Wanderlust Grand Cayman- Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill in Rum Point Beach

Having had multiple mediocre meals in Grand Cayman, I finally landed on something very delicious, at Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill. Rum Point beach is a local favorite; it is serene, clear blue water and sky with bewitching sun and music. It took me out of NY; took me out of being me; took me to a point in time where everything was perfect. This was serenity.

SPICY RED CONCH CHOWDER, garnished with chives. Hot, hot, hot but simply just right. Yum. BLACKENED FISH SANDWICH: lettuce, tomato, onion & mango mayo. Delicious. Fresh. So much better than the blackened fish at the Lobster Pot at less than half the price.EL CUBANO: roasted pork, smoked ham, swiss cheese, dill pickle & mustard. Best Cubano sandwich I have ever had. The mustard and the pork made it perfect.

Loved Rum Point in Grand Cayman. Loved my Cubano!

Rum Point Wreck Bar & Grill
Rum Point, Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-947-9412

Wanderlust Grand Cayman – Lobster Pot Restaurant and Wine Bar in Georgetown

Do you know that cabs in Grand Cayman are often old beat-up minivans that are driven by an elderly couple who will talk your ears off? I think their names are Leslie and Neil. Not only are they cab drivers, they double as sightseeing guides and food critics. Because of Leslie and Neil’s welcoming and embracing attitudes toward the tourists, we jumped off at the closest restaurant, Lobster Pot in downtown Georgetown. In fact, I escaped the cab and left my friend in the cab to pay. I waited at the curb for at least three minutes before Leslie and Neil let my friend out.Marinated Queen Conch: Lobster Pot’s traditional Cayman style recipe. Kind of not a fan of the traditional recipe. Too sweet and the conch too chewy.Daily Fresh Ceviche: Finely diced fresh catch of the day tossed in limes and spices with crisp bell peppers, cilantro and red onion. Acceptable.Captain’s Catch of the Day: Grouper(?) served blackened Cayman style with chef’s vegetables and golden fried plantains. The blackened fish was acceptable but too black peppery spicy. The plantains were soft and ripe.    I was stupid. I asked for the daily catch to be grilled. It was tasteless even after I salted. I don’t understand how freshly grilled fish can fail but they did. Poor fish – they sacrificed for no reason.

Leslie and Neil, originally from the UK, are long time residents of Grand Cayman. They drove us around downtown Georgetown which was a disappointment – it looked desolate and gaudy, reminded me of Virginia Beach. They also highly recommended the Lobster Pot which was another disappointment. Lobster Pot was set up right by the water. We sat on the deck overlooking the deep water in the dark with a huge yacht in the distance. There were musicians playing guitars and singing for the guests. The air was warm. The breeze caressed my face.

The Caribbean does not agree with me- Leslie and Neil were blasting heat in the 78 degree weather.

Lobster Pot Restaurant and Wine Bar
245 N Church St,
George Town KY1-1107
Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-949-2736

Wanderlust Grand Cayman: Anchor & Den of The Marriott Beach Resort on the Seven Mile Beach

I really should be more grateful.

Earlier this year, I was at the Grand Cayman enjoying the radiant sun, wearing sandals when New York was freezing and gray. I ended up at the Anchor & Den  having a late afternoon snack. The wait staff composed of people from around the world: Germany, The Philippines, Scotland, Mexico, and the other Caribbean Islands. It was a beautiful resort: open, airy, sunlight filling all the windows, white sand beach, gourmet chocolate bar, artisan cocktails, impressive artwork on the wall, and many many well-dressed and smiling tourists.Jamon Iberico on garlic bread. Delicious Jamon. The garlic bread was too garlicky – not suitable after the first piece.Tartines: Black mission fig and bell peppers, nicoise olives, curry herb paste on homemade grilled sourdough. Fantastic. Sweet and soft with a tangy and salty aftertaste.

I really should be more grateful but I was not. Why? Because it felt all too perfect and too made up. I may be naive but I do know the world does not look like this.

Anchor & Den
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort
389 West Bay Road Box 30371
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Phone:+1 345-949-0088

Curry Chicken with Mac and Cheese – An Unbelievably Good Combo That Warms the Heart

Would you have considered eating curry chicken wings with mac and cheese?

No! I wouldn’t either. But it was such a delicious combination when the umami in the cheese complements the spiciness in the curry. The fat in the wings added the smooth texture to the pasta. The meat on the wings balances out the fat and the simple carbohydrate. It was darn good!imageWhat the combo looks like when mixed together. That’s right – you must mixed the two. For those of you who don’t like your food touching each other, this dish is not for you.image Mac and Cheese just fresh out of the oven.imageCurry cooking in the pot with the chicken. Tasted too spicy and not enough balance – but not so fast – mac and cheese took care of that concern easily.

A friend of mine made this for me. Not only was it savory and delicious, it also warmed the heart. Friendship rules. Thank you.

Alvin and Friends in New Rochelle, NY- Happy Hump Day with A Post Discovery Southern Meal

This was a big dinner at Alvin and Friends in New Rochelle. There were about 15 of us after a project discovery meeting. Alvin’s is always comfortably inviting with delicious southern food. I brought the group here after my last meal at Alvin’s; the experience of the slow-simmered oxtail was so good. Alvin did not disappoint this time. We had laughter, alcohol of all varieties, duck breast, skirt steak, fried oysters, Haitian piklis, and calloloo. Everything was finger-licking’ good!

Happy Hump Day! May your day pass quickly and painlessly.

Special of the Day: Grilled asparagus with tomatoes
Blackened Tofu:Black-eyed pea salad, XVOO Jerk Chicken Wings: house-made jerk sauce
Cornmeal Fried Oysters: With vegetable chow chow, lemon-caper tartarButtermilk Fried Chicken: Slow-cooked greens with smoked turkey, three cheese macaroni and cheese
Grilled Skirt Steak: Cayenne roasted potato wedges, asparagus and BBQ aioli  Shrimp & Grits: The Original Grit Girl stone-ground grits, peppers and onions, baby spinach, pot likker butter sauce
Butternut squash-Quinoa “Risotto”: Butternut squash-quinoa “risotto,’” apple cider gastriqueAuntie Barbara’s Callaloo: Coconut rice and peas, escovitch vegetables
Jerk Rubbed Duck Breast: Sweet plantain bread pudding, port wine reduction, watercressSlow-Simmered Oxtail: Coconut rice and peas, Haitian piklis

This was a lazy post (It’s Wednesday. What can I say?) but I hope you enjoy the food pics.

This experience took place at

Alvin & Friends

14 Memorial Hwy
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Phone:(914) 654-6549

Ali’s Roti Shop in Brooklyn, NY- Doubles, Buss Up Shut and Dhalpuri

Thanks to my Trinidadian friend, Shawn, I was introduced to Trinidadian roti in Ali’s Roti Shop on Flatbush Ave in Brooklyn. It was absolutely sensational. Roti, the common street food, is fulfilling and filled with yummy ghee, channa (curried chick peas) and cumin. I gained an appreciation for roti and loved the new education that came with eating it.

As I was taught, there are three types of roti that are commonly eaten in Trinidad for breakfast or anytime really (things have changed from eating roti only on special occasions to eating roti daily for breakfast) :

  • Doubles: a sandwich made with two bara (flat fried bread) filled with channa (curried chick peas), eaten with spicy and sweet sauce. This is a food that was pioneered by a Trinidadian entrepreneur.   We started with Doubles, almost like an appetizer.
  • Buss Up Shut or Buss Up Shot (Busted-up Shirt): A lighter version of the Indian Paratha roti made to look like a busted-up shirt. I asked Shawn to repeat his explanations since I was surprised to learn of the colorful description. The texture was like shredded thin paper bread that is both airy and chewy. Here is another explanation of Buss up Shot by PRI.
  • Dhalpuri: My commoner explanation of this is that it is a roti with the channa filling in a pocket and folded up to look like a regular roti. So you eat until you are surprised with the present in the middle – kind of like a toy inside of a cereal box.

Apple Cinder and Solo Kola are the quintessential beverages to accompany our roti brunch.
A Doubles when we first got it.    A Doubles revealing its middle.
Voila! This is what a Doubles looks like when opened!  Busted-up Shirt, Buss Up Shut or Buss Up Shot. Sorry for the terrible photo that doesn’t do it justice . Dhalpuri
 Dhalpuri with curried goat and curried chicken. Curried goat and curried chicken. We slathered so much tamarin sauce and spicy sauce on top of these stewed and meat-falling-of-the-bone dishes, eaten with either the buss-up shut or Dhalpuri. It was unreal. It was messy but good. We were using our fingers to dig in and I felt like a child! It was a sensational treat for the mouth and the stomach. It was fulfilling. While I was eating, I kept on thinking how many miles I have to run to burn all the calories off. This is a food fit for the physically active.
Ali’s Roti Shop is funky, with neon lights for the ceiling and walls and red leatherette booths and ottoman. Em, fyi, the lights were running during a sunny October afternoon while the owner’s young daughter (maybe 5-year-old?) was moving from ottoman to ottoman, playing with her Barbie. This is definitely Brooklyn, NY.

Thank you, Shawn, for indulging my food and cultural desires.  This is friendship at its best. I love learning from friends. #BussUpShot

Lastly, this is my December challenge of 4 of 17, writing a post a day until I leave for vacation, along with the Runner’s World Holiday 37-Day Challenge (running one mile a day from Thanksgiving until New Year’s.) #RWRunStreak Seems like a very tall challenge now, coming down with a cold.

This experience took place at

Ali’s Roti Shop
589 Flatbush Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11225
(718) 462-1730

Wanderlust – Goombays Grille & Raw Bar in Kill Devil Hills, NC.  Solved My Small Appetite Problem.

#Wanderlust continues with seafood!  There is nothing better than eating lots of raw oysters (local and fresh from North Carolina), steamed shrimps, crab legs and clams.  This will be my Easter Sunday brunch! I walked into Goombays Grille & Raw Bar in Kill Devil Hills, NC on N. Virginia Dare Trail, just two miles down from where I stayed last night.  Seeing that I was alone, I was immediately offered a seat at the bar where everyone is twice my age.  I thought that was very cute.  With my anti-social mood, I chose to sit at a table by the window.

 Here are my oysters.  Supposed to be a dozen but they gave me eleven.  I stopped the waitress and asked whether a dozen is defined as 12 per!  She came back and gave me two more to make it a baker’s dozen.  The shucking was not the best…  But for $12.99 a dozen, I cleaned them myself. This is the after math.  Elyssa, I did this for you!  It was delicious.  You could taste the seaweed and the slightly smoky flavor of the NortnCarolina water.  Also tasted alkaline.  Very different from the oysters around NY.

 The Steamed Platter Combo – crab legs, clams and the shrimps.  The Goombays is a Caribbean themed and focused restaurant.  The rub on the shrimps had a herb that I was not a fan of.  It is called JO – a variation of the old bay but it is a secret ingredient of Goombays.  The clams were small but juicy. The crab legs were boiled in water that is a tad too salty. Regardless, this is what I have done.  The seafood was fresh.  The oysters were the best since no cooking was involved.  The steamed combo was average.  The execution was not perfect.  The ingredients carried the dish.  Aah.  Still satisfied.  What a variety of seafood I just had.  I did it all myself!  The entire meal plus tip was $46.60.  Not too bad for fresh seafood.

Recommend.  :). Happy Easter with Oysters! 

This experience took place at

Goombays Grille & Bar in Kill Devil Hills, NC

1608 N Virginia Dare Trail, 

Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948

(252) 441-6001

Cabana in Forest Hills, Queens, NY – Website Hangs with No Error Messages. Truly Annoying!

Cabana is a Latin American/Cuban restaurant with locations in midtown Manhattan and in Forest Hills, Queens NY. I met a friend for dinner on a Wednesday night in Forest Hills. Parking was not easy around the business section of Forest Hills and the restaurant was filled. Music was a little loud, the diners were loud, and the wait staff moved very fast, weaving between tables.


Calamari Fra Diavolo: Average.


This was the special for the night. Salmon with wild rice and empanadas. Above average. The empanadas was a little soggy and greasy. The wild rice was the best part of the dish. The salmon was acceptable.


Churrasco latin american style skirt steak marinated in garlic and fresh herbs accompanied by chimichurri and cebollitas.


The cone of yellow rice and the refried beans.

What’s special about this place?  Cabana has decent food and the atmosphere is buzzing and inviting.  On a random Wednesday, it was very crowded with birthday parties.  Would I return?  Probably but I eel that the recent Latin American food that I had (i.e., Lola’s Mexican Kitchen and Cabana here) has not exceeded expectations even if  Cabana is above average.

Note:  CabanaRestaurant.com does not work.  It hangs and hangs in the past 24 hours.  As a digital marketer, that really upsets me.  If you have an URL that is listed by Google, Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Menupages, your site needs to be up 99% of the time.  It’s no longer that difficult to host a simple content site.  Use WordPress like I am, for crying out loud.

This experience took place at

Cabana

107-10 70th Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 263-3600

Sofrito in White Plains, NY – Latin Boullabaise with Saffron Essence

A fellow blogger and I met at Sofrito, a Puerto Rican restaurant, to discuss our common interest and love for food. I chose Sofrito because I had always wanted to try this seemingly colorful and vibrant restaurant when looking in from the outside. When I arrived, I knew I would not to be disappointed. The decor of the restaurant was hip and slick with a bar dominating the entrance. Hopefully they would show us what #PuertoRicanFood was all about.

We quickly got seated. The waitress was very eager and moved us right along from drinks to ordering our entrée.

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The plantain chips were paired with hummus. We asked and was told that it was indeed white bean hummus with garlic. It was very good. I could not stop dipping the chips into the hummus.

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My friend ordered MAR Y TIERRA: grilled churrasco & shrimp scampi with fried green plantains & spinach. Since she could not decide whether to only have the churrasco or have the shrimp scampi, the combo was perfect. She loved it.

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LATIN BOULLABAISE: Clams, mussels, shrimp, octopus, and calamari with brandy, saffron essence and lobster sofrito broth. This dish outperformed expectations. I ordered it because I love boullabaise but had low expectations. Did not think the Latin could do better than the French when it came to boullabaise. I was happy that the saffron essence and the lobster broth really made the dish shine. I thoroughly enjoyed it and polished the entire bowl off. I think my new friend was amazed at how much I ate that night.

Needless to say, I highly recommend Sofrito in White Plains.

This experience took place at

Sofrito White Plains

175 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601
phone: 914.428.5500
fax: 914.428.4740
info@sofritowhiteplains.com

Ripe Kitchen and Bar in Mount Vernon, NY

A friend took me to this hole in the wall, Ripe Kitchen and Bar, in Mount Vernon, NY, for Jamaican and Caribbean food.  After we parked, the first thing he said to me was, “Don’t worry.  The neighborhood is ok.”  Since I grew up in the “busy” part of the Bronx and have good situational awareness, I was not bothered by the colorful and diverse showing of the people and the bars on the windows.  But I was surprised after we entered the dark restaurant and went to the back yard. The backyard felt like an oasis on this sunny August afternoon in NY.  See picture below.

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The food was excellent!  The best dish of the night was the “Big-Ass” steak!  I had the curried goat and it was no comparison to the steak.  I was very happy that my friend shared his steak.  The steak was marinated thoroughly and the char was nice and even on the outside.  Inside, it was as ordered – medium.  It was tender and it was tasty.  When my friend ordered the steak, he said to the waitress, “Medium. Medium.”  Not once but twice and with a head nod and eye contact.  Later, he explained that when a black man orders a medium steak, one must insist otherwise the presumption is “a black man wants a well-done steak no matter what he says.”  That was education for me.

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This is the banana boat, plantain with salted fish, fish roes and sour cream. The contrast between the sweet and the salty was interesting, not necessarily my cup of tea since the salted fish reminded me of the Taiwanese sticky rice bun. The worlds did not collide for me on this dish.

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This is jerk chicken wings.  Pretty awesome. A little tangy and a little crispy.

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This is the curried goat which was much better the next day as lunch.  But heavy.  Be aware – it’s heavy.

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All in all, it was a great dinner in Mount Vernon where I could feel and taste the winds and the sands of the Caribbean.  I highly recommend the place and the “Big-Ass” steak!

This experience took place at the

Ripe Kitchen & Bar

151 West Sandford Boulevard

Mount Vernon, NY 10550

914-665-7689