When we first wrote about Waruguma it was a small hole-in-the-wall takeout restaurant that had shot to fame because of the delicious Salvadoran pupusas and other small delectable eats. Forward a few years to the present, Waruguma (Garifuna word for “Star”) is still shining brightly on Pescador Drive (Middle Street) where it has grown in popularity and now serves an even bigger menu that includes “A Whole LOTTA” seafood!
Having moved across the street from its original location, Waruguma Restaurant now has a bit more seating room for its customers who were used to carrying their food out. At the time we wondered what was all the hype about this tiny restaurant that was garnering much attention from local residents, but especially from the tourists. We quickly learned that Ms. Maria’s food is DELICIOUS.
Now, much far from serving only the ever popular Salvadoran Pupusas, Waruguma offers great seafood dishes, something that tourist have learned and recommend much through word of mouth. When you pass by at night you see a long line of tourist waiting to be served. “How do I get to Waruguma,” is a popular question as tourists explore downtown San Pedro.
This time around Ms. Maria Estela Flores, owner of Waruguma, wanted to treat the staff of Ambergris Today with a special round of delicacies from the Caribbean Sea. Our seafood ceviche arrived cradled in a beautiful Black Abalone Shell, perfectly polished and with dark brown, dark green, dark blue and almost black colorations all around. Perfectly seasoned chunks of lobster and shrimp combined with diced carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes made up the wonderful ceviche - a perfect appetizer to start out the fest that would be our lunch.
And when the waiter arrived with our food, our mouths could not stop salivating at the site of this large whole lobster stretched across the plate next to some succulent coconut Rice and Beans and baked potato wedges. WOW! Lobster cooked to perfection – silky, tender with just the slight amount of seasons to bring out the naturally sweet flavor of the meat.
Accompanying the whole lobster was a GIANT lobster burrito and an out-of –this-world Pearl Scallop Chowder. A burrito, made for two (or for ‘one’ up to the challenge) lay smothered with perfectly stewed lobster chucks and drizzled with juices from the stew. Inside, even more lobster mixed with rice. Totally delightful!
The Pearl Scallops were served on a conch shell bowl drowned in creamy coconut chowder that is simply too much for words. It’s cooked to perfection! Combined with coconut Rice and Beans, there is nothing more to wish for.
Waruguma’s menu is displayed on large fluorescent posters on the wall and pretty much any item on the menu you can get it with either, chicken, beef, pork, fish, shrimp, lobster, scallops and even vegetarian! Menu items include pupusas, burritos, fajitas, crapes, ceviche, soups, nachos, quesadillas, and kebabs, amongst other daily specials. It’s quite a variety of delicious food you cannot miss out on if you have not been to Waruguma.
Probably another attraction that Waruguma has amongst the tourists is that it is a small restaurant, very quaint, humble and picturesque. It does help that Maria and her family are super friendly and a joy to talk to.
By now there is a large group of visitors that have become loyal customers of the place, eating there every time they visit San Pedro – some eat there every day of their stay on the island. We definitely know why.