I'm going to be posting several reviews here of restaurants we visited on our recent 7-night trip to Bonaire. If anyone is interested in viewing the full reviews including photos of our food, you can visit our blog at http://hpandaw.wordpress.com
This is a very cute little restaurant with a lot of personality. The decor is fun, and the atmosphere was relaxed. On our second night there, Moogie was singing, which added to the nice island atmosphere. It’s a little difficult to find this restaurant, since it’s down a one-way street. We were staying on the north side of Kralendjik, so for us, we had to go south of the restaurant and then head back up the one-way street on which the restaurant is located. Cactus Blue is right behind the Casablanca restaurant.
On our first night, we started with the tuna sashimi with pickled ginger wasabi and chili soy for $12.50. This was SO GOOD! The tuna was fresh and very delicious. Neither of us was a big fan of the wasabi dip, but the chili soy was great for adding just the right amount of salty goodness to the tender and lovely tuna.
On the first night there, I had the day’s fresh catch, lionfish filets ($24). I’d been wanting to try lionfish for a while, and though Chef Hagen had lionfish fritters on the menu, I didn’t think I would be able to taste the actual fish as well as if I went for the filets. These were interesting. The flavor was very good, and he’d cooked them so well, but the texture of the fish was a bit mealy, which I didn’t really care for. he coconut rice was light and refreshing, and I enjoyed this dish very much, with the exception of the fish’s texture.
My husband ordered the local barracuda lightly jerked with a mango, lime and ginger sauce, and instead of coconut rice, he asked for fries on the side ($23). Again, the sauce on the fish was very flavorful, and the fish itself was cooked so well: moist and delicious. Chef Hagen came out both nights that we were there, to speak with all of the guests in the restaurant, which was a very nice personal touch. He told us that barracuda from their waters is free from parasites, unlike the Florida barracuda, which is why they could offer local barracuda on the menu. He also said that my lionfish filets were actually from 2 1/2 large-sized lionfish. I have to add that he did an EXCELLENT job fileting these tiny fish; not one single bone was left in the filets. Kudos!
For dessert, we had double melted chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream for $11.
For Dinner #2, we began with the Crab Balls served on a sweet chili dipping sauce for $10.80. We found this to be the case all over Bonaire: When they say “crab,” what they mean is “krab,” unless the type of crab is specified i.e. “Blue crab.” These balls were actually Krab Balls, but were pretty good still, and we’re always fans of the sweet chili dipping sauce.
My entree that night was the Ocean Burger for $15.90. This was very good; the fries were flavorful, as was the fish, which, as always here, was very moist.
My husband tried the Oven Baked Mahi Mahi with an Island Creole Sauce for $23.The creole sauce had a really interesting flavor, rather like cinnamon, and the mahi mahi was cooked beautifully yet again.
Our dessert here was probably my favorite dessert of the trip: Cinnamon Fritters with Real Coconut Ice Cream for $11. The ice cream was actually vanilla, not coconut, since the island had apparently had a lengthy power outage earlier, and the shop that makes their ice cream hadn’t been able to replace the coconut ice cream yet. But it was still so delicious! The cinnamon fritters were crispy and sweet and warm, to melt the ice cream, and it was all drizzled with a fruit coulis and dusted with sugar. So yummy! It was a great way to finish off our two dinners at Cactus Blue. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for fresh, local-caught seafood and very personable service. Our servers here both nights were very on-the-ball, something we found to be rare in Bonaire.
This restaurant is listed on Trip Advisor as Eli’s Deli, and I have NO IDEA WHY! All of the signage says “Elle’s Deli,” so this is going to remain a mystery to me.
This is a very casual place, affordable by Bonaire standards, with sandwiches generally ranging from $10-14. The interior of the restaurant was quite hot, so we took a table outside which was shaded with a nice breeze.
I ordered the goat cheese, nuts, and honey sandwich on a whole-grain baguette.
This was very nice and light, not too filling, since I didn’t eat the whole sandwich, which was enormous! The goat cheese was fluffy and creamy, and the honey was just enough to add a subtle sweetness, without being overpowering. The sliced almonds added a nice crunch and texture. On a side note, I told the lady behind the counter that I’d like “a soda,” thinking that I’d go get a canned soda, but not wanting to decide exactly which one yet since I hadn’t seen them. When I went to the case, I chose a root beer, but she pointed out to me that this wasn’t soda water. I tried explaining that “soda” is generic in the US for “pop” or even “Coke,” but it was a funny language confusion moment.
My husband ordered the tuna melt, also on a whole wheat baguette.
He liked the bread a lot; sometimes baguettes are so hard that they can cut the inside of the mouth, but this one was soft. The tuna salad was good, not outstanding, but good. It was a nice, light meal in the midst of a lot of diving. His drink was a Bitter Lemon, which I liked the taste of very much, but which was too acidic for me to drink since we would be diving again that afternoon.
hmp2z, the reason is, before it was Elle's Deli (I have not been ) is that it was Eli's Deli before. I loved Eli's Deli and LOVED the owner. There were whispers as to what happened and why Eli had to leave. Whoever took over changed the name by one letter which IMHO is odd. Glad you enjoyed it. I miss Eli.
Boudoir Food & Drinks
This place is located right in downtown Kralendjik, on Kaya Grandi. Having done so much diving over the past few days, I was ready for something fairly mild and refreshing, not too heavy or acidic, and we found that at Boudoir. I would definitely go back here for lunch; it was a nice, relaxing interlude in the midst of 6 days of hardcore diving.
I ordered the tuna salad sandwich, which was so refreshing and light! There were bits of Granny Smith apple mixed in with the tuna salad, which added a nice crunch and fruitiness to every bite. I enjoyed this very much, and at $8.95 for the salad, it wasn’t too ungodly expensive for Bonaire.
The tuna salad was served on a white bagel, though I had the option of having it on a baguette. I also ordered a side salad, which I didn’t take a photo of, unfortunately. It was served in a large seashell, and it was probably the best salad I’ve ever had. The lettuce was very crisp and fresh and cut into small pieces. The dressing was light, but had an excellent flavor. This restaurant does simple food very, very well.
My husband ordered the brie cheese sandwich for $8.50.
He chose to have his sandwich on a whole-grain baguette. He wished that the bacon had been strips, instead of tiny crumbles, since it was such good bacon. He said that the bread was nice and soft, and the sandwich was very large, so was a good value for the price. It was simple and nice and, he says, “Just what I needed at that time.” He also had a side of potato chips for $2.50.
The total price for 2 sandwiches, a bowl of chips, and a side salad was $24.95. We would definitely go back to Boudoir again.