HOME > Chowhound > Latin America & Caribbean >

Discussion

In St. Maarten; Johnny Under the Tree?

I have googled myself silly since we started planning our trip and this place keeps popping up.

Here is a quick review that I read:
"St. Maarten's most famous "Lolo" (a low-key BBQ roadside stand). Johnny is a favorite with locals and visitors-in-the-know for many years. Some say the shrimps or lobsters at Johnny's are to die for! The BBQ is set up just next to the road in Cole Bay, from the car dealers and KFC approx. 200 yards further down the road towards Marigot, on your left!"

So, my questions are:
1. Anyone eaten here?
2. Is it that good?
3. Where is it exactly, say from where Carnival docks?
4. Is it open for lunch?

Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Hi,
    I have had a time share on St. Maarten for many years. When people ask for a reasonable place to eat, I always recommend Johnny B Under the Tree. I go there every year. He's exactly where you said he is. To answer your questions:
    1. Yes I've eaten there as I said.
    2. Yes it is that good (in my and my wife's opinion)
    3. From Phillipsburg (where the docks are), follow the signs towards Juliana Airport. After a couple of traffic circles (also called roundabouts), you will be coming down a mountain towards Cole Bay. At bottom you can either go left towards the airport or right towards Marigot. Go right no more than several hundred feet or so. He's on the left.
    4. I'm not sure if he's open for lunch.
    His lobsters are by the pound and they are much cheaper than any restaurant on the island. He's famous throughout the Caribbean.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ajs42548

      where is this in relation to the maho beach area? also, are there any other local, unmissable gems? Thanks a mil!

      1. re: bythebayov

        The last time I are at Johnny B Under the tree, I was disappointed. The better lolos are in Grand Case. However, you asked how to get to Johnny B from Maho. It's quite easy.
        You take airport road past the airport,into Simpson Bay and over the bridge. Eventually Airport Rd becomes Welfare road in Cole Bay which is after Simpson Bay. You will go past a KFC and a construction zone where a road comes in from the right. That road goes towards Philipsburg. DON"T TAKE IT! Keep going straight and about a couple of hundred feet past it on the left is Johnny B (still on Welfare RD). Without traffic the whole trip should take you no more than 15 minutes, probably less.

        1. re: bythebayov

          I forgot to include other unmissable gems.
          Topper's or Topper's By the Sea.
          The Boathouse
          Zee Best and Top Carrot for breakfast.
          Pineapple Pete's
          The Hideaway
          All the above mentioned are in Simpson Bay, the Hideaway is by LaVista next to Simpson Bay.
          Peg Leg's Steakhouse at Princess Casino Port de Plaisance Resort is also good.

          1. re: ajs42548

            thanks a mil for the info and what is a lolo?

            1. re: bythebayov

              A lolo is a place to eat that basically has a BBQ setup. Usually it's a 55 gallon drum cut lengthwise and ribs, lobsters, steaks etc are grilled on it. Johnny B's is in his front yard. The ones in Grand Case are set up as restaurants. They are owned and operated by locals. They are generally cheaper than formal restaurants as you can imagine. The original poster on this thread basically defined a lolo correctly.

              1. re: ajs42548

                what's the best lolo in the area in your opinion and thanks for the info!

                1. re: bythebayov

                  Many people like Talk of the town or Sky's the Limit in Grand Case. As I mentioned earlier, I used to like Johnny B Under the Tree in Cole Bay but was disappointed the last time I was there. Try the ones in Grand Case.

                  1. re: ajs42548

                    k thanks for the info! You don't know if there is anywhere to flyfish on the island do you?

      2. Johnny B is a local road stand BBQ joint. There's one or two wooden tables on the outside , so it's mostly a take out little place. The location is not close to where the cruise ship docks. It's in Colebay. And he's open for dinner only. Alhtough I think he's open early on Sat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rbusby

          Not open early last Saturday. We got there about 4:45 and were told they would be open in "maybe about an hour or so." Tough to get to because of all the construction going on right now, probably even tougher when it's dark out.