Vieques, Puerto Rico
Hey - I'm heading down to Vieques, and am interested in finding some good food. Fancy, roadside, whatever - anyone have any suggestions?
I was just there in April. There are actually quite a few great places there.
One of the best is M Bar. Your hotel can help you out with recs.
Make sure you do the Bio Bay.
A great idea is to pack lunch and drive across the old bombin range to the beaches there. Go as far in as you can, the beaches are amazing.
It's been a year and a half since we've been to Vieques, but we ate frequently at Tropical Baby in Isabelle II. Best place for breakfast on the island. She also does lunches (also VERY good), and may be doing dinners on a limited basis. The place is small and not high on ambiance (it's in a strip mall, next to a florist), but Baby's charm and delicious cooking make up for it. She describes her food as "global island cuisine"---very tasty and more healthful than most of what you'll find on the island (nothing is deep fried here!). Menu changes frequently---based on what she can get fresh---always order whatever is the specialty of the day. Prices are very reasonable.
Amapola in Esperanza is a more upscale (but still rather casual) place for dinner. Creative dishes. I'm not a drinker, but DH says they have the best rum punch he had while on Vieques.
One word of caution: Do NOT eat at Trade Winds in Esperanza! Worst meal I've ever paid for! They advertize that they specialize in lobster. I've had better at Red Lobster in Peoria, IL.
I'd also recommend the Bio Bay tour. Golden Heron offers an all-day tour where you kayak through the mangroves, then eat a (tasty!)picnic dinner on the beach before heading out again at dusk to explore the wonder that is the bio bay.
For the best info on Vieques (dining and other), check out www.enchanted-isle.com
My info is about 3 years old, but at the time, I'd agree with the warning NOT to go to Tradewinds. Worst meal I had there. Best one was at Posada del Mar, but the chef (Seth, I think) left right after I was there.
I'd appreciate updates on food in Vieques -- I haven't been in 2-3 years, but want to return this year. It seems the good chefs cycle in and off the island, so I'd like to know what's good now.
I liked Inn on the Blue Horizon; Chez Shack chef Tony was great; and yes, Seth left the island. Tradewinds was horrible; Bananas only good for blender drinks. Haven't ventured to Isabelle II for meals.
Just came back from Vieques this weekend. In my short stay, we ate at Inn on the Blue Horizon, Uva, the restaurant at Bravo Beach Hotel, and Bananas. I've eaten at the Inn on the Blue Horizon before when it was a different restaurant. I believe it's now called Carambola. I was a bit disappointed with Carambola -- nothing like the old restaurant. The food was adequate, but not as delicious and creative as the old restaurant. The ambiance was still beautiful, though.
I was pretty pleased with Uva. I was a bit worried at first when I walked in to find only two other parties there. But I'm definitely glad we went. It's difficult to get top quality ingredients in Vieques, but they did a great job with what they had. One of the dishes we had were the grilled sweetbreads which was pretty good. They had a Carribean lobster carpaccio. I'm not a flavor of Carribean lobster (prefer the Maine ones myself), but the sauce was incredibly vibrant and tasty. The only disappointment was the dessert -- ordered the banana cake with vanilla ice cream. I kept choking on the cinnamon they sprinkled on top of the meager piece of cake. The cake was also quite dry.
Brunch at Bravo Beach Hotel was definitely a hit. Twenty bucks buys you a mimosa, fruit platter, cranberry walnut bread, a shot of pumpkin soup and entree. I'm not sure if we received dessert with the brunch. I got the pork with cranberries placed on top of a yucca cake with greens. First greens I had on the trip (not including mesculin salad that came with certain entrees.) The pork was a bit dry, but very tasty. My fiance had the liverwurst sandwich which was a huge pile of liverwrust on bread with melted cheese on it. Not bad.
Bananas -- we shared an order of jerk chicken strips and had a burger with fries. The burger was all right, nothing special. The fries were a bit soggy. I really didn't like the jerk strips at all. But we just needed a place to have a quick lunch and Bananas fit the spot.