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Thread: Trip Report

  1. #1
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Trip Report

    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 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.

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sad to hear you folks were not feeling 100%.

    your summation of the restaurants was terrific and especially Hollywood Smokehouse !

    Wear the shirts proudly

  3. #3
    Senior Member cindyo's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you were sick during your stay!!!

    glad you loved QuintaDelCarmin, it's going to be a number one on the island.

    Did if you get your T shirts at the I LOVE ARUBA store? He has the best Boston sport T shirts there.

    thanks for your report, always love to hear everyone's vacation stories.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pegmeister's Avatar
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    It's no fun being sick on vacation! I've has that happen once but just for a few days and the sun baked it out of me. You need to book a longer trip for next time to make up for it!

    Your restaurant line up sounds good. I wonder if the calamari thing has to do with the creatures coming from warmer waters. We found we didn't care for calamari or mussels when in Aruba. Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report..... great restaurant reviews.... and so sorry you got some illness. Hope recovery was rapid.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Jacki's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking the time to review the restaurants. Can't wait to try Quinta del Carmen!
    Jacki ~ loving Aruba from NJ

  7. #7
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Cindyo, it was the 'I Love Aruba' shop downtown. A friend saw them there on Tuesday!

  8. #8
    Senior Member AndyM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegmeister View Post
    ...I wonder if the calamari thing has to do with the creatures coming from warmer waters...
    Peg, I think it was the preparation. One place had them breaded like commercially prepared onion rings. Others were overcooked. Overcooked squid gets tough and rubbery.

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