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It’s almost October! Local and visiting food fanatics all know what that means; it’s time for Eat Local!
Eat Local is an annual event, organized to give Arubans and visitors alike a chance to experience mouthwatering dishes with a local twist at top restaurants for a great price. The concept is simple. During the event, you visit a participating restaurant for lunch or dinner and you ask for the Eat Local menu. That’s it! All you have to do next is enjoy a delicious lunch for $15 or dinner for $30 or $40.
But beware! This year, Eat Local only lasts for 2 weeks instead of the entire month. From October 1st to October 14th. Be sure to mark your calendars, because you do not want to miss it.
In this post, I will be showing you five restaurants (in no particular order) I am excited to visit during Eat Local.
Not only does this restaurant’s name fit perfectly with island living, its Eat Local dinner menu does too. Here in Aruba, fish and seafood dishes are a staple and enjoyed by many, including me. The appetizer-entrée combination that caught my eye immediately, was the Plantain and Coconut Soup paired with the catch of the day. I am huge fan of plantain with any dish, the banana-like fruit is the perfect complement to many savory dishes, while anything coconut just screams “Caribbean bliss”. You can never go wrong with the catch of the day. Especially when it’s glazed with garlic herb butter. A real treat. October 1st, I’ll be first in line for dinner at The Lazy Turtle!
Don’t let the name of this restaurant confuse you. While Taste of Belgium serves delectable Belgian and international food year-round, they have established themselves as true local food experts over the years. For just $30 they have an exceptional 3-course menu available. Here’s what I’m ordering. For starters, I’ll have the Sopi Oester (oyster soup). If you’ve never had a good Aruban helping of oyster soup, you’re missing out! This appetizer is commonly served at local family parties. The flavor always takes me back to a fun auntie’s birthday bash, where everyone rushes back to the kitchen for seconds. For the main course, Keshi Yena (stuffed cheese) is my top pick. Well-seasoned shredded chicken covered in a melty layer of Gouda cheese, need I say more? Finish it all off with an Aruban coffee, and you’ll be good to go!
Let’s do lunch at Salt and Pepper. This appetizer piqued my interest, as I have never had anything like it before. Kerikeri Tacos. Kerikeri is a delicious Aruban fishcake commonly enjoyed on March 18th, the day of our flag and anthem. But whoever thought to put kerikeri inside a taco, was a true genius! At Salt & Pepper, this dish is served with papaya mayonnaise, another first for me. It all sounds deliciously unique yet so very authentically Aruban, that’s why it definitely made my list for Eat Local this year. As the main course, I’m going with Criollo BBQ. If there’s anyone who enjoys a nice barbecue meal on a sunny Sunday afternoon, it’s an Aruban. I am absolutely no exception! You can always invite me over for chicken and ribs.
Driftwood restaurant has many fans, and I’m one of them! Especially during Eat Local. This year, I’m determined to try their $40 dinner menu. While it’s was not an easy choice, I’ve decided to go with the Escargots as a starter. Not everyone would opt to try the escargots, but I consider myself a culinary adventurer and have had them a couple times before, very tasty. Besides, if there’s a good place to try escargots for the first time, it’s at Driftwood, as they drench them in garlic butter. Everything is delicious in garlic butter! For the entrée I’ve selected the Jumbo Shrimp. Like I mentioned, we love our seafood here in Aruba. Breaded shrimp in curry sauce, just the way I like them! There’s always room for dessert, and in this case, it’s for caramel flan. De-licious.
Upon reviewing Sunset Grille’s dinner menu, I immediately had the urge to go over there, for their 3 delightful courses, only to realize, Eat Local is still a couple of weeks away! I can’t wait to try their Steakhouse Wedge appetizer. A refreshing wedge salad with all the fixings! Bacon, cheese chunks and dressing. As an entrée, I’m looking at the Local Red Snapper which appears to be caught by their very own multitalented bellman Johnny. For dessert some Vanilla Ice Cream would certainly hit the spot. Sunset Grille really took their ice cream to the next level by covering it in Ponche Crema sauce, what a treat!
These are only five of the many great options available during Eat Local. Be sure to check out our Eat Local page for menus and additional information. See you in October!