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Rachel Perlow

St. Thomas / St John USVI Dining

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Thanks for the suggestion, Rachel. I hadn't really planned to post about Anguilla since cuisine wasn't a major focus of our trip this time around, but as soon as I can dig out from under all my work stuff and the laundry :shock:, I'll start a new topic.

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I will be visiting St Martin with a friend (2 women-one married and one single) on Memorial Day weekend. As soon as the hotel, flight and car were taken care of my next stop was egullet, of course. We will also be staying at Oyster Bay on an Interval time share (a studio apt). I'm renting a car. I'm printing all the good info on this thread and taking it with me.

I mainly want to relax on the beach. The good food is a great bonus. I want to do snorkeling and my friend wants to go horseback riding on the beach. The Perlows didn't like the snorkeling. Has anyone had a good experience snorkeling on the island? Any good dancing places?

Any additional and recent information, especially about the food, will be most appreciated!! Also, I would appreciate any practical info that you got through experience on St. Martin, that you wish you had known before you went.

Thanks in advance.

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Very little good snorkelling left on St Martin--as most of the reefs are dead. Better to take a day trip over to Anguilla's Shoal Bay for that. There is (or was) still good snorkelling off Grand Case--around the prominent rock called "Creole Rock" You can get someone to take you out there for a few bucks by the Grand Case Beach Club. Around the rock at the end of the beach at Baie Rouge ( swim right) is some nice--but not exactly teeming snorkelling--and there's a nice little beach unreachable by land.

For food? See earlier posts--but Marigot--if you look hard enough--has some good spots. You might try Bistro Nu or Le Plongoir there. Best market for shopping is Supermarche--right before the bridge to Sandy Ground: Lots of straight-from France meat, charcuterie, cold cuts, cheese--and the best baguettes nextdoor at the bakery.

Grand Case? Le Cottage is not bad.

Near Mullet Bay--by the casino is Temptation--high end "caribbean fusion".

Ribs at Pedro's on Orient Beach...or at Johnny B Under the Tree.

Best beaches, in order: Baie Rouge, Cupacoy, Prune, Baie Longue.

Best hotel: La Samanna (pricey) Less pricey, Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case.

MUST AVOID: Pelican--and anywhere near it. You'd just as well go to Florida.

Ditto Maho area.

Good bars: Sunset Beach Bar, by the airport...Dinghy Dock near Oyster Pond.

Dancing? In Marigot --VERY late. Just follow the THUMP THUMP THUMP to the hot places.

And don't forget Hilma's Windsor Castle for lunch. (see earlier posts here for directions) Local, cheap, supercasual--and Hilma knows EVERYTHING about the island.

Unless you like seeing tiny German penises on display, crowds, chair service and water sports--avoid Orient for anything but a look. It's crowded, commercial--and gets uglier every day.


abourdain

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Thanks, Tony. This helps us tremendously. I had posted a message in another area of this forum(haven't checked that one yet), but this answers alot of our questions even though we won't be taking our trip til Sept. Can't wait though. Have read your postings and devoured them. PS.

Do your Hurricane Ban in Sept. Dance for us! :)

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Thanks Tony! Nothing like the real scoop from a local. I think I will go to Anguilla for snorkeling--its been decades since I did snorkeling and this is my chance.

I'll post my impressions when I get back.

Any extra advice welcome until 5/27.

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If you do go to Anguilla for snorkeling, the best place to go is Little Bay. Take the earliest ferry possible from Marigot and walk up the hill a little ways from the ferry dock to rent a car. Taxis are expensive in Anguilla -- for about the price of a couple of taxi rides you can have a car for the day and visit several spots. The way to get to Little Bay is to drive over to Crocus Bay -- ask for directions or just follow the signs when you go through The Valley and remember to head toward the left. There's a boat ramp where you can ask around for Calvin, who'll take you over to Little Bay in his boat and pick you up again at a specified time for $10/pp. It's quietest in the morning before day-trippers come.

Calvin:

i6464.jpg

Tranquility at Little Bay:

i6461.jpg

Afterwards you can drive over to Shoal Bay East to have lunch at one of the great beach restaurants (Gwen's Reggae Bar, Le Bar, Uncle Ernie's, Madeiraman's) and snorkel some more. For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, go to Palm Grove Grill in Junk's Hole and have Nat bbq you some lobster, ribs or crawfish while you snorkel in the calm waters and shallow reefs.

Before Nat opens up:

i6463.jpg

Your own private beach:

i6465.jpg


Edited by bushey (log)

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Thanks bushey, this is great inside info. The photos are making me want to be there already.

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Good bars: Sunset Beach Bar, by the airport...Dinghy Dock near Oyster Pond.

Sunset, blech unless you like being THAT CLOSE to landing aircraft.

Ditto (the recommendation of) Dinghy Dock.

Go to Citrus at Cupecoy -- Highly recommended.

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Sunset's good LATE--when it's not all passengers waiting for their flights--and there's little air traffic. Much more local crowd--and reggae bands that sound better the more you drink.

For sheer novelty value,and cheap drinks it IS a good place to wait after you check your luggage in. You can get drunk, watch the idiots stand right behind the turbines, and you'll know exactly when your flight arrives as it comes in right over your head. On departure day, I always check in my luggage VERY early--to avoid the lines, then hang at Sunset drinking.

Citrus has a new chef, so I don't know the situation there now.

But I highly recommend buying a bunch of freshly made French and local sausages at either Match, Supermarche Dupont or one of the fine local butchers in Marigot and bbqing em on the beach. The pre-made satays aren't too bad either. Strangely--for an island--the fish is pretty crappy. The local snapper is tough (and usually frozen). The lobsters are good--as are the crab backs. Almost everything else comes in frozen from Florida. The best seafood (for bbqing) is at Supermarche Dupont--but in typical French style--you gotta wait for the delivery to come in (usually Thursday or Friday). It varies wildly--and can be either a bounty of great stuff fresh from Brittany--or some really reeking crap.

The VERY popular Lee's Deep Sea Fishing restaurant in Simpson Bay is to be avoided at all costs. Same jokers you saw on the plane--only sunburned--and increasingly bad food. Best lobster is at Uncle Harry's on the airport road--in the back of a scary-ass looking boatyard. I'd stay away from Thai or Vietnamese.


abourdain

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Stay away from Vietnamese? Huh, we were disappointed at not being able to try the Vietnamese place in Marigot because they were painting. I guess we won't bother (or maybe we will, just to see for ourselves :raz:).

OK, Sunset late. Check. We were there during the busy plane time and I didn't care for that experience.

I thought the chef at Citrus was one of the owners, has the place changed hands?

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What's so wrong with the Pelican, Tony? Are you referring to the resort or just the beach? We are staying there and you have me worried. :sad:

Also, does the Pelican resort do day trips for snorkeling? And is a trip to St. Bart's or Saba worth it??

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We are back from St Martin. The island is beautiful, the people as friendly as advertised, the beach perfect and the weather was fantastic. I would love to go back, like many people do. My friend (JB) threw her back out (a freaky thing, just getting out of the car), so some of our time was spent in doctor-type offices. Just to remind everybody, we are 2 girlfriends, I'm married and JB is single. Last year we toured southern Spain. This year we were lucky to go on another trip together. This thread helped me a lot when I was planning the trip. Thanks again to everyone who wrote, especially bourdain, the Perlows and bushey. I, of course, also looked elsewhere, like frommers.com and other sites. This non-commercial site: Caribbean Travel News I found today and looks good also.

I will try to list some of our experiences. The food stuff is 1/3 down this post.

Car Rental: Was strongly recommended and I strongly agree you need one. I do not think a 4x4 is essential--we did fine in a Corolla. I rented from Tropical Car Rental, which was recommended by another website. This local company (and others) send a representative to wait for you at the airport. Mikey was there as promised. The car was not the Platina I reserved, but a Corolla, but it had air and was automatic and only $20 a day, so I didn't change it. He gave us directions to the car rental office (close by) and we drove there to fill out the paperwork. Yes, I actually drove the car before filling out the paperwork.

Driving: There is one main road than circumnavigates the island. The airport is in the southwest of the island. I recommend avoiding the Dutch section of the road, unless you are going there (and you would be disregarding Tony's advice). There was always a lot of traffic on the road that leads to Phillipsburg. Even if on the map it looks longer, we found it better to go around the island and avoid the Dutch section. Do drive defensively and do not get confident. All roads are 2 lanes, one each way and cars pass each other all the time. Goats, horses and cows graze right next to the roads, or cross the road. The roads have names, but we never got any directions with road names. They would go like this, "Go left on the main road, take a right at the fork by the Texaco, and go left at the Kentucky (KFC--this was the Dutch side), take a right at the T, then follow signs to …." There is a gas station between Grand Case and Oyster Bay that was open at all hours and on the holidays.

Language: We only encountered one shop lady that didn't speak English, and she tried her best to help anyway. Neither of us speaks French (although I know a lot of French words). Everybody else spoke English.

Currency: US dollars can be used anywhere. Some places do equal exchange with Euros if paying cash, and others don't and just convert it with a calculator, but we had absolutely no problems paying with dollars anywhere. Also, they put through the credit charges in dollars.

Beach: We only went to Dawn Beach. It was right next to the resort and had free chairs and umbrellas and a shower. We liked it so much we didn't feel like driving to another beach. It had clear water and was mostly calm, but in the afternoon it had some small waves, which I like. Ms. B's beach "eatery" also rents snorkeling equipment. I snorkeled 2 mornings (better in the calm morning) and saw some pretty fish and 2 lobsters. I wanted to go to Anguilla, as recommended by a lot of people (see bushey's post), but JB would not go in past her waist (the movie "Jaws" scarred her for life) and it seemed like a lot of trouble to go to snorkel by myself. Next time….

Oyster Bay Beach Resort: We stayed at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort, in a small efficiency (a smallish room with a tiny kitchen area and a balcony). It was exactly as on the Website. Small, but doable. The front desk people were very helpful. They went out of their way to get us appointments for JB's back. The resort was very clean. A request for an extra blanket and to change the air conditioner's filter was taken care of right away. They do charge per day for the air conditioner, which I new about from my internet research. I did not know about the $50 per room time-share St Martin tax (there is also a $20 departure tax that on some airlines you have to pay in another line). Rooms are cleaned only on Wednesdays; other days are extra. Trash is taken out daily and towels replaced daily. Our room was small, but a one bedroom next to us (we peeked) was huge. There was also a pretty good air-conditioned workout room. Beware of the stepper (a swing-type device), which really hyper-extends the legs and I think contributed to JB's back problems.

Bug Spray: Bring it with you and apply no later than 4pm--even on the beach. Disregard this advice, like JB did on the first day, at your own risk. I also brought anti-itch cream--JB was so grateful.

Food--finally (and where my lack of professional culinary training will be obvious. Some flavors I just couldn't place):

We ate two lunches at Ms. B's, right on the beach. I had the rib and chicken combo both times. JB had that once and a cheeseburger the 2nd time. The ribs are grilled, small and pretty good. The sauce was sweet, but not too sweet, and tasty. The chicken was marinated and grilled and also good. Served with rice and peas ("peas" are any pulse, I think. These were pigeon peas-my favorite), and a small salad with bottled Italian dressing.

The Diet Coke was especially carbonated, which I love. I have found most foreign countries carbonate more.

One lunch at the Creperie in Marigot-I had the Croque Monsieur with great fries. My friend had a rather too-golden omelette-but she liked it.

We had dinner the first night at the Dinghy Dock (a "bourdain" recommendation). Get there early (6pm) if you want a table. We sat at a one of the large picnic tables inside, but try for outside as the reggae band is loud for the small space. A couple asked if they could share the table and we said of course. But then eight people showed up and crammed into the table. I'm asking how many, next time. We ordered the special, the spicy burger, It turned out to be a good sized ground beef burger with a spicy brown sauce (not "hot" spicy), baked potato (already with sour cream) and a salad (already with dressing). It wasn't the best meal ever, but it was tasty enough and we were starving! All salads that we were served on the island came with dressing, so ask for it on the side if you want.

The Dinghy Dock got crowded as the sun went down. It seemed like an "in" place for the people with boats at the marina.

One dinner at Le Cottage in Grand Case (also a bourdain recommendation) I had the lobster ravioli in rouille sauce and they were fantastic. They served 4 raviolis in a square plate. The pasta was very thin (like wonton-wrapper thin) and the sauce light in consistency but not thin and balanced in taste and delicious. For entrée the waiter recommended the special, which was 3 white fishes and sea scallops sautéed with island spices and in a sauce. It was very fresh and tasty, but I was a little disappointed that the sauce was the same as my appetizer. My friend had the ravioli special, which were filled with goat cheese and had a morel sauce. They were good, but not as good as the lobster ones--get them if you go.

For dessert I couldn’t resist the caramel soufflé, served with caramel sauce and house-made caramel ice cream. I highly recommend it. The service was excellent, in a relaxed and friendly way. This bill came to around $100 (including bottled water and tip)

Another night we went to L’Auberge Gourmand. This was my friend’s mother’s favorite restaurant (and on a lot of guides). The menu looked good, so we decided to try it. I should say that since we were in the off season, we didn’t need reservations and that at 6:30-7:00 pm we could just walk up and down the Grand Case restaurant row and decide on the spot. I had the grilled shrimp field greens dressed with excellent vinaigrette-but it had a lot of vinaigrette. Tell them to go light or on the side. The shrimp were incredibly fresh and sweet. The shrimp were as fresh as in southern Spain, on the beach. The kind that makes me wonder what exactly I’m eating when I eat shrimp in the US. The salad was served on a crepe basket, which reminded me of a French papadum. My friend had a salad of the mixed greens with Roquefort cheese, baked apple, balsamic vinegar and goat cheese baked in a light crust--very good, but heavy for an appetizer. For entrée I had the whole grilled bass (of a size good for one person) with Mediterranean vegetables. They fillet it for you, if you want. It was fresh and delicious. My friend got shrimp and scallops—oops, I can’t remember what sauce, but also good. No dessert. The bill came to $108 (including bottled sparkling water and tip).

A note about Grand Case (case as in "cass" in cassoulet). It is a very narrow 2-way street which has restaurants and a few shops interspersed between houses. There is no side walk. Parking is, mostly, where you find it. Cars and people on foot share the road. It was not crowded in May, but I can only imagine that it could be a nightmare in high season.

Monday night I made us cheese omelettes in the “kitchen.” My friend had to be on bed rest for the night. We had great mangoes from the Market at Marigot for dessert.

Tuesday night we finally made it to the Poulet D’Orleans. It was closed Sunday on our first try. It is right on the main road between Oyster Pond and Grand Case in what looks like a very modest neighborhood. We were both a little skeptical, but I wasn’t missing it. After all, Tony eats there and the Perlows went back with their friends and these are recommendations I trust implicitly. And they were so right. It was the best chicken JB or I have ever had. You can get the breast (breast and wing) or the half chicken. I got the breast, because I thought the half would be too much--a mistake, because it was so good that at the end we were both searching our plates for any bits of meat we had overlooked. This home-grown chicken was falling off the bone and incredible moist at the same time. The "peanut" sauce was a Thai inspired sauce, not too peanutty at all. It had other Thai flavors in a perfect balance. I finished off the sauce with the garlic bread. JB got the Creole sauce (tomato-type, not hot). There is also a barbecue sauce. The chicken came with an assortment of vegetables including perfectly steamed broccoli, corn, a small piece of christophine (chayote) and fried almost-ripe plantains. The plantains were great with the Thai sauce. Really, anything was good with that sauce. The entrees also came with roasted potatoes and rice and peas (beans, this time). For appetizer I got the accras (codfish fritters). These fritters are pillowish and not crispy--still addictive. JB got the "stuffed crab back." She liked it, but I thought it was too bready and not flavorful enough. There are also other entrees besides chicken. This bill came to $44 (including water and good tip). Go, go, go. But don't forget the bug spray!!!

Market in Marigot: Right in front of the water in Marigot is an open air market. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, vendors come from the adjacent islands (and I'm guessing also from St Martin) and sell fish, fruits and vegetables and spices. At the resort they told us that for the fish you have to get there at 6 am. We went around 10am. We bought mangos (spectacular) and spices. JB bought jerk seasoning and a spice assortment for her mother. I bought something called "magic spice", which is an all-purpose dried whole-herb blend for rubbing or marinating any meat or fish. I can't place all the smells, but it is incredibly fragrant. All the spices were very fragrant. In that heat and humidity I can only imagine they are so fragrant because they are really fresh. I also bought 3 vanilla beans for $2 each. They were also incredibly fragrant. Now I'm regretting I didn't buy more…

In the market there are also non-food stalls that they told us are there every day. I bought a cotton pareo from a young French guy that salt-dyes the cloths himself. There was a nice stall selling Provencal linens and things made out of the linens. And there were many other stalls--from tchotchkes to nice hand-made silver jewelry.

For upscale shopping go to the West Indies Mall, also in Marigot (if you are facing the ocean it's on the right of the market). It is a beautiful air conditioned mall. We got there on another day just a little before closing, and probably for the best. The shops in St Martin can only have a sale 3 weeks of the year, and this was it. They have a Hediard store, where I had to practice restraint. JB wanted to go to New Man, one of her favorite designers, and they are not in Philly. There is also a nice cosmetic/perfume store. The whole island is duty-free. Some people told us that the shopping was better in Phillipsburg (a lot of jewelry stores and true 1 Euro=1 dollar exchange). But we weren't buying jewelry or anything that expensive, so for us it wasn't worth going to Phillipsburg, especially after Tony was so vehement about staying away.

Food Stores: We went in 2 Ram's supermarkets. If you leave the airport and go counter-clockwise on the main road (towards Oyster Bay) there is a non-air conditioned one. If you go clockwise out of the airport on the main road, there is an air conditioned one. Both are about the same size and you won't miss them from the road. We shopped with more detail at the non-air conditioned one. It had a section of international foods, including a lot of Indian products. I love going to supermarkets in other countries. From Ram's I brought home Carte Noire Arabica instant coffee. (Bring milk , or milk and a little water, to the boiling point then add one teaspoon of the instant coffee and sweeten to taste and you got café latte. I grew up in Puerto Rico. My grandfather made the best coffee, very dark and espresso-like, brewed with a flannel "sock." As kids, my sister and I got the hot milk with just a taste of the coffee. But when we moved from their house, my mom wasn't brewing like that and we had the instant caffe latte, as I described. Made with good instant coffee, like this Carte Noir, it is very good).

In Ram's we got stuff for breakfasts (eggs, cheese, butter, coffee, milk, etc) and chorizo (our favorite) and olives. Also a gulab jamun mix to take home.

We did not have time to check out the large supermarkets on the French side.

We stopped at the Bounty Gourmet store (on the main road between Marigot and Orleans). There are gold-colored signs advertising it on both sides of the road. This is a small gourmet market with a great assortment of French cheeses, charcuterie, and canned goods. They also have prepared foods that looked very good, but we didn't buy (a big mistake, since JB's back prevented us from going out to dinner and when we tried going later they had closed because it was a holiday on the French side. We had been lucky it had been open in the morning). Here we bought brie meaux and a baguette (the regular baguettes on the island all look good but are already stale by 11am). We also bought great pre-sliced chorizo. They had 3 kinds of chorizo. To take home I bought a large can of cassoulet (Raynal et Roquelaure), guava jam, pineapple jam, passion fruit-mango jam (these 3 M'Amour brand, made in Guadalupe) and Reine Claude (greengage plum) jam (this last one Bon Maman). Guava paste and jelly I can get here in the Philadelphia area, but guava jam has to be bought in another country. Pineapple jam is also hard to find here. I like it on Ritz crackers--a childhood treat.

The Perlows wrote about ice cream in St Martin. We looked everywhere and could not find the I'l Cappuccino gelatos. They didn't have them in Ram's or in several other small stores. I don't think they are being made. If someone can find them, please post detailed directions. We did find Etna ice creams and sorbets, but not in the guava flavor (the one I wanted). The most exotic they had were mango and coconut, and I can get those flavors here in the US. Hagen Daaz, however, was everywhere.

We also followed Tony's recommendation and went to the The Butterfly Farm. I highly recommend it. Once you pay you can go back on the other days of your trip for free. The morning tour starts at 9:30 (another one at 3pm). The tour was very informative and they open the chrysalis and pupae box and you can see the first flight of the butterflies and moths that hatched that morning. A newly-hatched Blue Morphoe landed on my neck long enough for JB to take 2 pictures! These insects are only active if there is sun, so don't go on rainy days. Great photo ops, especially if you can do close-ups.

Any other time not accounted for we spent at Dawn beach or sleeping.

I am hoping to return to St Martin. It's not too big nor too little and the people soo friendly. Next time I'm going to Anguilla and trying the Rastafajarian restaurant and eating at least twice at Poulet D'Orleans.

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achevres, thanks for the report!


Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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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.

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Great report, achevres -- I didn't see it last week, so thanks to uncletrouble (welcome!) for bringing this thread back up. Too bad you missed Il Capuccino, hope they didn't close.

How are the boys at Poulet D'Orleans? Did you help them with their homework? :wink:

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The boys weren't there that night at Poulet D'Orleans, but there were only ourselves and another couple, at least as of 8pm. The owner served us. I regret not asking his name. Does anyone know? In any case, I'm still thinking of and savoring the chicken!

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When we were in St. Thomas a couple of years ago, we had a very good meal at Herve's, on top of one of the mountains.

Is is still there? Is it still good?

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Ahh, St. John. I will be heading there this Feb. for my 6th trip in 4 years. I even got married there last year. I agree with RickG, La Tapa has excellent food and a great location/setting. I've prob ate there more times than any other STJ place.

I'll break down my suggestions:

$$$-

The Stone Terrace - Everything I have had here has been good. Killer wine list

Tage - Best meal I have ever had in the Caribbean.

$$-

Morgans Mango - was kinda weak a couple of years ago, but has recently been excellent

The Lime Inn - Good food at good prices. Get the whole fish with jerk spices

Cafe Roma - Suprisingly good Italian in the USVI

La Tapa - See above

CHEAP EATS -

Shipwreck Landing - great fish sandwiches, but in Coral Bay

Skinny Legs - cheeseburgers in paradise, also in Coral Bay

Woody's - bar food

Rhumbalya - bar food

The Beach Bar - yup, bar food

Vie's chicken shack - Just go, cannot be explained

Chilly Billy's - great breakfast

Keep in mind that bar food in the Caribbean means burgers, fish sandwiches, fish and chips, conch chowder, conch fritters, etc.

Asolare is ok - great setting on a cliff overlooking Cruz Bay/St, Thomas, good food but waaay expensive and the portions were miniscule. I thought the food at Rhumb Line was mediocre. Paradisio(sp?) was ok also the last time I went, but not worth the $$. Theres a little asian fusion place between Mongoose Junction and Caps place, I forget the name, that is quite good. I've heard great things about Chateau Bordeaux, but I have never been able to make it up there, and it's $$$$.

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!! :laugh:

EDIT - Sorry, I didn't realize this post was started a year ago. Damn, now I'm all excited to go.


Edited by bobby29 (log)

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I never left an update after my own trip; my memory is a little foggy, but I'll do my best now. La Tapa was pretty much the only higher end place we tried. It was very tasty but I wasn't blown away. Woody's seemed quite fine for bar food. We were on a pretty small budget, no rental car and as few taxis as possible. Any cheap place at all within walking distance felt like a blessing. There were plenty of pricey places that didn't seem very appealing. Woody's (and presumably the other bar food places mentioned) really wasn't anything special, but it felt that way for someone on my budget. Another good cheapie was an open air barbecue place (Uncle Joe's?) near the ferry dock.

Finally, we had a terrible experience trying to get dessert at Asolare. So, my little blow in return: We stayed at a place right nearby, and the setting and view seemed so nice that we thought we'd drop in for dessert. They were incredibly rude to us, and we ended up just leaving instead. We weren't in grungy beach attire or anything. They just ignored us from the moment we walked in. We had to flag someone down to ask if we could be seated just for dessert. There was plenty of room, but they wouldn't let us sit on the outside terrace, only the bar. We sat down and were ignored; the bartender was busy polishing glasses. We asked if we could order dessert and she told us to wait until she was done. We asked if we could see a menu in the meantime and were told coldly that it was a verbal menu. Maybe this doesn't sound all that bad, but at the time, hearing the tone of voice, it was pretty obnoxious. We decided it wasn't worth it and just left.

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Im going 2 weeks to today, I will shun Asolare for all of you!


Gorganzola, Provolone, Don't even get me started on this microphone.---MCA Beastie Boys

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Uncle Joe's Rocks! I forgot.

Sorry about your visit to Asolare. I've only been once, and was not impressed enough to return.

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We were on St. John in April 2004 for Spring Break with the kids. We tried a few new places and hit the old favorites. We'll hit La Tapa on a quick swing-by for Halloween after the BVIs.

- La Tapa in Cruz Bay - still our favorite restaurant on the island, great food with some opportunity to adventure. They made pasta with olive oil and garlic for my youngest daughter on her request. I was ready to make her order from the menu but the server said no problem. Every time we go there it is a little bit better.

- Shipwreck Landing has great relaxed service and good grilled fish. The kids love the Green Lipped Mussels. Great bartender (Donna)!

- Maho Bay Camground Dining Pavillion on Little Maho Bay (Breakfast) - We were staying here and the breakfasts were superb! Fresh, hot and quick. The pancakes were a hit with the kids and I loved the fresh tropical fruit. There really is no other option over this way near Francis Bay (our favorite beach). Not open for lunch and dinner is hit or miss.

- Miss Lucy's - horrible experience, terrible service - I hope this was a one-time thing, but it seems to be a theme on other message boards

- Voyages in Coral Bay did not excite us. It was the most expensive visit of the trip and they felt under staffed and slow. The roasted chicken was very good and a good deal, though.

- Skinny Legs in Coral Bay - the kids fell in love with the cheeseburgers. These really are quite good.

- Island Blues in Coral Bay - solid performer with a nice setting by the water. Emphasis on comfortable American food.

- JJ's Texas Coast Cafe in Cruz Bay - reliable Tex Mex, good beers, friendly service.

Cheers, Rick

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We're going for New Year's in St. Thomas and I'd love an update on (mostly) cheap eats. I heard very good things about Indigo at Magens Point Resort, and we'll probably have the New Year's dinner there.

What else should not be missed?

What about the supermakets (we'll have a small kitchen)? anything notable? Champagne/sparkling wines selection?

Vie's on St. John - where is it? it's easy to find?

I'm sure I can think of more q's if this wasn't enough. :D


The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge

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We're going for New Year's in St. Thomas and I'd love an update on (mostly) cheap eats. I heard very good things about Indigo at Magens Point Resort, and we'll probably have the New Year's dinner there.

What else should not be missed?

What about the supermakets (we'll have a small kitchen)? anything notable? Champagne/sparkling wines selection?

Vie's on St. John - where is it? it's easy to find?

I'm sure I can think of more q's if this wasn't enough. :D

Vie's is on the extreme East End of St. John. It's very easy to find, but at least a 45 minute drive from the St. Thomas ferry in Cruz Bay. Unless you are spending a full day on STJ and have your own rental car, I would skip it.

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