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Aruba Trip report 9/18-25/2010

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We just got back from a great, altho rainy trip to Aruba! Unfortunately due to terrible weather, some of our dinner plans had to be scrapped, no one wants to eat on the beach in the pouring rain, right?

Saturday arrival: beautiful weather, ate a late lunch at Matthew's which is part of the casa Del Mar resort where we stayed. Ordered a Balashi and a fantastic BLAT (blt with avocado spread), DH had the Matthew's Sandwich which was grilled chicken chunks, pineapple, and bacon with a bbq mayo. He said it was terrific, even tho the chicken and pineapple didn't stay on the bread well. Boy, do those folks know how to cook bacon! perfectly crisp every time. YUM! we had desert there Saturday evening, chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. so simple, but so delicious.

Sunday: Dinner was at The Old Fisherman in Oranjestad, across the street from where the Numasmatic museum USED to be (thanks HillFood for the tip, vague tho it was! we got details from our taxi driver). Pan bati and fish cakes for our appetizers, good, but nothing spectacular. Dinner for both was grilled fish (snapper?) with creole sauce, DH added shrimp to his meal. Sides were rice, mashed potato, fried plantain, and salad. the fish was delicious, perfectly cooked. we loved the creole sauce, but there wasn't enough! sides were "meh".

Monday: shopping day in Oranjestad, lunch was at Queen's restaurant and bar on Shellstrasse. This was our BEST meal on the island! Food and service both outstanding. They have only been open a year, I hope that they are there for many more years to come. I don't know how they fried the pan bati, it was crisp w/o being terribly greasy. they gave us a delicious garlic sauce for it that contained just a little habanero - enough for a little heat and a lot of flavor. lunch for me was stewed goat, with rice and beans, cheesey mashed potato and steamed (obviously frozen) veggies. that goat was flavorful, tender and fantastic. the sauce had a jerk flavor to it, but it wasn't jerk. Dh had grouper that was lightly breaded and pan fried, again with a creole sauce. we talked to our server about the garlic sauce, and she ended up bringing DH a small dish of diced habanero for his fish. Oh, and the fried plaintains there were so delicious! some places they are real sweet, these were savory, perfectly cooked and not greasy. I commented how much I enjoyed them and the server offered to bring more. Unfortunately I was too full of goat!
Monday dinner was at Pizza Bob's which is just next to the Casa del Mar. For apps I had bruschetta which, while delicious, had a little too much olive oil for my taste, DH had french onion soup. We ordered pizzas for dinner, not realizing that if you order before 7pm you get a large instead of a medium. We enjoyed those pizzas for several days! mine had grilled chicken, onions and spinach. delicious, except for the blobs of frozen mushy spinach! DH had pepperoni, green peppers and onions.

Tuesday: visited the Archaeology Museum (beautiful) and the fort. Dinner was at Amazonia, one of the 3-4 Brazillian Churrascarias on the island. http://www.amazonia-aruba.com/cms/ It was delicious, the salad bar had a nice variety. They had a delicious pumpkin soup, and their black beans clearly had ribs cooked with them. I mixed them in with my rice, it was terrific. the usual aruban sides were brought to the table with the meat, those were pretty awful. the mashed potato was runny, the pan bati and plantain were not worth eating. the meat was amazing, and the sauces they brought were very good. I really enjoyed the chimicurri with my beef tenderloin. desert was chocolate cake, but it was more of a pie - at any rate it was terrific - and free with a coupon from our Aruba tour book.

Thursday: It had been POURING all day, so the roads were flooded. So much for flying fishbone, or Madame Jeanette's, the taxis were in hiding. so we went for italian night at Matthew's. DH had the osso buco, which was quite delicious. I had grilled grouper with a garlic sauce. also terrific. For desert we had their profiteroles which were 3 huge pastries, each cut in half with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce on top. fantastic. I was really impressed with all the meals we had at Matthew's.

We'll have to go back to Aruba, there were so many great places we wanted to try! 1 week was not enough, especially with the monsoon-like rains of Thursday and Friday. :)

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  1. Love their bacon!!! DH says I don't want to know how they get it that crisp so I've never asked lol!!! We go there for breakfast and occasional meals - always good!!! Will try Queen's on our next trip. Thanks

    2 Replies
    1. re: Linda VH

      What a great report.. What is Bati. I used to live on Bonaire and don't know it. Please try not to eat Grouper. It is not sustainable and also it is the only known predator to the evil Lionfish. The ABC islands are really seeing some weather.

      1. re: mrwynter

        Pan Bati – One of the most popular side dishes in Aruba, pan bati is a combination between a flatbread and a pancake. Made with just cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder, pan bati is usually served with meat or seafood dishes or paired with soup. from:
        http://paradisebymarriott.com/feeds/v...

        we really did have some weather there! I have never seen/heard such lightening and thunder!