Driftwood Cafe, Utila Honduras: Hearty Comfort Cooking & Killer Monkey Balls


Time flies when you’re having rum, on the Caribbean island of Utila, found tucked away in the Bay Islands of Honduras.    I’ve been enjoying the sun, sea, sand, surf and turf for over 6 weeks.   In that time, I’ve discovered a few favorite hidden gems along the main strip – and the Driftwood Café is just such a gem!

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Going West towards Chepe’s Beach, I keep an eye out for the fun sign with a Parrot riding a surf board.  Behind towering trees is an airy dock house on the water, where I’m greeted with a smile by the owner Sharon.    A sweet gal from Texas, she believes in hearty comfort foods and friendly hospitality.   Her choice of staff reflects this.   Employees in Utila can rotate regularly at each establishment, but if you go to Driftwood, you might be lucky enough to be there when Patti’s working.   She grew up in Utila, to become a fine example of what wonderful people live here.   And she’ll give you her honest opinion!   If Patti says get the Big ‘Ol Pork Chop, you won’t regret it.

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Big Ol’ Pork Chop = 200 Lempiras or $10usd

I’ve been to this establishment with various people for various reasons.   Sunday cocktails on the shaded dock, post-dive group dinners, casual lunches, a coffee and wifi, a good friend’s snorkel test (the final initiation to becoming a dive master).   It’s definitely a multi-functional venue.

Driftwood Restaurant

Driftwood Cafe main dining hall. Additional seating available on the extended dock, with a roof.

My first experience was on a ‘Chicken Bomb Wednesday’; baked chicken breast stuffed with jalapeno, cream cheese, and wrapped in bacon.    All mains come with your choice of 2 sides:   garlic mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, mixed green salad, or French fries.   We can just say, I went back the following Wednesday.

Fried Chicken Bacon Cheese

Available Daily: Fried Chicken with Bacon and Cheese. I like it with no bun, and a side salad.

And thanks to the notorious Monkey Ball shot.   This shot is the only thing “Café” like about this place.  It’s a homemade Coffee liqueur, combined with vodka – shaken (never stirred) with such bar-tending force, you’ll think the entire shot is going to explode from the silver canister!  And I actually was witness to this once, much to my horror and delight. It was a juice-a-rama explosion of great proportions, and  Monkey Balls are not easy to clean up.  Best to leave it to the pros to serve you a sweet frothy coffee dream in a cute little glass, 99% of the time.  Maybe don’t wear white or sit next to the bar during preparation.   But do watch, closely!

Monkey Ball Shots Driftwood Utila

The Bay-Islands Famous Frothy MONKEY BALL shots

Which brings me back to tonight’s fun.   I’m not out to encourage anything, but a certain bartender named Corey took it one step further tonight.  I’m here on a girls night, and we’re feeling a little fatigued after devouring a fabulous Big Ol’ Pork Chop (it’s my first time, I should have listened to Patti sooner) and want an aperitif that will wake us up. To my knowledge, I’m witnessing the invention of the “Monkey Sack”, basically multiple shots of the famous Monkey Ball in a rocks glass. So good you can sip it.  Too good, I’m trying not to chug it.  Feeling alive again, we’re going dancing!

Driftwood Utila Cocktail

Blue Lagoon Cocktail

I’ve taken these pics this evening to replace photos I had previously taken,  that ended up lost in a laptop on top of a car racing to the airport (yup, bummer).  While doing so, I’ve noticed they sold out of their usual imported meats.   Lisa, an attentive manager that clearly loves her job, informs me that a large group of over 30 have been buying them out all week.  I don’t blame them; the entire Southern-cooking inspired menu is full of great deals, with fancy cocktails starting at only L.45 ($2.50usd) for a refreshing Blue Lagoon.   Usually, I just go for the wine.  Tonight, I’m raising a glass to my lost laptop!   And the Big ‘Ol Pork Chop!  And Patti for knowing what’s up!  Great work Team Driftwood!   Your front of the house is almost as good as your kitchen.    (I kid, I kid).    Wanna go dancing!?

All photos of girls’ night have been withheld to protect the innocent.

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NIGHTLY SPECIALS: saving time, money, and natural resources -There’s only one menu! Posted for all to see.

Learn more about Utila

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