano, saffron, allspice and black pepper. It can also include sour orange for added brightness.

So How Did The Escabeche At Cahal Pech Village Resort Fare?

Not so well – Here is why.

It was sweet and somewhat earthy with an all-over dullness that left me unsatisfied. One of the staff took notice of my discontent and fetched some jalapenos upon my request. But this did not yield the intended result, as it imparted freshness instead of savoriness. On the flip side, the onions were nice and tender, yet still crisp. While the chicken had a light sear (but also flavourless) and was melting off the bone. There isn’t much to say about the corn tortillas (they were factory made). And though the rice looked good, I didn’t have any.

Escabeche in Belize. San Ignacio Escabeche from Cahal Pech Village Resort.

In spite of the drawbacks, I enjoyed my time at Cahal Pech Village Resort in San Ignacio, Belize. It was truly an Authentically Belizean experience. The setting and service provided were exceptional, and the panoramic views of the sky and valley created the perfect backdrop. A splendid end to my western weekend getaway.

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4 Responses

  1. Upon reading this review I said to myself that I must try this place. Since me and partner are on a little adventure to try every restaurant in the San Ignacio, Santa Elena area, I convinced my partner for us to try this place. After reading the review as well, we said it’s time and we packed up and made our way to Cahal Pech Village Resort to try it for ourselves. Cahal Pech was one of the best experience I’ve ever had. And my partner decided to try to escabeche which she fell in love with.

  2. Wow! Interesting read! As a Belizean, unfortunately I have not travelled as much outside my district, I really should check out different places and experience what my beautiful country has to offer like these amazing dishes! 😍

  3. Despite all the rendezvous around the country with different versions of the legendary onion soup, escabeche, my heart still skips a beat for this dish.

    I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this mouth watering dish at Cahal Pech. One day, Cahal Pech, one day!

    And let’s not forget the inevitable contender for the ultimate escabeche throne – my dear grandmother’s version. 🧅🍲❤️ As I continue on my quest for the perfect escabeche, I’ll forever hold my grandmother’s creation close to my heart. After all, in the world of escabeche, it’s the LOVE that’s the secret ingredient, right? This dish is indeed an authentic Belizean food 🤤🤤🤤

  4. I’ve been to Cahal Pech resort several times and I’ve had other items off their menu. I’ve never tried the Escabeche- not really my cup to tea when it comes to the go-to authentic food of Belize. I would definitely encourage any Belizean or travelers to give this place a try. It’s truly an experience by itself!

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