Sunday, January 27, 2013

Roatan Retreat: Barefoot Cay

We had a rocky landing in Roatan. A cold front had come down from the States and whipped off the coast of Honduras, creating some rough turbulence for our little plane. For some reason, whenever I travel by plane these days I bring along some kind of media about aviation disasters. Last year, when we went to California, I was working on transcription for Sole Survivor. I was working on subtitles for Sole Survivor again when I flew to Chicago. This year I was reading a passage in Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Wind, Sand and Stars” about a pilot crashing his plane in the Andes. So far these stories of catastrophe in the air haven’t proven to echo into my life, thankfully. Makes me wonder about my subconscious, sometimes, though.

Our first stop was at Barefoot Cay, a resort on the landward side of the island near French Harbor. Due to a strange layover situation necessitating an overnight stay in Cleveland, Ohio, Anna and I had completely missed breakfast. By the time we reached Barefoot Cay we were famished. Luckily, the kitchen at BFC is open almost all day. But resort food? Yuck. It’s generally the most of tasteless, bland crap that they can get away with, seeing as how you’re already roped in to staying there.

Barefoot Cay, however, is different. They’re not particularly fancy or imaginative, but what they lack in creativity they more than make up for in technical skill. For instance, I had a chicken wrap for lunch. It was the best damn chicken wrap I have ever had in my life. The chicken itself was cooked to perfection, moist on the inside and lightly charred on the outside, the lettuce was fresh and crisp and there was just a hint of gorgonzola sauce drizzled throughout. For lack of trying, I never thought I would categorically announce the best chicken wrap of my life, yet here I am.

Simple, well-executed meals abound on their menu. This morning we had a ranchero breakfast. Succulent beef tenderloin, eggs cooked to perfection (I asked for over-medium, one of the most notoriously difficult egg temps to nail, their cook hit it right on the head) homemade tortillas and a savory ranchero sauce without too much heat on it.

I’ve overheard other travelers say that the food at Barefoot Cay is the best on Roatan. I’m inclined to believe them, but that’s not going to stop me from doing more research.