Aruba in March
The wife and I are spending our anniversary in Aruba, we are staying at a Villa in the low rise district of Eagle Beach. I would like some suggestion for cheap lunch eats or street food, a nice Sunday Brunch, an anniversary dinner with the best combination of atmosphere and food (price no object) and some other great must eat dinner places.
Thank you in advance for the suggestions.
So we are back from Aruba. Thank you in advance for all the great information and recommendations.
Let me start by saying, what a beautiful Island. Perfect weather, wonderful people and of course great food.
El Gaucho: Yes it is a bit touristy (okay VERY touristy) but both my wife and I were very pleased with our meal there. I had the 22oz T-Bone and my wife the 8oz tenderloin. The T-Bone had perfect marbling, very high quality meat and the preparation was medium rare like I requested. Service was superb as well, prompt and very friendly.
Afterwards we took the recommendation of going across the street to Garufa. We had a great time there and stayed practically the entire night. There was a girl performing that had a great voice and the cocktail craft was very good. They can really mix a great Old Fashioned as well.
Mulligans: Down the street from where we were staying was Mulligans on the Links at Divi gold course. I played a round of golf so I met my wife afterwards for a late lunch. We both ordered the Caribbean style BBQ Ribs. The portions were huge and they basically give you a rack and a half of Ribs. The serving was confusing though. The first rack was delicious, great seasoning, bbq sauce, lean and fall off the bone.....but the half rack at the bottom was much too fatty, under seasoned and a bit dry. Very confusing. The hand cut French fries were a treat though.
Mrs. Kelly's Food truck: We hopped on the bus one afternoon and headed to Eagle Beach. We found Mrs. Kelly's right across the street from the Chalet Suisse. This was honestly one of the best meals we had during the trip. We had the Aruban Curry Chicken, Fries and Salad. One of the best curries I have had and I am West Indian myself. This is the type of recommendation that makes CHOW what it is, obscure, delicious and cheap. Eating food like this on a little table right by the beach makes it even better as well.
Gasparito: This was probably our favorite place the entire trip If I was forced to pick one. We wanted to try traditional Aruban cusine in a sit down setting so we chose Gasparito. We sat outside and the dining area was wonderful. Perfect lighting and very comfortable. We both ordered the Keshi Yena, my wife the chicken and me the seafood. All I can say is WOW! My seafood was great, the mixture of cheese and spices really made this a complex and incredible dish. My wifes Chicken was great as well, it was prepared as a pulled chicken with the same cheese and spices. The side items were Rice, Plantain and Polenta. I absolutely love Polenta and have had some really great Venezuelan, Cuban and Haitian syle Polenta in Florida, but this outshines alot of them.
King Rib: We went shopping at the Flea Market for some gifts and King Rib was set up and smoking away. The Ribs are great there. You can taste the dry rub seasoning on them and seeing them cooked right there in front of you to order is great also. The Beans were solid and the corn was really tasty. This is one of those great finds as well.
Sunset Grille: For our anniversary dinner we chose Sunset Grille. We read all the great reviews and saw the AAA 4 diamond awards and all that stuff so we gave it a try.
The meal started out with the bread basket. Great combination of breads and the chopped liver and butter it was served with was great. I ordered the Veal Oscar served with Lobster instead of crab meat (they had an option that night apparently) The lobster was very nice and the Veal was served perfectly cooked. My wife ordered the Veal Chop with the apple chutney. It was also cooked perfectly and the apple chutney was really great. The served chose a perfect wine to pair with our meal as well.
For desert we pre ordered the white chocolate hazelnut souffle. Really great as well, moist with the perfect sweetness.
With the great service, wine and food this place really comes very close to living up to its accolades.
Other than that we went shopping for a few of our lunches and breakfast's at the Market and I love the selection of potato chips they have as well (shawarma flavor???!)
Thanks again to everyone, had a great trip.
re: Matt H
thanks matt. i piggy backed off of your thread and probably passed you a few times, as we were there 3/25-3/31. a GREAT time was had, but we skipped gasparito... :-(
our favorite was by far madame janette. omg!
el gaucho was slightly nightmarish, with mariachi's and drunken jean short wearing tourist singing "sweet caroline" at the top of their lungs, but the steak was really good. i had the gaucho cut(filet mignon) and had to bury it in the sauce they provided, but what the H, i was on vacation! ;-)
we skipped gaspirito but replaced it with old man & the sea, my wife was over joyed!
Glad you enjoyed yourself as well, I cant say enough good things about Aruba!
We fortunately ate at El Gaucho on a much less obnoxious night, but we had to kindly drop a couple dollars in the Mariachi bands "hat" and ask them to move along as well.
Madame Janette is definitely on our list for next time.
So our list is as follows for next week:
Mrs. Kelly's Food Truck
and of course asking around for suggestions as well.
One last question with being so close to Venezuela are there any great Venezuelan restaurants on the Island that we should check out?
Oh you will have a great time! Was there last March..and got engaged! If you have access to a grill- stop by the market in town(Heading towards Oranjestad) buy and grill some steak- it will be the best you've ever had. (our friends went to RuthChris- we stayed home and bbq'd and I think our dinner was actually better- and about $120 cheaper!)There is a nice restaurant with a beautiful view at the California Lighthouse. We also enjoyed Mumba- a beach bar/restaurant near the Marriot Surf Club.
If you have a chance- go to Charlie's Bar in St. Nicholas( during the day) don't be alarmed by the street walkers...the food is awesome as are the drinks... it is the oldest bar on the island.
Take yourself up to Palm Beach (wow what crowds now that the new malls with Hard Rock etc. have gone in) and go to Azzuro at Playa Linda. It is a beautiful setting and really good Italian. It is owned by the same people as Sole Mare and Gianni's but, in my opinion, is a much better atmosphere and service is exceptional.
There are many lunch places - Subway (all the fast food places) Pizza Bob's, Bingos, etc. As for a romantic dinner - Screaming Eagle or Papiamento (ask for a table by the pool and go after 7 p.m. but expect a "leisurely" meal). I just asked one of the managers of a local restaurant where he was taking his g-friend to propose and those were his two suggestions. You can be on the water at Old Man & The Sea and Flying Fishbone but right now we've had an unusual amount of rain and the sand fleas are biting so.....