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Hidden gems in the USVI - St. Thomas and St. John

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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

340-775-9742

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  1. 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.

    2 Replies
    1. re: shimstu

      Nice posts shimstu! I am headed to St John's in March, will try and stop at all the places you mentioned :) Thank you for the address, did 'Bow's' have a sign or name or anything else to look for?

      1. re: daniellempls

        Hi Danielle-
        when we were there he had no real sign, just a hard-to-notice whiteboard propped against a fence.

        It's right across from that Food Center supermarket, and looks like a funky beach cabana bar-- tables all outside, no doors...

        i hope you find it-- let me know!

    2. We'd alsoliketorecommend

      1. 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.