Turks and Caicos (Provo) report December 2009
We settled into a routine of large lunches and lighter dinners sometimes eating take-out from the IGA or Graceway Gourmet. Food is definitely more expensive than back in Canada so it must be a real shock to Americans. We paid about $20 for an IGA takeout lunch for 3. I compared specific items at IGA and Graceway Gourmet and they were the exact price. The IGA has more general groceries so it was better for pharmaceuticals and such but Graceway Gourmet had more deli variety with a better selection of cheese than I can get back home. Just an example of pricing, a bag of salad greens is 2.99 to 3.99 in Canada whereas it was 4.99 US in TCI. The bakery at Graceway Gourmet is also great.
We had one big night at Coyaba and really enjoyed it. The prices were similar to what we would pay here for that standard. The lobster thermidor was $39. My after dinner single malt was $17 but it was a generous pour. We followed the server’s recommendations. My husband had tempura shrimp that were amazing, huge and tender. I had mussels with a saffron sauce that was poured from a small cast iron teapot. It was good that I had a spoon, as I would have embarrassed my husband by lapping it up. The soup/sauce in the bowl was as large as a regular serving of soup. My lobster thermidor was overcooked but that was the only flaw in the meal. My husband had an excellent dish of curried grouper. Serving sizes, especially of liquor were generous. The Coyaba Cooler had to be the equal of 3 normal drinks.
My husband did an informal survey of mac and cheese and declared Jimmy’s Dive Bar the favorite. It had lots of creamy sauce. Other places served a square of dry baked mac and cheese. I loved the fries at Jimmy’s. We ate there 3 times ordering ribs twice. Very tender and moist. I had gazpacho one time that was very good, husband declared the pulled pork sandwich to be admirable. It certainly had a lot of meat. The Caesar salad was just ok consisting of lettuce, dressing and Parmesan, no croutons.
On our first night the Orchid restaurant in the Alexandra complex had a buffet dinner for $25 that was pretty good., The conch stew and the ribs were great. The banana fritters were not.
We did hit Da Conch Shack and loved it. Husband had fried grouper in what looked like a tomato sauce and I had the conch combo ($17), which included cracked conch and conch fritters. While the fritters were good, with lots of meat I preferred the cracked conch, which is lightly breaded and fried. Less dough than the fritters. The location is stunning. We were at a picnic table facing that gorgeous water. We didn’t wait long for our food but like so many other places it wasn’t that busy.
We also ate at Somewhere. Another good meal. I had fish tacos and while they may not be as authentic as the ones I sought out in LA on good advice they were actually much better tasting. I attribute the difference to the fresher fish in Provo.
Sweet T’s is a place I am surprised no one has mentioned here before. This is the unmarked pink and white takeout building in downtown with the crowd. We had 5 of chicken and 1 of fries. There is no menu. You just state how much you want to pay and they give you a container of fried chicken or fries. I’d pass on the fries and pick some up at Jimmy’s for $5.50. The chicken was only wings (drumettes) but was sooo good. The fries must have been frozen and didn’t travel well. With Jimmy’s fries you would have a large lunch for 2 for $10.50. Probably the best deal we found.
On the last day we tried a place whose sign on Leeward Highway offered Jamaican and Chinese food, a combination that could go so wrong. The only things Chinese were the plates. This is a Jamaican bakery and restaurant that offers a combination served from a steam table at lunch. We were early so had first-rate turnovers while we waited then ordered small plates. A small plate is $8 while large is $12. I don’t know who could eat a large plate of this really good food. I had jerk chicken with plantains and rice and peas. Husband had jerk pork, rice and mac and cheese that earned a second place award in his contest.