November 1, 2006


Entrance at Arrecife's Restaurante

Arrecife means reef in Spanish. It is also the name of a new-to-us restaurant in La Ceiba. It's located out by the muelle de cabotage (the pier area). We pass their billboard on the highway every time we go to town and had just never tried it.

We decided to take Bound for Ceiba there. Wow. Were we impressed. Very nice looking indoor and outdoor areas. Nice ambiance. Live entertainment. Attentive service. Plants galore − I especially love this coral palm (Cyrtostachys renda, also called Sealing Wax Palm) in this photo, of which they had several. Big, heavy wooden chairs and tables. Sparkling lights on the plants. Seashells and other decorations all around. We choose to eat outside. We generally do, but it was cool Sunday night and it was freezing inside the air conditioned restaurant.

The menu was extensive and, of course, their specialty is seafood. The menu also includes pastas, chicken, and beef. After browsing the menu forever, we decided to go for the mixed platter of seafood, said to be for two to three people at L.900. L900! That sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well, it is a lot for a La Ceiba restaurant, but it was a special occasion. With tax and tip added, that worked out to about $58 U.S., not including the beverages.

Here's the platter:

The platter was about 16 inches across and included grilled fish, a mountain of shrimp, conch, two lobster tails, two gigantic crab legs, tostones, and the requisite pickled onions. It also came with a trip to the salad bar, which was nice and fresh, and side dishes of rice and mixed vegetables.

The tostones are the round yellow things around the edge of the platter. Tostones are twice fried unripe plantains. The plantain is sliced about an inch thick, fried for awhile, then taken out, smashed hard to flatten it with a hammer or rock, and then fried some more. This gives it a nice crispy texture almost as if it is breaded. They are quite tasty and not greasy, as you might expect.

That menu is wrong! If it wasn't for El Jefe's diligence, we would have left half the platter. Even with his best efforts, we could not finish everything. Not too bad for less than $20 per person.

Since you know that I'm always completely honest, I'll have to say that the food was just a tad salty, but other than that, it was a very good experience.

They offered a huge selection of cocktails, wine, and 'shooters.' (Haha − we didn't do shooters, in case you were wondering.) The cocktails were excellent, served nice and icy cold − one of my pet peeves in most restaurants. Sadly, I was too full to try one of the several dessert selections. Ordinarily I never miss a chance to try a dessert, but it will have to wait for another time. And there definitely will be another time.
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