New restaurant to serve iguana

    TOPimage_107278LEAD

    A new restaurant on Seven Mile Beach will feature green iguana on the menu at its signature dish.

    The restaurant, called Iguana Have Some Fun, will also offer Cayman chickens, agouti and “other potential road kill”.

    Restaurant owner Newt Lizzi said he got the idea when he heard a Mexican radio ad for 
barbecued iguana.

    “I went to the restaurant and gave it a try and it was quite tasty,” he said. “I figured with all the green iguanas running around on Grand Cayman these days, why not? I might be on a wavelength far from home, but I think I can make this work.” Lizzi said the restaurant would prepare iguana several ways, including barbecued, it’s 
signature dish.

    “We’ll also offer iguana burgers, iguana stew, iguana fritters and Buffalo-style deep fried iguana fingers,” he said. “You’ll be able to get the iguana fingers with three different kinds of sauces: teriyaki, hot and ‘road kill suicide hot’.

    As for the taste of iguana, Lizzi said people would be surprised.

    “Actually, it tastes a lot like chicken,” he said. “And it has a similar texture, especially when it’s deep fried.”

    The restaurant will also have a dish featuring Cayman hens – Cayman Chicken Fricassee.

    “It’s taken a while to develop this recipe,” Lizzi said. “Cayman chickens are rather tough and you really need to slow cook them to get them tender. Also, the meat is a little gamier than chicken you buy in the grocery store, so the scotch bonnet cream sauce of the fricassee helps compensate for that. It’s actually quite good.”

    The agouti will be served as the “classic Cayman stew” over rice and beans, with a side of plantain. As for the “other potential road kill” that might appear on the menu, Lizzi said they wouldn’t be permanent fixtures on the menu. “In the summertime, land crab will definitely be one of the specials,” he said. “From time to time we might see things like goat, snapping turtle and even snake on the menu.” The restaurant will serve other food as well.

    “Our paradise cheeseburger rocks, our wings will fly out of the restaurant and we’ll also do jumbo dogs,” he said, clarifying that they won’t be the local kind. “I’m also working on a ‘Road kill pizza, which will be topped with green iguana pepperoni, agouti sausage and Cayman Chicken balls.”

    Lizzi said the restaurant won’t forget about its health conscious patrons. “We’ll also offer wraps, salads and homemade fruit yoghurt for those on a diet,” he said. “But the truth is, iguana is very lean meat and perfect for those counting calories.“

    In addition, Iguana Have Some Fun will offer merchandise. “T-shirts, caps, mugs and other souvenir items are a key part of our business model,” Lizzi said. “We will give visitors a unique taste of Cayman and we know they’ll want to tell the story when they get home. What better way to do that than with a T-shirt?”

    The restaurant, which Lizzi will operate with his wife Thinn, is scheduled to open in June. “I really wanted to open April 1st, but only fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” he said. “Plus, I’m having trouble figuring out how to catch these iguanas and Cayman chickens. They run really fast, you know.”

    Department of Environmental Health Officer Hardy Harhar said the new restaurant would be examined very carefully.

    “You can’t just start killing wild animals and serving them to the public,” he said. “These things have to be done delicately and there are rules. For instance, you aren’t allowed to announce plans for this kind of restaurant on April 1st if you expect people to take you seriously.”

    TOPimage_107278STORY

    This green iguana escaped from Seven Mile Beach to hell in hopes of not being caught and becoming a tasty meal at the new restaurant, Iguana Have Some Fun.
    Photo: Rep Tile
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    19 COMMENTS

    1. hmmm sounds delicious… i’m guessing Newt Lizzi may know Goan Rahngway who was hired by The National Roads Authority last year to investigate right-hand traffic in Cayman!!!

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    2. We always look forward to your April 1st (April Fool’s) newspaper – you have had some great ones. (too bad they have to be explained however).

      Keep it up and thanks for the chuckle.

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    3. I think this couple, Thinn Lizzie (!) is on the right track. What a great way to get rid of the pests on the island. I’m sure all the tourists will line up to get in. Seen a couple of huge rats too — could make rat tail stew – mmmmmm. And what about the ferel dogs — they’re probably quite tasty too. Ah, maybe not — not much meat on them.

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    4. I’m glad this article was revived.
      As others had said, it did provide a good laugh and a chuckle.
      All in all, it was amusing and too far fetched to be believable—at that time.

      And yet on the other hand who would have thought that we would be offered, in some of our finer restaurants, the opportunity to eat another equally invasive species.

      The Lionfish!

      Previously endemic only to the Pacific, and currently ravaging our shores, it is now being presented as a unique ‘local’ dish.

      Culling programs have been instated, DOE licensing courses, dive shop operators sponsoring special deals on catch and cook events and a food chain providing ‘support’ as an incentive to curtail this Problem.

      The Green Iguana is as much an epidemic on land as the Lionfish is in the seas.
      I don’t understand the preference to eliminate one over the other.
      Why would there be an aggressively greater focus on ‘No Legs’ (lionfish) than a ‘Four Legged’ (green iguana) illegally introduced species?!

      Based on their invasive and destructive qualities, they should both be treated equally.

      Someday, in the near future, when I walk into a restaurant and ask for a ‘Surf and Turf’ hopefully there’ll be no confusion as to what I want.

      That’s right, instead of Lobster and Steak; I’ll be expecting Lionfish and Green Iguana.

      These resources are overly abundant and what better way is there to support our local economy?

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    5. Banana Republic, is it really fair to compare the Iquana issue to the Lionfish Issue? Correct me if I am wrong but as far as I understand the Iquana is nothing more than a nuisance to people who don’t like them whereas the Lionfish is doing significant damage to the Reefs Ecosystem by eating up the baby fish and coral life and have no natural predators.

      Have iguanas done any significant damage to the environment, the only complaints I’ve heard are that they poop in some pools and maybe eat out of some folks gardens, does being a nuisance really warrant their eradication. I hear a lot of people taking about them like they get kick out of seeing them around..

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    6. NJ2Cay

      Good question, and as far as people thinking of them as only a nuisance it
      is quite short-sighted.
      People complain of the Greenies pooping in their pools—these same people are peeing in their pools!

      NJ2Cay, as you made note, we have ‘ecosystems’ that are and have been established and balanced over a period of millions of years.
      Naturally occurring events do shift the balance one way or another; some are detrimental to the ecosystem and its’ inhabitants, while others’ flourish as a result of these changes.

      Simply put, the sudden introduction of both the lionfish and the green iguana is an environmental ‘shock’ to both ecosystems; water and land.

      If this change had been gradual, let’s say for a couple of hundred thousand years, a new balance would have been established.

      This is not the current situation!

      What the lionfish is doing to our reefs, so is the green iguana doing to our islands.
      Both of them are consuming, not only the natural resources that our endemic species rely on, but the endemic species themselves.

      There is a natural cycle to life, but not so in these circumstances.

      Since nature can’t take of itself at this point in time, it is up to us to intervene.

      Otherwise, we’ll loose even more than we have currently lost to date.

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    7. Thanks Banana Republic, But I still don’t understand what the ecological damage is that’s being done by the Green Iguanas, is that something you can help me understand. What are the endemic species and resources that they are consuming?

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