So I’m waiting.. waiting…waiting for the bus when one of the Mini van buses pulls up loaded with Rasta’s, locals and even a few travellers… figured this must be my ride…I get off at the “Gap” (St Lawrence) and start heading up the main road….which turns out to be the wrong way, cross to get to the right side of the road….almost get run over… and then find out that the “Gap” area is actually around the corner from what I presumed to be a dead end…I’m off to awesome start my first night in Barbados. As it turned out Barbados had much better food then I expected. I really enjoyed everything I ate…from Fish Cutters(sandwiches) in a beaches parking lot to Coconut Bread in the only Coffee Shop I could find to a Bajan soup at a Sports Bar to a meal I would have expected in NYC…but on the beach. The restaurants below are where I enjoyed dinner. Lunches and breakfasts alluded to will be in upcoming articles
I was turned onto Harlequin by the great staff at my hotel the Blue Orchid when I asked for a good place in the Gap for some Bajan food. While I waited at the bar for my table I started with a Dark and Stormy made with Mount Gay Extra Old Rum. Seating is available inside and on their outdoor patio “under the stars”. The Interior is painted blue and yellow with tiled floors and fans spinning overhead. Various art adorns the walls…a few in particular of Jazz greats.
When I was seated I ordered up a Banks, Barbados’s locally brewed beer. To start the meal I ordered up a bowl of Bajan Chowder that was tomato based. It reminded me of a French Soupe De Poissons…loaded with veggies and bits of fish …delish. For my entree I went with the Grey Snapper, blackened with creamy Cajun sauce on the side. It was a big thick beautifully prepared pieced of the fish. The blackening had some nice heat to it…and while the creamy Cajun sauce was great I ate most if the fish as is . Come to think of it, best piece of fish I’ve had in a while. It set a rather high bar for the rest if the trips entrees .Since I was up I the air for my side and so was my waitress she brought me half carrot and corn rice and half garlic potato balls. All in all a great start on my food Odyssey.
Mojo- The Chopping House
After a long day running around Bridgetown in search of the lost Temple of Nidal with a Police escort and my SUP lesson/snorkel(lot more paddling, lot less standing then planned on) at Pebble Beach I was a bit fried. Mojo being diagonally across the street was just what I needed. Mojo is a pretty big place with garden and indoors seating, as well as a small but active bar, Though Mojo’s big thing is their burgers since I was in island mode and wanted to stay healthy I went with the catch of the day with mashed potatoes(was staving). I started with a Stag beer from Trinidad & Tobago(whose logo is It’s a Man’s World). While it was another basic lager I did like it a bit better then Banks. The fish of the day was Marlin and it was very good served in a tasty creamy dill sauce. The fish perched across julienned vegetables and an ice cream scooped size mash of potatoes. For my desert I headed to the bar for an after dinner drink. I enjoyed a Mount Gay Old on the rocks…a double( that set me back a whopping $7 USD) while listening to the great selection of music that fit in with the places vibe.
A Canadian Sports bar loaded with Hockey fans comprised primarily of families and older couples. Bert’s is known for its banana daiquiri…I was in the mood for a beer…but when in Rome. The bar was packed so I grabbed a table and ordered up the Bajan fish soup…pumpkin based with dumplings…& pork tail…I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t expecting something that tasted like it would be served in an authentic Bajan restaurant in a Sports Bar. The pork tail by the way was not another way to say bacon…it was a piece of pig tail…worked really well with the pumpkin broth. Staying with my fish and potato Bajan diet I had a Mahi Mahi cutter blackened for my main with potato wedges. The Mahi Mahi was a nice piece of fish and once again the seasoning used had some nice heat to it…as well as the yellowish hot sauce I put on all my cutters.
This was my original choice for my first meal after reading about it and seeing the menu. Likely good that I saved Tapas for last…because if I came here the first night, I might have come every night . Tapas is a good looking open bi level place right on the water. While scanning (read:drooling) the menu I ordered a Banks Amber…it was the first time I heard of it and it was very good. To start and to stay with my fish centric diet I ordered up the ceviche, today’s catch, Mahi Mahi with cucumbers and tomatoes served with garlic toast. I love ceviche and this was setting the tone for a great dinner. For my main I ordered a dish I saw in a magazine that looked incredible…Snapper glazed in Parmesan resting atop a basil mash and spinach…though the seafood risotto topped with shrimp sounded very good as well…I stayed with my Snapper …which was outrageous:)! I would expect a dish like this in an upscale NY restaurant. The combo of the basil mash, Parmesan, spinach and fish was incredible plus I don’t think I’ve had anything quite like this. I guess it’s a seafood version of Veal Florentine.
While going through the desert menu I knew what I was getting… the Coconut Creme Brûlée…it was to be the only desert I’ve had all vacation (not including a couple of Lic- Lac chocolate drops) and as I went down the menu…with plenty of sumptuous sounding choices …no coconut creme brûlée so no desert…or so I though till my eyes wandered back up and came upon…Pistachio Creme Brûlée…made my eyes roll…
I was really impressed overall with the food of Barbados and I don’t think it gets enough credit compared to other Caribbean locations that are considered “foodie” destinations. So if Barbados is on your narrowed down list of places to go…but when you get to Dining others islands come to mind…think again:) In upcoming pieces I’ll share my breakfasts and lunches….