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st croix

Yes, you'll like it and it fits perfectly with a cruise ship stopover. I go for lunch occasionally when I'm in Fredriksted and it's a good spot, right on the beach. Lunch will be your only option since the ship leaves around sunset. After your horseback ride it's a good place to cool off with a swim and finish with lunch. Fairly creative menu and the location can't be beat. You'll like St. Croix and the west end of the island where your ship is docked is the best part of it. If time permits arrange a walking tour of Fredriksted (with CHANT, a cultural and nature tourism organization (340-719-5455)) to complete your St. Croix experience.

Dec 12, 2011
cookedandpickled in Latin America & Caribbean

One Day in Old San Juan PR - where to eat!?

Nah... I just know what I like...and can back it up. I won't just write "raices" is a good spot" because someone else said so. My opinion is informed. Try it sometime.

Nov 23, 2011
cookedandpickled in Latin America & Caribbean

One Day in Old San Juan PR - where to eat!?

Quimbaya, I know this stuff is subjective but after many, many Mofongos now I find that "awesome Mofongo" is an oxymoron. You simply can't use the two words in the same sentence. For me it's better to have a plate of seasoned rice and beans with a nicely grilled piece of fish and a pile of hot sauce on the rice. Wash it all down with a couple of cold beers and that's heaven for $15 or less. It's the same all over the Caribbean, only the beer changes. I'm not trying to whizz on the Mofongos lover's parade but for me they're simply heavy and uninteresting.

Nov 22, 2011
cookedandpickled in Latin America & Caribbean

One Day in Old San Juan PR - where to eat!?

People seem to love the "authentic PR food" at Raices but I found it to be a somewhat silly place with low quality mass market food. It's a "theme" restaurant, the theme being dressing the waiters in what they want you to believe is the traditional style of old PR. The men wear straw pork pie hats and the women wear long white dresses with a white head wrap. There's your first sign that you're in Disneyland. The walls are painted with scenes looking through an open window of PR from 100 years ago so this is your setting. The waiters are very well trained and smile incessantly, not a bad thing. I live in the Caribbean and throughout the islands the basic traditional diet has always been rice, beans and fish or meat. In PR lechon and pollo reign supreme and you won't find a menu without these items on it and so it is at Raices. I ordered shrimp Mofongo, Mofongo being the national dish. It's a mashed green plantain with oil and salt as a shell and a meat, chicken or fish sauté underneath it. It's quite a heavy food (most PR food is) and probably the only meal you will eat that day if you choose it. Mine was preceded by a house salad which can only be described as abysmal. The waiter placed a small bowl in front of me with chunks of iceberg lettuce and an unripe tomato wedge and a platic cup of orange dressing (French?) on the side. I thought these things died in the 60s but they're alive and well at Raices. The Mofongo came next. It appeared in a tall, narrow, heavy wooden bowl allowing no view at all of what I was about to eat. The shrimp were on top and the plantain below but the bowl was so narrow that you couldn't get at (or see) the whole dish. I had to hold the fork vertically and dig down the side of the bowl to discover whatever resided deeper down, in this case endless mashed plantain. Although the shrimp were nicely flavored there is simply too much plantain and the dish was boring and very heavy. It's not particularly well prepared and the presentation is poor. Raices has no idea how important the visual aspect of food is. Be aware that this restaurant is not fine dining but more of a feed 'em and street 'em place. Just my opinion, though. The PR cuisine is not one of the worlds top eating experiences...and that's fine (this is not Thai, French or Chinese cooking) but the things they pride themselves in (Mofongo) they should do well and I didn't find that to be the case at Raices. You'd do better to get out in the country and go to a Lechonera (it seems every town has one) and sit with the locals with a plate of rice and beans and grilled pork and a cold beer and enjoy all the animated life around you. Just my 2 cents.

Nov 22, 2011
cookedandpickled in Latin America & Caribbean

Anniversary dinner (van.)?

Chow would be great for them I think, I was there last week and found the atmosphere and service to be perfect for a low key celebration dinner and the food was excellent.

Apr 16, 2009
cookedandpickled in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

Dim Sum with the Yimster and Balini - a Chowdown at Fisherman's Terrace (Richmond BC)

Wow! Yum! Outstanding!...and other shouts worthy of an exclamation point! Having just returned from a tennis tournament in Puerto Rico I opened my e-mail hoping to find a note from my wife, Balini, telling me how much she missed me but instead her note directed me to the photos of some of the most fabulous food one can put on a plate! Apparently I'm not missed at all. I've been replaced by deep fried smelt, Har Gao, fish paste patties and pan fried corn. And $18/person? I spent that on 2 average Tapas dishes at the Casa I was staying at. Clearly I was eating at the wrong place! I want to thank all the Vancouver Chowhounds for taking such good care of my favorite Chowhound. From her ramblings about all of you I feel I know some of you personally and I know when we Skype later tonight her eyes will be glazed over with nostalgia as she recounts her Chowdown with you all. I hope to enjoy a Chowdown with you all one day as well! Isn't eating well grand?

Apr 05, 2009
cookedandpickled in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)