Shelly's BBQ Bocas del Toro
Shelly’s BBQ is a small restaurant and looks like a hole in the wall located in Bocas town. Do not let this fool you. The food is great. My personal favorite is the crispy pork tacos. The shells are fried and crispy and the pork is tender and juicy which makes a very dynamic combination. It takes a bit longer than the other meals since they have to fry the tortillas, but it is worth the wait.
The Shelly’s Special is also a go to item. You can chose between beef brisket, pork or baby back ribs. All of these are worthy choices. Also, the hot sauce and pico de gallo are decent. While the price tag is a bit on the high side, it is still worth it.
If you want to experience the true cuisine of Bocas del Toro, Beso del Drago is the place to go. Typically a dish will consist of mostly starches, but not the bad kind like you find in the States and Europe. Bocas cuisine consists of a lot of rice, noodles and plantains. Whereas in the US you find a lot of over processed meals from fast food restaurants and mega supermarkets.
A dish of pork, rice, noodles and lentils will cost you around $3.50 USD. While the pork is a small portion it still equals roughly 25grams of protein. And if you are a fat back enthusiast like myself, this meal will satisfy your needs with a piece of cooked fat with pork attached. Add hot sauce. Continue reading
As a big food lover one of the things I have had a problem with living in Bocas del Toro is the inability to get a variety of different foods and flavors. I can’t get crispy duck in thai curry takeout or pork slouvaki. This is a place though where if you accidentally stick an indigenous twig in the ground you get a fruit tree. Vegetation and high nutrient vegetables grow with no effort. Fruit’s great, but I prefer pork, and chicken and goat, duck. There is nothing easier here then to raise a pig or any other domestic animal with the cheap feed available.
My full-time and reliable employee Garibaldo Brown is an indigenous member of the autonomous Ngobe Bugle tribe in Panama. The common thing for them is for the family to stay on the finca in the autonomous state and for the men to leave to find work. They grow gname, gnampi, daichin, plantains and bananas for all their carbs and starch with very little effort, Brown goes back a couple times a year to take care of the farm. Men out of work and the young children catch small fish daily for protein. Continue reading