It Is Good To Do Nothing, and Then To Rest
08.31.2010 32 °F
So . . . Anguilla. Trying to explain to someone why we love this scrubby little chunk of limestone is sort of like trying to convince someone that it might be really fun to sit around and watch paint dry. On paper, it doesn't exactly sound like a barrel of laughs:
No quaint villages to explore or lush mountains to gaze at.
No duty-free shopping.
Well, but Anguilla does have this:
This was our sixth trip to Anguilla in the last 12 years, and this time more than ever, we were struck by the number of changes on the island. More hotels. More villas. Road signs, for God's sake. Call me a purist, but I remember the old signs working out just fine:
Also, the crowds were overwhelming. I mean, just look at them all:
Frankly, I don't know how we stood it, but I'm pretty sure these helped.
Our first order of business was to attend "Sunshine Saturday" at Smokey's at the Cove. Sunshine Saturday consists of enjoying a delicious lunch of fresh-caught seafood, sipping tropical drinks, listening to some live reggae, and swimming in the incredible blue-green waters of Cove Bay. I know: Bor-ing!
On each visit to the island we've stayed somewhere new, and this time it was Carimar, a small resort on Mead's Bay where you can read a book, soak up some sun, take a swim, or just do nothing at all. Yawn.
Dinner on our first night was at SandBar, a lovely new addition to Sandy Ground.
We had the panko-crusted shrimp with sweet chili and Anguillian tamarind; the lemongrass chicken satay with coconut-peanut sauce; and the tuna tartare with cucumber. Doesn’t that all sound delicious? Wouldn’t you like to see photos?
Well, so would I . . . but miniature bites of food disappear faster than a shutter click around me and Angel, so how about some nice photos of Sandy Ground instead?
The next day we had lunch at CuisinArt, a lovely resort named after a handy kitchen appliance.
I hate to be ungrateful, but if you're going to offer me a smoothie shot before my meal, let's be civil and add some vodka, shall we?
Although they have a full lunch menu, we always stick with the salad offerings, given that all of their vegetables are grown on the premises in their automatic, systematic, hyyyyydromatic, hydroponic garden.
More importantly, we always have the frozen mojitos, which are very tiny, but very, very delicious. So imagine our surprise and delight when this adult-sized version showed up instead.
Sadly, these mojitos were different from the usual blend. Angel thought they’d added too much mint, but I suspected they were adding a different herb (no, not that herb) . . . basil, maybe? Look, I appreciate culinary experimentation as much as the next guy, but please: Don't mess with the mojitos, man.
Dinner that night was E’s Oven, one of our favorites despite the double entendre that the name had for many years before they installed the air conditioner. This time I branched out from my usual fish dish and ordered a steak, which came with a gigantic serving of creamy, cheesy au gratin potatoes.
All Hail the Great Potato Brick!
Angel had the coconut-crusted grouper with banana sauce and curried potatoes. It, too, was delicious, and large enough for two normal people, or one Angel.
Angel also ordered the pea soup, which was a cross between a traditional split pea soup and some sort of bisque. It was so good that I immediately made plans to order it for dessert, though those plans were unfortunately foiled by my own gluttony. Damn Potato Brick.
The following day we drove over to Crocus Bay to check out Da’Vida, whose motto is “Celebrate Life.”
A couple of Type-A New Yorkers, smiling and relaxed? Maybe Da'Vida needs to change its motto to Celebrate Miracles.
On top of the cool decor and incredible views, Da'Vida's food is a knockout, too, served by a sweet staff whose pride in the place really shines through. And whose restraint in not gobbling up every delicious thing they serve before it can make it to the table is commendable.
That night we decided on a low-key dinner at Ferryboat Inn. I will have more to say about their much-talked-about burger in an upcoming section of this report, but for now this maniacal grin will have to suffice to explain how good it was.