Okay, so I am not the most adventurous eater but I love trying new cuisines and hip restaurants. On a recent trip to Daytona, a new destination for me, I searched the internet for the best dining options. One restaurant caught my eye via several web pages so my daughter and I decided to have lunch there. Chucherias Hondurenas is a Honduran restaurant in Holly Hill, a hop, skip, and jump from Daytona Beach. The neighborhood will throw you for a loop as I was not expecting to find this restaurant where the map showed (it looks a little like an abandoned strip mall), but boy were we surprised.
Walking through the breezeway, we were greeted with beautiful flowers and outdoor tables line the front of the restaurant. This is a lovely spot for dining al fresco and with the sunny Florida weather, most likely a year round opportunity. Taylor and I entered Chucherias Hondurenas to find a cozy restaurant with colorful wine bottles, a welcoming fireplace, and a bit of Central American charm serving Northern coastal Hondurian food. Our server presented us with menus that offered both English and Spanish translations and a plentiful drink and wine menu. Chucherias translates to “finger foods”.
For starters, we chose the green plantains that were served with tiny bamboo cups full of sweet cilantro and somewhat mild habanero sauces. The plantains were cooked perfectly, crisp and flavorful, with a dusting of Honduran cheese atop of them. Our main course choices were the pan-seared Chicken breast with Chimol sauce (tomato, cumin, peppers, and onion salsa) and caramelized onions, served with rice and beans, and the chicken and cheese sandwich (plain for my daughter’s taste) with yucca fries and sweet plantains, one of my favorites! Taylor’s sandwich also had a most unique salad, which I loved, consisting of spring mix lettuces, coleslaw, pecans, balsamic vinaigrette, and pomegranate seeds.
Our plates arrived and were almost too beautiful to eat. In fact, everything that came out of the kitchen at Chucherias had that same issue; it was all plated perfectly! The chicken was incredibly succulent, very flavorful but not overpowering. I loved that the black beans were served in a corn tortilla shell molded into a small cup. Taylor’s sandwich was spot on, served on Cuban bread that is shipped to them from Le Segunda Bakery in Ybor City, Tampa. Taylor is a super picky eater and I was pleasantly surprised at all the things she ventured out and tried. All of the ingredients had a tremendous balance of flavors in both the salad and entrees.
As I said, I am not much of an adventurous eater but owner/Chef Mayra Rodriguez, a real sweetheart, certainly brought me out of my shell with some fantastic food offerings she brought to our table to sample. Our first plate was 4 small pupusa topped with grilled octopus, a delicate sauce, and pickled onion strips. I had never tasted octopus, but I went for it and loved it! Who knew that grilled octopus was so scrumptious? Taylor tried a bite, too and also thought it was pretty good.
Our second chef offering was a plate of jumbo grilled shrimp atop a cassava and plantain mash (Machuca), again with a fabulous Chimol sauce and garnished beautifully. There is no way we could eat it all we so offered to share with a nearby table who was eyeing all our good eats. This dish was amazing and I would highly recommend ordering it in the future. We finished as much food as we could hold and then were presented with a juice degustation featuring five glasses: pineapple, passionfruit, Mora (wild berries), guava, and tamarind. I was expecting the juices to taste like that thick nectar that we get in Panama, but these were light and incredibly tasty. I loved all of them and the presentation was so cute and thoughtful.
Last but not least, and I saved the best for last, Chef Mayra sent us a dessert plate of Sticky Toffee, a small scoop of rum-raisin ice cream, and sliced strawberries. I am a real food snob when it comes to dessert and I rarely order them because I am usually disappointed. That was not the case here! The dessert was plated so beautifully that I knew it was going to be an Instagram/Pinterest smash. It literally had my mouth watering from the moment the waiter poured the warm toffee sauce over the plate. The sticky toffee cake was so moist and that toffee sauce, OMG, too tasty for words. Taylor and I did not speak much until the dessert was totally demolished. At that time I felt like I wanted to lick my paws and curl up by the fireplace like a cat and take a nap and savor the moment after that awesomeness.
Visiting Chucherias Hondurernas was an awesome adventure, culinary and geographically. What a way to start my day in Daytona Beach with a belly full of good, healthy eats prepared by a cutting-edge chef with a flair for flavor fusion. Try saying that 5 times really fast! Thank you Chef Mayra for making our lunch such a special treat. I wish you well in the food world and know that once a customer comes through your door, they will be a regular from that point on.
101 2nd Street #500
Holly Hill, FL 32117
Lunch 11:00-3:30 Dinner 5:00-9:00