SCOTTY’S BAR AND GRILL
COROZAL TOWN’S BEST BURGER
By William Link
“My Girl,” plays gently on the sound system; a remix, but nonetheless soothing to the diners at Scotty’s Bar, and Grill in Corozal Town Belize, where the best hamburger in town is to be had. Soon, Stan Getz, “The Girl from Ipanema,” is playing, while a suspiciously quiet poker game goes on in one corner.
As one of only two truly American restaurants in our small Central American town bordering Mexico, Scotty’s is almost an intravenous dose of U.S. Home; a sports bar featuring sports Jerseys, hockey sticks, football helmets and American sports posters on the walls. If you don’t look up at the grass roof, you might think you are in your U.S., or even Canadian hometown watering hole. A golf tournament plays silently on a big flat screen (closed captioned in English for the literate). Some John Lang played, and it felt good to be away from the loud Punta Music that daily overcomes most of Corozal Town, blasting insistently from the doors, and windows of homes, stores, bars and restaurants.
At Scotty’s Bar and Grill, “Sweet Home Chicago, “asks, “Baby don’t you want to go,” just as my artisanal burger arrives bar-side. I know the grass-fed, and generally tough Belize beef is specifically ground and mixed to Nancy Reifenbark’s (the Oregonian-expat owner) tasty- fat specifications.
The hamburger appears big city style, on a plastic tray, the meal, including crispy fries, is nestled on a sheet of waxed paper. The burger is big, fat and luscious, with a surprising home- made mayonnaise, fresh, chilled lettuce and tomato, and then the juicy burger tried to escape the bun because of it. In addition to a litany of other mouthwatering U.S. -style bar-food available; onion-rings, the mushroom burger and, spicy bacon-cheese burger, warning, it’s a stomach full, desserts are also on the menu. Sadly the honey-cheesecake was “finished,” during my last visit but, the coconut- cream pie was there for good eating.
And, Scotty’s has great pizza, for home sick Pizza Hut, or Dominoes junkies stranded abroad (there are no fast-food chains represented in Belize – none). “I Just called to say I Love you,” a Stevie Wonder hit, serenades my final few bites of Corozal’s best burger. In the end I pay up for my feast, $14 BZ for two ice-cold beers, and the big fat burger tray.
Scotty’s is officially addressed as #17 G Street North. However, in Corozal Town where street signs are rare this information is virtually useless. So a search is required, but it’s worth it. So here is your best hamburger in Corozal treasure map: Go North on 5th Ave (that’s the one where the local Immigration office and the Las Palmas hotel are). Do not deviate from this path until you are just passed the Civic Center/Soccer field and the road dead ends at the Blue-painted cement block factory. Turn left, away from the seafront, Scotty’s is on your right about ¼ mile up a bumpy road.
PS: Maintaining a U.S. / C.A. bar-food habit is very difficult abroad, as it should be. So, getting on your hamburger/pizza Jones at Scotty’s in Corozal is only on Saturdays – Bummer!
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