We went to Caramba as we read some positive reviews about the place... They had a sign out front advertising a seafood platter special... and in we went. The seafood platter was nothing more than a regular-sized plate, with an even smaller dish holding some shrimp and scallops. It was a huge disappointment, and even bigger rip-off, considering the $30 US price attached to it...
This restaurant was highly recommended by locals. We arrived with the best of intentions to receive a great meal, but we were greeted with the fact that it would be a very long time for a table.. No problem, we would wait BUT we did not follow their instructions. We were ordered to review the menu and place our order. We decided to have a conversation instead, so they let several other people take tables before us.
So we get our table, order and wait over an hour asking twice where our food was. This was greeted with 'we told you to order earlier'. Even the cerviche took over an hour. We should have left then, but didn't. So we get our entree which has 2 errors. We point this out and they bring their handwritten ticket over and say, no you ordered this meaning the wrong item. How dare we think that they have written it down incorrectly.
The bill came and it was another surprise since no prices appeared on our menu. We did take a chance but I believe they charge according to your status, tourist vs. local.
I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever go there again. They are the most rude business I have ever come across.
Favorite Dish: you're kidding, right
The food was average, the ambience as well -nothing strikingly special. However, what stroke me as the worst was that the menu was inaccurate -they listed prices that did not include side options without making a note of it. So, when we got the bill, --after paying for it-- waiter returns with the news that it was not correct and we need to pay more - a very unpleasant surprise - and upon careful review we come across a dish (chicken fingers) that had been listed as $14 in the menu, now being a whooping $20. When we asked about the discrepancy, we were told that the $6 extra were "for fries". The waiter had not mentioned anything about paying more for the fries, so we had taken it as a side, and so we explained. That's when things got worst. We paid for the food, but we noted that we should have been advised about the price increase -and the lady in the front desk, who was like six tables away, started yelling that SHE had HEARD when the waiter had pointed out it was more money for the fries. Not only was she rude and cynical, she was implying WE were LYING --after paying for the food, implying we were what? trying to rob $6 worth of fries? The whole scene was very unpleasant. The food was nothing out of the ordinary and DEFINITELY not worth that moment. We are never returning again and truly believe the price did not reflect the quality of the food.
Favorite Dish: None. Average, nothing special. Many people on the island commented food has lost quality as of lately.
After our intial foray into downtown San Pedro, we were returning to our hotel along Middle Street when we walked past the 'Cocina' Caramba restaurant, with a lively 'caller' out on the sidewalk (it reminded me of Lisbon, Portugal), trying to entice customers in for a meal at 3 PM in the afternoon! We went over for a look at the menu and spoke to the man, who (we later found out) happened to be the owner, Rene Reyes. A Belizian who had moved to the island 15 years earlier from the mainland, Rene was very enthusiastic about his restaurant, so we mentioned that we liked the looks of the menu, and might be back for an evening meal in his Mexican/Caribbean speciality restaurant.
As it turned out, we spent the rest of the afternoon talking to the local woman who looked after our Hotel del Rio, and when we asked for her dinner recommendation, she mentioned the Caramba as one of her favourites. That settled it, when darkness fell, we made the short stroll back the few blocks to the Caramba, which was now really alive with people. Rene was still there greeting customers and he gave us a big smile and personally ushered us into the almost packed dining area!
Favorite Dish: Showing his flair for keeping customers happy, Rene supplied us a free Snapper Cerviche (tasty and spicy) to go with our Lighthouse Lager (US$2.50) and glass of Chardonnay (US$6) while we looked the menu over. In the end we decided to go 'Mexican', with a Grilled Veggie Fajita (US$6) and a Chicken Fajita (US$7.50), and both were excellent! It was great fun watching the busy activity as customers came and went in the warm evening air as the waiters rushed around with a huge lobster display trying to entice the customers into ordering a seafood 'special'. I get enough fresh lobster from my native Atlantic Ocean waters off Canada's east coast, so I did not have to try hard to resist that!
Caramba serves spicy local and Mexican dishes in downtown San Pedro. We are not seafood lovers and we couldn't for the life of us find a restaurant on the beach that had more than one menu item that wasn't seafood. So we scanned downtown and found Caramba. The theme is kind of retro, kind of Mexican, kind of neon or whatever.
Favorite Dish: Their salsa was so spicy that I couldn't taste the chunks of fish in it (that's a compliment). I enjoyed the spicy chicken wings and chicken quesadilla. Their margarita kicked my @ss (that's another compliment).
If you like seafood, they've got that too.
Great spot for fresh snapper and grouper prepared in a variety of ways. The prices here seem a bit lower than in other restaurants in town. Make sure to use plenty of the awesome local hot sauce.
Favorite Dish: Fresh snapper cooked in Caribbean spices.
If you need to cool off Carrambas is a nice air conditioned break with pretty good food. It has a fun atmosphere and very helpful waiters who are happy to give recomendations.
Favorite Dish: I had a lobster burger while my family had fish. It was all good but it was the pinapple daqurris were amazing. I'd recomend going there for just that.
The staff is very friendly and every table is full. But they somehow find a way to fit everyone in there, without making us wait. My waiter turned out to be the owner, Rene. Actually, he claimed that his name is Sponge Bob, but I didn't believe him.
Open 11:00 am to 2:00pm and from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm., closed on Wednesdays.
Favorite Dish: They served complimentary ceviche (like salsa) and chips, which was good!
For the entrees, I'm not a seafood eater, although everyone there seemed to enjoy their seafood. I ordered chicken fajitas and it was the best I've had in all Belize.