Chan’s Fast Food, Middle Street, Caye Caulker , BelizeMarch 25th, 2010 by David Lam
South of the Yucatan Peninsula and east of Guatemala is one of the best hole-in-the-wall joints for Chinese food north of the equator. An hour by water taxi from Belize City on a small island known as Caye Caulker is Chan’s Fast Food, a weather-beaten blue wooden plank shack with a hinged wooden panel propped up to reveal the service counter and provide overhead shade while you peruse the menu board.
One can choose from ubiquitous categories: Chop Suey, Fried Rice, Chow Mein and an assortment of Western food including hamburgers, chicken wings, and steaks. The cheapest item is $3.50 and the most expensive, the fried rice or chow mein with shrimp, will set you back $6.50. Since you are on an island where local fishermen supply the daily catch, one is urged to try the seafood. I ordered the shrimp mein and an icy liter bottle of orange juice ($2.50) while my companion selected the vegetable mein.
No tables meant we had to place the Styrofoam clamshells in the baskets of our one-speed bicycles and peddle five minutes along the sand road to our hotel beach front where we reclined in wooden chairs in the shade of palm trees overlooking calm, azure water. Lunch by the Sea of Honduras : perfectly stir fried noodles with just the right amount of chewiness, crunchy slivers of island-grown carrots and succulent shrimp singing with just the right amount of garlic and heat. Paradise found.