It was a relatively intimate and delicious affair at a restaurant that is well recognized for their local food and drink – Elvi’s Kitchen. Saturday night was a celebration of 40 years hard work and dedication. Honoring the family that took their business from a humble beginning in 1974 to a successful internationally known restaurant with warm welcoming staff.
The Key to 40 Years of Success
Elvi’s Kitchen is a story of a families emotional and physical expansion of a heartfelt small business that became a flourishing community landmark. Built by a strong, united household rich in San Pedro history and culinary tradition.
Throughout the night family and friends made some great speeches about the iconic establishment and many reminisced about it’s start. One such story; Einer Gomez shared from his youth was bringing burger buns from the airport to Elvi’s with a wheel barrow for $1 which he gave to his dad.
As the night wore on the speeches were still heartfelt but got much funnier and had all of us laughing at peoples good natured jokes and very honest appreciation.
A Heartfelt Thank You
“On behalf of the Elvi’s Kitchen family – the management and staff – and especially on behalf of my mom, Elvia who’s dream we celebrate today, I would like to thank each and every one of you for being a part of our 40th anniversary celebration. Elvi’s Kitchen was never an overnight success. It has taken us 40 years to build the restaurant we have today.
I think most people live their lives according to whatever values they hold dear. They strive to make a difference on the lives of those around them and hopefully leave their mark on the world. My mom is a remarkable woman and it only takes a peek inside her kitchen to see how this San Pedrana works. At 84 she has earned the right to retire and let others carry on the work she started. But anyone who knows her will tell you that she can’t simply walk away from Elvi’s Kitchen because it is as much a part of her, as she is a part of it. My mom is happy when she is cooking: if she is making tamales, bread you name it!
We could not have done it without the help of all San Pedranos and all our loyal, loving customers. This place has never been just a business. It is a labor of love for all who work here, from the owner to the cooks and servers and dishwashers and bartenders. Elvi’s is not just a building. It is an institution on this island. Elvi’s is an ambassador and an icon. Above all, Elvi’s has always been and will always be a place where people can enjoy a meal and warm Belizean hospitality. We have strived to do that for 40 years and with your help, we will still be here in another 40 years. Thank you for your love and your support. You have helped make my mom and dad’s dream a reality. Elvi’s Kitchen’s roots go deep. And those roots are firmly planted on this island – now and always.” – Iraida Gonzalez Staines
Throughout the party we enjoyed a wonderful 5 course meal and as always excellent service. Everything was plated so creatively and came with a taste to match.
- I can think of no better way to start the night than conch and octopus ceviche. Everyone at the press table fell in love with this carnivore ceviche. A virgin mojito was also in my immediate future.
- Next came a delicious lamb tostada, a nice light flavor with lots of veggies. This time for a drink, I switched it up with with a virgin watermelon mojito.
- Onto yummy breaded shrimp. Always a favorite and this one was plated very artistically in a statuesque form with decorative sauce dots and fresh watermelon shapes.
- Heavenly barbecue ribs came next. They were so succulent I could have had several more, most of us ended up skipping cutlery on this one. I loved the added touch of pomegranate seeds on the plate.
- The main course was surf and turf; lobster tail and sirloin steak with mashed sweet potatoes. The lobster was cooked perfectly. It was a nice surprise that they made it look like it was still in the shell by leaving the tip of the tail on but there was no wrestling with it. The sirloin was so tender it was melt in your mouth good.
- We finished off the night with swag bags and glitter sparkled cupcakes for dessert.
Click through for Elvi’s Kitchen Menu and their tasty food options – downloadable. Among my favorites ate the Mayan pulled pork tacos and the lobster mac and cheese when in season. Here is a mosaic of pictures from the northeast seat at the press table.
Note: I chose the “Cousin’s” table for the featured image above as I really enjoyed the way they spoke as “the younger generation.” Many of them commented how they may not have been there from the start but that they are invested in tradition and interested in preserving it – a great way to honor their Elders.
I will leave you with a great family video commemorating the famous restaurants’ 40 year history.
Want to read more about other travelers foodie experiences? Click through to read Elvi’s Kitchen Trip Advisor Reviews.