Trip report January 21 – February 8, 2015
Not a great year in Aruba for us. We arrived to stay with friends. They were getting over illnesses that they shared with us. DW and I were sick or sort of sick for most of our stay. As a result, we didn't do as much or eat out at all the places we had on our list.
Here's the restaurant lineup in no particular order:
Islander Grill @ LaCabana: The quality we had enjoyed when eating there at lunchtime over the years was absent when we went there for a light dinner one night. Three of the four dinners were below average and the forth was "OK"
Salt & Pepper: A really good dinner for the four of us. We had a variety of tapas and the potato bacon soup. That's a really good soup. We should go here every year.
West Deck: This has become DW's favorite. We went there with our daughter and SIL as well as our friends from Chicago. We all enjoyed our meals. It has become a regular, replacing Pincho's.
Casa Tua – Oranjestad: For us, this place has the best pizza on the island. A thin crispy had-tossed crust, tasty sauce and great toppings.
Quinta del Carmen: cindyos three "OMGs" say it all. What a delight of a restaurant. The setting is a beautiful garden behind the building. The food was tops. Shrimp and ceviche appetizers. Nut crusted mahi mahi, duck breast and shrimp entrees. No room for dessert. A plate of sorbet and coffees did it for us. It's only been open for two months but has been packed every night. Everyone should give this place a try.
Chalet Suisse: Old reliable never disappoints. Still top notch. The lobster bisque is still one of the best things I've eaten. Appetizers were the avocado del Mar, escargot and the bisque. Entrees were mixed grill, rack of lamb, and filet mignon Madiera. Desserts were apple strudel (for me) and coffees. I see no reason to skip this restaurant every year.
Twist of Flavors: A brand new restaurant at the Alahambra mall. I have to say the fact that they were only open for two weeks when we went there showed in the awkward service. Needs work. The meals were all good, portions ample. The service will improve.
Hollywood Smokehouse: This is a favorite from the Tropicana parking lot on Super Bowl Sunday last year that has moved into a real restaurant setting at the Alahambra mall. I picked up take-out one night when SO was feeling particularly bad. A pulled pork sandwich and a brisket sandwich were both very good. Sadly, the sides were pathetic. $3 got me a plastic container of Caribbean black beans that was no more than ¼ cup in size. Sandwiches come with chips-a paper boat of badly broken rippled potato chips covered in plastic wrap. Maybe if you ate in the restaurant…
General food comment. DW ordered calamari as an appetizer in three different places and they were uniformly poor. I didn't think this dish was all the difficult to make.
On a happy note, we met up with Gramdee and her husband at Paradise Beach.
The weather was especially good.
One more thing. We watched the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl!!!!! Then we found Patriots Super Bowl Champion T-shirts in town and wore them proudly last week! We finally got revenge over the NY Giants fans who gather on the far side of the pool who have had bragging rights because of their last two Super Bowl wins over the Pats.