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Thread: Hatteras Restaurant reviews 1/30 to 2/15 2015

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    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Hatteras Restaurant reviews 1/30 to 2/15 2015

    Costa Linda 1/30/15 - 2/13/15 Part 2

    Good afternoon fellow Aruba addicts. As I sit here looking out my window at the heavy blanket of snow that covers everything in sight, it seems impossible that I was just in Aruba eight days ago. Being back here in this frozen tundra makes it feel like it was ages ago that we were sitting on that glorious beach, soaking up the sun and those incredible breezes. As promised, here is my restaurant report. I understand that dining is a subjective experience, and that my dining preferences and opinions will differ from many of you. Please keep in that this is just my humble opinion, and is not meant to offend any person or establishment. I know that some of my reviews will differ from some recent ones, so I will preface this part again with this is my humble opinion on what we experienced on a particular night. So here it is...the good, the bad, and the not so good.

    Water’s Edge at Costa Linda - We usually eat here several times while we stay at Costa Linda. We’ve always ordered off of the bar menu ( fish and chips, burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches). This year, they no longer allow customers to order off of the bar menu at night, but still have these items available if you ask. However, they’ve doubled the price at dinner time. Where as we used to pay $8.00 for fish and chips or a cheeseburger at lunch, they now charge $15.00 for the same dish at dinner. The food is very good. They do offer a nice dinner menu, but we’ve always dined here on nights when we wanted a lighter meal. On Superbowl Sunday, they offered a fixed menu of burgers, sandwiches,etc. for $15.00. This has to be one of their busiest nights of the year, and they do a very good job managing the crowds and service. We always have a great time there for Superbowl.

    Pizza Bob’s - Our daughter and her hubby arrived the second day of our stay, and we all walked over to Pizza Bob’s for dinner. While I like the pizza at Pizza Bob’s, I must say that the service is incredibly slow. We were some of the early diners that night, so our pizza was ready in 30 minutes, which is considered fast at Pizza Bob’s. However, our server never returned after she delivered our pizza to see if we needed drink refills or anything. She also never made eye contact with anyone at any of her tables. After a very long wait, I took everyone’s glasses up to the bar and got refills for them. It takes just as long to get the check and to pay. This particular evening took two hours, from the time we ordered until we paid. Normally my hubby and I eat there on our first night, and we are just so glad to be in Aruba and sitting outside in the warm breeze, that we don’t care how long it takes. However, this was quite an experience for my daughter and son in law, who are used to everything being almost immediate in the U.S.

    Matthew’s - I’ll admit it. I’m a Matthew’s fan. However, it took me several visits to convert. On my first visit, I ordered an entree that I didn’t care for, but since it is so close to Costa Linda, we gave it another try the following year. On the next visit, I became a convert. I love the atmosphere there. Following in Cindy O’s steps, I decided to embark on a grouper quest this year. Since I generally prefer shellfish, I have been trying to expand my palate. I love the Caribbean grouper at Barefoot, which some find too heavy on the sauce. I ordered the grouper with shrimp sauce at Matthew’s and thought it was very good, just not as good as my Barefoot grouper. Everyone really liked their dinners and the service was great. We tried the profiteroles for the first time and loved them. I also love their sangria.

    Azzurro - Azzurro was one of my top three restaurants last year. This year my hubby and I ordered the pasta in the wheel with a side of meat balls. It was delicious. I don’t recall what the others ordered, but they all enjoyed their meals. The service was outstanding throughout the evening. Azzurro remains one of my top three.

    Dutch Pancake House - We took my daughter and son in law to Dutch Pancake House for lunch one day when we were spending the day downtown. All of us really enjoyed it. My hubby and I split a savory pancake and then a sweet pancake for dessert. They were delicious. The pancakes are really more like crepes, and each is about size of a plate.

    Barefoot - Barefoot is my favorite restaurant, and one that I can’t miss each year. Nothing feels more Caribbean to me than sitting out in the sand, watching the boats docked in the water, and seeing a few people wading in the water. Some people have complained that the music from Relextions (former Nikky Beach) is loud, but we have never experienced that. This year, I really listened for that, but it was not a problem. My hubby and I ordered the Caribbean grouper, and he loved it just as I do. I shared some of mine with my daughter, and she also loved it. I guess we are a saucy family Everyone loved their dinners and loved Barefoot.

    Hollywood Smokehouse, I’ll be honest. I wanted to love it. We are huge barbeque lovers and I was really excited when I heard that they were moving over by Alhambra. I wasn’t concerned when I heard that they serve North Carolina style barbeque. I was born in NC and that is my preferred method. Just hubby and I went, while my daughter headed down to Palm Beach for the evening. Being as I had just had pork barbeque with my mom the day before I came to Aruba (as I said, we are big bbq lovers), I ordered beef brisket, and my hubby ordered ribs. I didn’t expect either to be covered with sauce, but I did expect that they would have a dry rub of spices. Both dishes appeared to have neither. They had a nice, smokey flavor, but without any dry rub, they really missed the mark for us. The potato salad was more like mashed up potato salad. The baked beans were the only part of the meal that we enjoyed. The sides were really small. Hollywood Smokehouse was the biggest disappointment on this trip. We definitely won’t return.

    Quinta Del Carmen - My daughter and son in law left after nine days with us. I knew that I would be a little down, so I decided to book Quinta Del Carmen that evening to boost our spirits. When we arrived, there was a huge private party on the front lawn (around 100 or so people). We were escorted to the back patio, which is enchanting. There, tables are set in a garden setting, among the trees, with lovely lights strung all around. Our server was efficient, but also a little business like. We were served two tiny rolls with a delicious spread before the meal arrived. The entrees took a little longer than one would expect, but we figured that was because of the large group they were catering to on the front lawn. That was fine with us, as we were in no hurry and were enjoying the lovely gardens. My hubby ordered the nut crusted mahi mahi. It was much smaller than the mahi mahi that my daughter had ordered two nights before at Barefoot. It was served with a small handful of dutch potatoes and some mixed veggies. I ordered the caprese grouper with pesto pasta. I thought that the grouper was a little bland and that the pesto tasted like the pesto that I buy ready made at the grocery store. We both ordered dessert. I think that hubby had the cheesecake. I had the upside down banana pie with ice cream. It was fabulous. Rating this restaurant, I feel that the atmosphere is outstanding, truly lovely, but felt that the food on this particular night was good, but not great. I would give this place another chance, but hubby never forgets the restaurants that gave him a skimpy meal, and I doubt that he will return. My apologies to those of you who are over the moon for this restaurant. I can chalk up our experience to maybe they were having an off night, due to the large party that they were also serving.

    Barney’s - I decided to continue my grouper quest with a visit to Barney’s, to try the parmesan grouper. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical of the place when I walked in and noticed a number of people smoking at the bar, including the bar tender. I have terrible allergies (taking three allergy meds a day plus allergy shots). Since this is such a small area, there weren’t a lot of choices for seating. I would have preferred to sit in the back area, but that was full. We were seated a lot closer to the bar than I would have liked. However, I wasn’t too bothered by the smoke, so I assume that they must have a pretty decent ventilation system. We split an order of ribs and the parmesan grouper. I can sum it up in two words, Loved It! The grouper was delicious and the ribs were fantastic, which made up for the ones at Hollywood Smokehouse. I also had dutch potatoes and grilled veggies, which were excellent. We had enough ribs left over to have for lunch the next day. I think that this will be a regular stop for us each year.

    Chalet Suisse - Chalet Suisse has consistently been one of my top three restaurants for years. We took it off our list a few years ago, to try new places, and vowed never again. I am always amazed at the level of service and food they produce each time. This has got to be one of the busiest restaurants on the island. We ordered an appetizer to share of various shellfish. It was rich and creamy, just fantastic. We always get the chateabriand for two. It was absolutely perfect. On this trip Chalet Suisse is our number one pick for food and service.

    West Deck - On our last night, we chose to go to West Deck. We had hoped to get there last year but ran out of time. We loved the setting. This area is one of my favorite spots to dine. Since most of the menu is appetizers and hubby has a hearty appetite, we ordered several servings of the balashi grouper bites, beef on a skewer with plantains, french fries, and an assorted bread basket of Aruban breads. We found that we really didn’t need the fries because the appetizers came with a little macaroni salad on the side. We loved our meal. We feel that this is a great place to come if you are looking for a casual meal and a lovely setting. This will probably become a tradition for us.

    Well, there you have it folks. The good, the bad, and the not so good. I really enjoyed my grouper quest. My favorite grouper dish remains the Caribbean grouper at Barefoot (the one covered in sauce), but I did enjoy it prepared many different ways. Coming in a close second was the parmesan grouper at Barney’s.

    We had a wonderful time, ate and drank far too much, but hey, isn’t that what vacations are all about?? We are looking forward to our next Aruba adventure. A year seems far too long to wait, so I’m working on my hubby, encouraging him to take me back this summer for our anniversary, or in Sept. for my birthday. I think that I can wear him down
    Last edited by hatteras; 02-23-2015 at 03:17 PM.

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    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Wonderful reviews..... now I'm hungry. Thanks so much for taking the time and writing so well. We haven't been to Chalet Suisse for years.... but your review put it this year's list.

  3. #3
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    thanks for sharing!
    i am going to copy this and also post in culinary

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    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Great reviews
    we also love Matthews
    dont give up on QuintaDelCarmen!!!

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    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Enjoyed the detail in your reports. I kind of felt the same way as you did about the smoke at Barneys. It was really noticeable when we first walk in but we sat away from the bar and it was fine. I really enjoyed the grouper and Tom finished off his whole plate of ribs. Still can't get over that!! Too bad you didn't care for Hollywood Smoke House I loved the pulled pork there but BBQ is must such a personal preference. We don't have much in the way if BBQ in the Boston area.

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    azzurro, my favorite...

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    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cindyo View Post
    Great reviews
    we also love Matthews
    dont give up on QuintaDelCarmen!!!
    Cindy, I'm willing to give Quinta Del Carmen another try, but I just have to convince my hubby. Maybe if he reads a lot of great reviews...

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    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegmeister View Post
    Enjoyed the detail in your reports. I kind of felt the same way as you did about the smoke at Barneys. It was really noticeable when we first walk in but we sat away from the bar and it was fine. I really enjoyed the grouper and Tom finished off his whole plate of ribs. Still can't get over that!! Too bad you didn't care for Hollywood Smoke House I loved the pulled pork there but BBQ is must such a personal preference. We don't have much in the way if BBQ in the Boston area.
    BBQ is a big deal in my family. My mom is 87, and she chooses to have the family celebrate her birthday at her favorite bbq restaurant every year. We are fortunate to have a great bbq place close by, that competes nationally in bbq cookoffs and consistently wins championships. I guess that we are a little spoiled.
    Last edited by hatteras; 02-23-2015 at 09:55 PM.

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    Senior Member hatteras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpjones View Post
    Wonderful reviews..... now I'm hungry. Thanks so much for taking the time and writing so well. We haven't been to Chalet Suisse for years.... but your review put it this year's list.
    CP, I talk to so many people each year that tell me that Chalet Suisse is their favorite restaurant. They continue to wow us every time.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ArubaAce's Avatar
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    Love your restuarant review and how you packed it all in one post. I will do the same for my next trip. I agree with your reviews of the restaurants i visted.

    I usually go to Pizza Bob on my first night and order the very large Mexican Pizza which they cut up in tiny squares and chicken wings. I usually have enough left over for lunch/snack for 2 days. On my last trip I sat at the bar and waited 30 minutes for my take out but I enjoyed at least 2 mugs of ice cold Ballashi Draft so it was fine.

    Matthews has always been one of my favorites which I always visit every year but I feel bad I did not visit last year. I tried 3 new restaurants on my last trip so I never made it to Matthews. After reading your review I am going to put them on my list to visit twice. I was going to try Ricardo's but their menu seem similar.

    I agree with your review of Hollywood Smoke House. I went last year and had the brisket & pull pork. No rub flavor at all, very dry pull pork and unless you drown in sause, to me it was bland. I won't repeat.

    I discovered Barneys last year and went for grouper night and I love it. I also went for the parm grouper but tried the dutch grouper since I love gouda cheese and I was blown away. My mother had the ribs and just like you there was enough for left over the next day. Definetely on my list for next trip. I also sat near the bar but it was empty so no smoke. It was a Wednesday but September which is low season. This year I am going in May so we will see..

    Chalet Suiise has always been my favorite which I save for last every year especially since I am close bye at La Cabana. Last year I had the worst filet mignon ever. It was ordered medium rare but I had such a hard time cutting it. It was my fault though because the waiter asked how was everything and I said ok. You should always speak up because it could have been a bad cut and no fault of theirs. I love their wine, the bartender makes an excellent classic martini, the servce. I have to add it back on my list and not make a big deal out of last year. My mom had the rack of lamb which was excellent and previous years I went there for the early bird special which includes an 8oz NY strip which was always perfect.

    West Deck. Never been there but I too have a big appetite so I won't visit for dinner based on your review but may try it for lunch since I usually eat a lite lunch.

    Thx for the reviews it will help me with my rest list next trip this May..
    Last edited by ArubaAce; 02-23-2015 at 09:52 PM. Reason: typo

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