Hidden gems in the USVI - St. Thomas and St. John
So we were in St Thomas two weeks ago and had a little misadventure on the Safari Bus that left us on random stretch of road past Red Hook.
It was the best thing that could have happened to us-- we saw a tiny outdoor bar with two tables and went to see if they were cooking anything up.
We were treated to a delicious and cheap ($12 per plate) meal cooked by a rasta guy named Bow. He just opened the place, and intends to have music there several nights a week.
We had jerked chicken and a whole pan-fried grunt (a little tasty fish). Both came with a little salad and rice n beans. Delicious, and as authentic as you can get.
Bow sat and talked with us for about 45 minutes as well. We were the only ones there, except for the occasional friends who stopped by.
Do yourself a favor and avoid all the other "authentic" or blatantly tourist crap on St Thomas (the Johnians call is "St Trauma"). Go give Bow your business
He's at 42 Frydenhoj, across from the Food Center supermarket, on the lower road between Red Hook and Charlotte Amalie
All the tourist types laughed at us and wished us good luck as we got off the Westin taxi bus for BBQ at Candie's stand near the Starfish mkt. We had a terrific meal there. Her BBQ is delicious, especially when ordered with the rich, complex, obviously homemade jerk sauce. Big portions. Friendly staff. She's beet hen there since 2006.
As for St. John, we have a few recommendations-
- If you head down East End Road, past Donkey Diner, etc, there is an empty lot in which a woman named Karen Samuels sets up a table on Saturdays 12-2pm and sells her homemade delights.
-pates ("patties" - fish and mea), coconut bread, tamarind juice, fruit tarts, gooseberry jellies, mango chutney-- and more! She also runs a farmers' market on Sundays at the Lumberyard in Cruz Bay
Right there at the Coral Bay junction is a place called Ekaete Pink Junction with only outdoor seating. A woman named Esther is cooking there-- we had amazing chicken roti and a johnnie cake sandwich with tuna
You have to seek out these West Indian treats! If you don't stop and look for it, you'll eat nothing buy mainland US (white) food-- there's loads of delicious food being made by white people too, but it's a shame to go to the islands without sampling the real local flavor.