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Thread: Restaurant Reviews 3/30-4/13 (Part I)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lewny1's Avatar
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    Restaurant Reviews 3/30-4/13 (Part I)

    I will try to add my entire trip report to the "My Aruba Story" folder in the next week or so, but wanted to give a brief overview of the restaurants we dined at.

    Day 1 (Saturday, March 30th)
    Wendy's. Nothing more to say :-)

    Day 2 (Sunday, March 31st - Easter Sunday)
    Lunch - Pizza Bobs - Rating (B)
    Ordered a pizza half regular/half black olive and a classic Italian salad. Everyone shared and everything tasty.

    Dinner - El Gaucho - (Rating B+)
    DH, Mom and I all ordered the petite tenderloin w/ various sides. Meat was cooked to perfection. Decent side dishes. DD ordered pasta and meatballs. Passed on dessert but got capuccino, Bailey's coffee and Bailey's on the rocks for the adults. All yummy.

    Day 3 (Monday, April 1st)
    Lunch - Mulligans - Rating (C)
    They seemed to have changed their menu a bit and may have a new chef. My favorite, the Dutch pea soup, is no longer on their menu nor is this stir-fry noodle dish that I liked. Mom ordered a turkey club which she did not care for as the turkey looked quite unappetizing. DH ordered a cheeseburger which he liked and I got a Cesar salad with a dressing that was a bit odd. Not bad, just different. DD ate some leftovers and picked at the fries and onion rings we ordered on the side which were both fairly good.

    Dinner - Ate in. Mom fried up some chicken cutlets and we had a salad and rice pilaf - rating (A-) :-)


    Day 4 (Tuesday, April 2nd)
    Breakfast - Mulligans - Rating (B)
    We got a complimentary members breakfast. Complete breakfasts all around with eggs, bacon, toast and potatoes.

    Dinner - Bavaria- Rating (B+)
    We really like this place but fear it's not too popular because of the location. It's a nice change from the beef and fish that we normally eat in Aruba. A nice relaxed casual atmosphere, great beer and a very friendly owner that always comes over and talks to his customers. DH got a potato soup for appetizer and Mom, DD and I shared soft pretzels in garlic dip. For main course, Mom and I both got pork medallions in mushroom gravy with mixed veggies and spatzle. DH got a 3 kinds of suasae sampler with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. DD got chicken tenders and fries (her favorite). We all split and ice cream and apple strudel for dessert. Brought leftovers back to timeshare. Everything very good.

    Day 5 (Wednesday, April 3rd)
    Lunch - Pizza Bob's (see above) - same rating - same order as Day 2

    Dinner - Driftwood - Rating (B+)
    This is my go-to spot for fresh catch of the day (and where I get my Wahoo fix). Mom and I both got the Wahoo. I got mine "Aruban Style" in a tomato based creole sauce. Mom got hers blackened. DH ordered the Swordfish in a garlic wine sauce. DD got mac n cheese. Ice cream and cheesecake split by all for dessert.

    Day 6 (Thursday, April 4th)
    Lunch - Palm Beach Refreshments - Rating (A)
    This is one of our favorite local lunch spots. It is family owned and all of the owners are sooooo nice. Hubby always goes in and asks them if they can make us 3 chicken satay orders and they always oblige even if it's not on the daily menu. 2 skewers of marinated chicken, peanut sauce on the side over a bed of rice with a small salad and a few fried plantains all for under $10 each. We can never finish as they stuff the box full of food. Delicious!!

    Dinner - Gianni's - Rating (A-)
    Not sure why this place gets such mixed reviews. We've been going every year since it opened and have never had a bad meal (and this is coming from NY Italians). Mediocre service as times -yes, but never a bad meal. This year we had both a good meal and good service. DD and I split a caprese salad to start and Mom got one of her own. DH got a mussels appetizer in garlic wine sauce which was excellent. For main course, I got my usual chicken cutlet parmigiana. Mom got a veal dish in a creamy lemon sauce and DH ordered a veal dish in a creamy wine sauce. DD chowed down on 2 bowls of our pasta sides!!! Cappucinnos all around (except for DD) and a sorbet over fresh fruit split by 4 for dessert. We were stuffed and satisfied.

    Day 7 (Friday, April 5th)
    Dinner - Windows on Aruba - Rating (A)
    Hubby and I always celebrate our belated anniversary at Windows and we always order the same thing. He gets the lobster bisque to start and I get the goat cheese salad and we split chateubriand for 2 and the pistachio and hazelnut dessert. Usually we give this place an A+. It was a little off this year. I think it was because they did not ask us if we were celebrating anything and we didn't get our complimentary champagne, free dessert with sparkler, homemade sign wishing us Happy Anniversary, etc.. We felt silly pointing it out so we let it go. The meat was cooked very well and the sides were very good as well. Will still return next year but will make sure to mention our anniversary right away.

    Okay, I will post the 2nd half of our week tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reviews and especially the ratings.... good detail.

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    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    Wonderful detail to your reviews. It really helps with my restaurant planning! Those pretzels with garlic dip from Bavaria sound good.

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    We also have had great meals at Gianni's. We always make sure to go there.

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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    thanks for the reviews. you gave mom an A-, ok why not a an A ?

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    Senior Member Lewny1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    thanks for the reviews. you gave mom an A-, ok why not a an A ?
    Andrea,
    The chicken cutlets were a bit overfried lol, but in her defense, they don't supply us with the best pots and pans!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lewny1's Avatar
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    Part II

    Day 8 (Saturday, April 6th)
    Dinner - Hung Paradise (A-)
    Who would have thought that you could get good Chinese food in Aruba. Quite impressed and this will remain a go-to on our list. We actually ordered and took it home and it was still yummy all wrapped up and not immediately served. Had to try the Loempia (huge eggroll) and it did not disappoint. Totally delicious. DD had a noodle soup they made for her. It was supposed to be a rice soup but they added noodles for her. Mom got chicken with broccoli, I got lemon chicken and hubby got sweet and sour chicken. We also ordered a side of fried rice. We had PLENTY of leftovers. Everything was tasty and light. None of the chicken was battered or fried.

    Day 9 (Sunday, April 7th)
    Leftovers for lunch and ate in for dinner (Hubby BBQd burgers). Rating (C-) he overcooked them lol)

    Day 10 (Monday, April 8th)
    Dinner - Chalet Suisse - Rating (A)
    Up to this point, this was our favorite meal. Since we have a young child, we book early dinner reservations (usually 6 or 6:30) so we were able to take advantage of the early bird special here. I have never had a bad meal here but tonight was overly good for some reason. We didn't eat much during the day - just picked- so we were all hungry!!! First course: Mom and DH both got the cream of mushroom soup and I got the cesar salad. Salad was very good, soup was delicious (I tried DHs). Mom and DH also both got the weiner schnitzel for main course and I got the sirloin steak. DH cut his schnitzel in half and I did the same with my steak and we shared. Incredible. Steak was like butter and cooked to perfection. Weiner schnitzel was tender and delicious. I don't think I ever had such a tender piece of veal. Even the veggies were crispy and tasty. DD got her usual (chicken nuggest and fries) and they were so good she only had a few fries left. Mom and DH both got apple strudel for dessert and I got hot kisses (vanilla ice cream covered in hot raspberry sauce). SOOOOO GOOOOD.

    Day 11 (Tuesday, April 9th)
    Mommy and Me day lol
    Breakfast - Linda's Pancakes and Pizza's - Rating (B+)
    Mom and I both had fresh squeezed OJ and dutch pancakes with gouda, ham and pineapple. Too much to finish. Very good although my pancake was slightly overcooked.

    Dinner - This was a "date night for DH and me" so we got Mom Pizza Bob's (Classic italian salad and lasagna) Rating (B-) and DH and I headed off to Madame Janette's (Rating - A). Again, not seeing why such negative reviews lately. Same as always. Somewhat slow service (to be expected for the amount of customers they serve at once) and delicious food. For appetizer, DH and I split both the crab cakes and his all time favorite, potato leek soup. He recommends that soup to everyone we know who goes to MJs. Both were incredibly tasty. Crab cakes had a bit of a kick to them (I think it was the sauce), which was fine by me since I like spice and the flavor of the potato leek soup was absolutely wonderful. For main course, I got the chef's skirt steak which was cooked very well. It's tough to cook skirt steak but the chef did a fabulous job. The sauce it was in was not a total homerun for me, but it was not bad by any stretch of the imagination. Hubby got sea bass and savored every morsel. Too full for dessert and still had some skirt steak to take home.

    Day 12 (Wednesday, April 10th)
    Lunch - Scott's Bratt's - Rating (A-)
    Had DH run there on our way back from Phillips Animal Garden. He briefly spoke with the owners and ordered 2 hot dogs, 2 italian sausage sandwiches and a pretzel. Mom and DD devoured their hot dogs in seconds lol. DH and I savored the sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions. So good and a nice change of pace. Will be back next year and hopefully will be able to spend a bit more time there. Congrats to the owners on such a successful business.

    Dinner - Barney's - Rating (A)
    This was our first time there and believe it or not, the main course was favorite meal for both Mom and myself. I'm still dreaming of the almond grouper. Wednesday is grouper night so you can get grouper several ways but Mom and I stuck with what was on the menu with me getting this almond grouper and Mom getting parmesan grouper. I don't remember DH's starter (it might have been a soup again) and Mom and I shared "stones in a pool" which were mushrooms in a cream-type sauce with leeks, etc. It was tasty but probably not something I would order again. The appetizers on the menu weren't really things I was too interested in but the main menu is phenomenal. DH got a "medium" order of ribs which was two HUGE slabs of ribs with coleslaw and a few other things. He only got through one rack and 2 ribs on the second rack but said they were very good. My almond and breadcrumb crusted grouper was FANTASTIC. It was so delicous that I'm still dreaming of it. Mom (who is not a huge fish eater) was oohing and aahing all through her meal of parmesan grouper. The stir-fry type veggies served under the fish were equally delicous. This place is a keeper for sure!!! Oh, and DD got chicken nuggest and fries (what a shocker). Thankfully, we made sure she got her share of fruits and veggies during the day!!!

    Day 13 (Thursday, April 11th)
    Final Date Night for DH and me
    Dinner - Barefoot - (Rating - A-/A+)
    Food gets an A- but service and location/ambiance get an A+
    This place is another one of our "regular" spots each year. I just LOVE sitting on the beach with my toes in the sand taking pics with the most beautiful sunsets in the world in the background. I love the ambiance - it's romantic yet somewhat casual watching the locals frolic on the beach and in the ocean. It's all very serene and my favorite place to dine as far as location/ambiance goes.
    DH got a lobster bisque to start and I got a goat cheese salad. Both good. For main course, DH got seafood trio which was scallops, shrimp and (I think) lobster and I got peppered tuna. Very fresh tasting. Scallops are not DH's favorite fish so he left some of that on his plate (he prefers the smaller bay scallops). We finished off with the dessert sampler (my favorite dessert of the trip) and cappuccinos. Beyond STUFFED!!!!

    Day 14 (Friday, April 12th)
    Last meals of the trip (besides the Nathan's hot dogs at airport before departure)
    Breakfast/Lunch - Leftovers - had to clean out fridge
    Dinner - Yemanja Wood-fire grill - (Rating - A-)
    Another great meal. Guess what appetizer DH got? You're right - potato soup lol. Mom got shrimp in pastry. I did not order an appetizer because I knew we couldn't take leftovers back so I tasted a bit of both and they were both delicious! For main course, Mom and I both got the tenderloin, and once again, cooked to perfection (although I could feel my arteries clogging from all the red meat I ate during this trip), DH got a chilean sea bass with a bacon crust. DD actually got past and not chicken nuggest and finished almost her whole plate!! This place gives "family style" side dishes that come in separate dishes. I believe they are black beans, white rice, mashed potatoes and stir-fry veggies. We had a coupon for a free dessert (sorbet) and Mom also ordered Walnut ice cream which she said was very good. Sooooo stuffed again and another great meal to end our trip.

    I will miss all the fabulous restaurants but my body is glad we are back home and that I'm back to the gym!!!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thought part 1 was wonderful... part 2 is outta this world. Fantastic reviews, helpful ratings and super restaurant choices! Can't wait to get to Aruba this year!

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