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Thread: My Do's and Don'ts when eating in Aruba . . . What are your's?

  1. #1
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    My Do's and Don'ts when eating in Aruba . . . What are your's?

    Do's:

    (1) Seek places that catch fish that are caught locally, a trait not shared by most restaurants, including a lot of high-end places.
    (2) Seek places that cook fish well, which to taste means not over-cooking fish.
    (3) Seek low-to-moderately prices restaurants.
    (4) Place a premium on the quality of the food even if the location is a bit of a dive or nothing special.
    (5) Despite (4), I will sometimes compromise a little on food that is solid/good but not outstanding of the location is special.
    (6) Visit our favorite places each year and try to add some new places too.

    Don'ts
    (1) Go to ultra-high end places
    (2) Go to overcook fish.
    (3) Go to chain restaurants that I can find in North America.

    My preferences are a product of the following:
    (1) I love seafood and live far from the ocean.
    (2) I tend to chose restaurants whose food is special to the location, and in the case of Aruba, that means locally-caught fish.
    (3) For me it's not worth spending $150/person for food that while excellent isn't all that different from what I can cook at home. Most of the best steaks I have enjoyed I've cooked myself, for example, so I am loss likely to have a pricey steak in a restaurant unless it has access to prime beef and dry ages it in-house, two things I don't do at home.
    (4) For me, Eagle Beach is one of the world's great beaches. The food served in Aruban restaurants is generally quite good and sometime excellent but to my tastes it doesn't approach the cuisine of certain cities in Italy like Parma or Venice, so I am more likely to splurge in Italy than I do in Aruba.
    (5) In enjoying the beach and our stays in Aruba, I like to be active, taking long walks, swimming, playing with my kids, so I generally prefer not stuffing myself or drinking to excess. I actually tend to lose weight in Aruba (which is a good thing for me because the rest of the year I tend in the opposite direction). So multi-course, heavy meals, is an exception here, while meals built around fish are the core.

    So what are my favorite places?
    Top of my list is Wacky Wahoo's because the catch local fish and don't overcook it. Also love their ceviche. Some complained about the noise levels and tighter quarters in the past but those never bothered me. Prices are moderate by Aruban standards.

    I also like Casa Tua, our kids love Smoky Joe's, I liked the Aruban cooking at Queen's, the buffet at the Kitchen, the food at Yemanja (though there was once an issue with service), Matthews for lunch (in part because we walk there on the beach from where we stay at Costa Linda) and the ribs at the Saturday flea market.

    We also cook a lot, buying fish at Ling and Sons the day it comes in, and grilling with charcoal at Costa Linda.

  2. #2
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    good thread, thank you for posting.

    i am interested to see what others write.
    i am also thinking of my "dos and don'ts" and will post at another time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    My do's:
    1. Listen to recommendations of people you trust
    2. Always have a glass of wine with dinner
    3. If you aren't happy with your meal let someone know, they want you happy
    4. Don't over complicate the don'ts ... Enjoy

    ah, who needs a don't list!😄


    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    good thread, thank you for posting.

    i am interested to see what others write.
    i am also thinking of my "dos and don'ts" and will post at another time.

  4. #4
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    I agree about eating the freshest fish on the island just caught by locals. It is amazing and my mouth is watering for Wacky wahoos fish especially wahoo and barracuda and red snapper that we can't get here in Ct. Does anyone know when Wacky wahoos is on vacation this year??? It is always around August. We missed them 2 years ago because it coincided with our visit. We used to try lots of restaurants on the island . Now,we eat light mostly fish and really enjoy walking eagle beach and hanging out for the sunsets with a glass of wine. Simple is so much better. We also loose weight because we walk lots each and e very day. I will try the bakery Le Delizia because of the forum and lasagna from Pizza and More. Also have to go to MJ's for coconut shrimp and burger loin for hubby. Just love the garden and food. can't believe the negative reviews and have to try it ourselves. Ijust love reading everyone's choices of restaurants. Some I agree with and some not. We always try some new ones. This year I want to try Que Pasa? Ricardo's?? Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks again all my aruba lovers. The count down has begun......
    Next Aruba Trip [Countdown8/4- 8/18 200PM:]!

  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    We DO what's right for us.... and that's to take advantage of the time we have together to have wonderful meals together. It always starts with the breakfast buffet at Radisson's Laguna.... with lunch generally at Bugaloo, Salt and Pepper or Gilligans. For dinner, it's always a mix with Mme J's on the must do list..... Texas d Brazil usually first night and then flow from there. This year I've only made reservations for Mme J's and Pinchos (new to us).... the other meals always depend on what we want to do together..... Wacky Wahoo is on the list this year. We DO always have wine/cocktail with dinner and regularly Amstel Bright and wine with lunch!

    We DON'T worry (too much) about the cost..... this is the only time of the year we have all our meals together for the week and we do what feels right for that particular day!!

    BTW...... Like cindyo, we always listen to the people we trust..... The forum reviews you good folks post really help with decision making!
    Last edited by cpjones; 06-08-2014 at 05:13 PM. Reason: afterthought!

  6. #6
    Member Doug R.'s Avatar
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    1. Refrain from belching or passing gas while dining.

    2. Refrain from using your sleeve or the tablecloth for wiping your mouth.

    3. Try not to gasp at menu prices and then loudly compare them to prices back home.

    4. Don't make fun of what some of the patrons wears, however age inappropriate it might be.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Don'ts;
    1. Never ever dine someplace where they require you to dress up for them.
    2. Never talk on the cell phone at the table
    3. Never blow my nose at the table. Hate it when people do that.

    Do's;
    1. Frequent a local spot
    2. Appreciate the wait staff. It's not an easy job
    3. Keep an open mind when trying new dishes
    4. Select a restaurant that has something for everyone.
    5. Leave room for dessert

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by truzcarla View Post
    I agree about eating the freshest fish on the island just caught by locals. It is amazing and my mouth is watering for Wacky wahoos fish especially wahoo and barracuda and red snapper that we can't get here in Ct. Does anyone know when Wacky wahoos is on vacation this year??? It is always around August. We missed them 2 years ago because it coincided with our visit. We used to try lots of restaurants on the island . Now,we eat light mostly fish and really enjoy walking eagle beach and hanging out for the sunsets with a glass of wine. Simple is so much better. We also loose weight because we walk lots each and e very day. I will try the bakery Le Delizia because of the forum and lasagna from Pizza and More. Also have to go to MJ's for coconut shrimp and burger loin for hubby. Just love the garden and food. can't believe the negative reviews and have to try it ourselves. Ijust love reading everyone's choices of restaurants. Some I agree with and some not. We always try some new ones. This year I want to try Que Pasa? Ricardo's?? Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks again all my aruba lovers. The count down has begun......

    Wacky Wahoos is on vacation from July 27 to, I believe, Aug. 17. I phoned them last week to check and paid more attention to the first date, since our trip is in July. Hope you don't miss them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Traceyd14's Avatar
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    Do's
    1. Eat fresh fish daily
    2. Before we leave, create a list a possible restaurants to have options for how we feel that day. We tend to eat early so reservations haven't been an issue for us yet, but we do make reservations for the 1 or 2 must-try places for each trip (Our first trip was AI and only have 2 others under our belt, so we still have many to try)
    3. Eat a big lunch if we have evening plans that involve bars/drinking.
    4. Keep lunches simple on our beach days

    Don'ts
    1. Worry about the cost
    2. Plan dinners out of our comfort zone. For us that means keeping this pretty casual, and making sure fish is on the menu.
    3. Worry about the service charge - if its there we still tip our normal percentage and reward excellent service.
    4. Eat pizza (we eat it too much at home)
    5. Eat at American chain restaurants
    Not sure when, but we will be back

  10. #10
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    My DOs

    We do try to eat where Arubans eat at least once or twice during our visits. Try getting out of the tourist areas by even just a mile or 2 to experience good Aruban food. Try some local cuisine....goat stew, keshi yena, and funchi.


    Drink local beveragesÖ.balashi beer and palmera (sp?) rum.


    Tell the wait staff how appreciative we are of their good service and tip appropriately.

    We do try to engage the waitstaff in conversations. We love hearing a little bit about them. But we do not like to hinder them while they are doing their job with unnecessary conversation.

    We do like going to places that offer "early bird specials" (could that be because we are Floridians?)




    My DONíTs

    If something goes bad with a dining experience, we DONíT stew about it. We don't 1st complain about it online......We try to talk to the person in charge immediately and try to make it right.

    We DONíT make a reservation and then cancel without appropriate notice. (24 hrs or more if possible)

    We don't return to an establishment if they hand us a business card with a link to websites and encourage us to post a good review. (This past trip in May we were handed a business card only once and encouraged to post good reviews, last trip 2x) We got the feeling that they were only interested in giving us good service so they could get a good review.

    We don't linger after our meal if the restaurant is crowded. We drink our coffee or tea and then beat it.

    We don't eat any dinners on the sand. We prefer floor under our feet.

    We don't typically go out to lunch (except if there is a beach restaurant nearby....Renaissance Island beach restaurant for example) We prefer not to leave the beach or pool for lunch.

    We don't ever buy the hamburgers at the gate area food kiosks at the QB airport. yuk.

    We don't let our credit card out of our sight while in any restaurant, anywhere....in Aruba or here in the US.

    We don't eat dinner after 8 pm.






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