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Everything posted by uncletrouble

  1. I have a bottle in front of me called "Old Breed" It is described as "Beer Flavored Distilled Spirits" The label further expounds "This unique beer-flavored spirit has been distilled from the finest Canadian beers and grain spirits with natural flavors and caramel color added." It is "Imported and Bottled by the Old Breed Co. Baltimore, Maryland. Alc. 40% by Vol. (80 proof)" My undersatnding is that it was made by Seagram's and while the bottle (200ml.) and label look old and faded, I don't think the product is particularly old. The seal is still intact. I have never heard of this, and I've heard of most, but wondering if any of the tall foreheads out there might shed some light.
  2. As with many, if not most, restaurants on the French side, you pay the exchange on the dollar/Euro thing. I think at Friar's its 25%. If you do lunch "right", (if you're into duck hearts and the like then I know you will) couple of drinks, appetizers, a bottle or two of a nice rose, espressos, count on $75 and it CAN get to a hundred dollars a head. But you've had more food than you can eat, and you should be pleasantly blasted. Then the bastards bring out the rum, and suddenly you're drunk as a Lord. At least, that's what I've heard. Layla's is quite beautiful. You're noshing with your feet in the sand in the midst of a grove of sea grape trees. Almost jungly, if that's a word. Its on the beach, but the water is more in the background, because, well the sea grapes. The menu is more mainstream than Friar's or Waikiki, but there's always some specials, two or three fresh fish etc. It is a very relaxing, serene locale. I think they may be open two or three nights a week for dinner too. I went once three or four years ago, and it was very pretty, lots of candles, but I remember the service being a bit gruff. I think the same people work the night shift as the day, and they've simply had enough. And have you ever gone to Le Chalet - The Cheese House in Sandy Ground? Dinner only, and its no good for just two people. 6 or more makes it a great night. Fondues, raclette, unbelievable scalloped potatoes (tartiflette) its a wonderful, fun, fairly inexpensive night out. The cheese and champagne fondue is fabulous. You eat way too much of everything, and waddle out of the place feeling like your legs are full of cheese and potatoes. That's it, I've made myself hungry now.
  3. OK, La Sucrerie is correct, and they've opened another one in Simpson Bay which I think is equally as good. If you haven't been to Friar's Bay, the road is just out of Marigot on the way to Grand Case. There's another access road just as you enter Grand Case, but it is in truly horrific condition. Friar's Bay beach itself is quite calm and can be a little rocky getting into the water, but hey! you're there for the lunch. Chairs and umbrellas are free if you are indeed eating, which does mellow the price somewhat. The restaurant, (Friar's Bay Beach Cafe, not to be confused with the other establishment, Kali's) is great; some thatch covered tables in the sand, and then a more structured place about thirty metres from the water. The always changing blackboard menu has some normal stuff, burgers, club sandwich I think, but the rest of it is fascinating. I've had a duck heart brochette that was spectacular, shaved roast leg of lamb that tasted like lamb, steak Tartare, great nems, lots of interesting, huge salads... it goes on and on. Its not cheap, but portions are enormous, service top notch, music very eclectic (and they'll turn it down if you think its out of hand). Sundays can get very busy with families. All in all, one of my favourite places to eat on the island. I seem to prefer great lunch places - I think it gives me more time to recover for the next day. Layla's in Nettle Bay is another great spot - wonderful setting, and the food is good again after a lapse for a couple of years. On my last visit, they took dollars for Euros when paying cash. I hate to admit it but Sunset Beach Bar is still worth the trip. The food is quite good, and the scene, well, it is what it is. But a similar vista, cheaper prices and fewer people can be found at Cliffhanger's, the bar literally hanging on the cliff, opposite Atlantis Casino. The view is stunning. That should keep you going for a while.
  4. I realize bethala's trip has come and gone, and I too am anxious to hear the report, but I thought I'd add my two guilders to the discussion. Of the higher end restaurants mentioned, I think Sol e Luna is quite lovely, and both Le Cottage and L'Alabama are excellent, though on the wrong side of the street for the admitedly spectacular evening vistas. Taste du Vin and Rainbow are two that I think are quite good, and have the view. La Main a la Pate is fine but not close to the best in the Marina - Tropicana and Chanteclair are truly great, perhaps a few more $. Bistro Nu is terrific for classic French bistro, plus he regularly has loads of other, often obscure stuff (kangaroo steak springs to mind, yes, pun). And around the corner, the second floor Mai is a beautiful, high end Vietnamese/Oriental destination. Pineapple Pete's is OK, constantly getting good reviews, but not my style. And Wajang Doll can be interesting, I certainly wouldn't call it a tourist trap, but the guy running it can be a bit, well, miserable. And you're aware Hilma's Windsor Castle is a trailer? Now I'm all for the out of the way, islandy, wacky experience, but you're sitting between a very busy road and a dusty parking lot, eating decidely ordinary fare. Though he was dead right about Uncle Harry's, sometimes Bourdain is a bit crazy. Try Friar's Bay Beach Cafe for lunch - very French, very cool, different menu. Also Waikiki at Orient provides a top quality, diverse, interesting menu as well, albeit at a price. And the first restaurant as you get off the ferry in Pinel has turned a corner and is quite wonderful, though a bit hectic on the weekends. I think that's enough.
  5. [i strongly agree with Thuet. I no longer reside in Toronto but was back at Christmas and had one of the more memorable meals ever. We went with the tasting menu, including wine, and it was wonderful. They were very generous on keeping up with wine too, a problem I often encounter with these types of menus, but perhaps because we were sitting at the bar on a fairly quiet night between Christmas and New Year's made it easier. The whole thing was tres cher, but I'd do it again in a New York minute. And Chef Thuet gave us each a loaf of one of his sourdough breads to take with us. Sadly, I left mine in some other bar, or perhaps a cab, but not before I gnawed off a sizeable hunk. My memory is that it was wonderful and really hit the spot. Even better than a 2:00am slice from Big Slice.
  6. Hi. New to this gullet thing, but wanted to put my two cents in. I've been a full time resident of St. Maarten for over 4 years now and spend most of my time eating, drinking and falling down. Bourdain has it pretty much sussed, although he's far more enthusiastic about the Dingy Dock than I. Couple of places he may have missed: Friar's Bay Beach Cafe on Friar's Bay - lunches only (Open until 7:00pm though, so lunch can be lingering and boozy) Absolutely great French cooking, menu changes daily, generally a couple of offal options (a recent favourite was the brochette of duck hearts - 10 of the little mothers!) served by skilled French guys. Not cheap, but a GREAT place to spend the afternoon, drinking a little rose, eating great food, feet in the sand. Real busy on Sundays. Another, totally different option, is Indian at Lal's, right beside the airport. Very good, very cheap Indian. If I can't get a seat at the bar (which holds maybe 20) I don't go in. Lal closes every September and tours around Europe picking up eclectic and obscure old rock and roll recordings which he then makes into his own tapes (yes, tapes) and that's the sound track at the restaurant. It's all very good. Service can be a little dodgy, but for 25 bucks I'm full and half drunk, which is pretty much all I've ever wanted to be. So that's it. Gotta go - its happy hour somewhere.
  7. I believe Allen's to be easily the best. A past employee got me on to his favourite: Medium rare, with Dijon and a thick slab of red onion. Nothing else. Plays havoc with your breath, but is truly excellent.
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