A Travellerspoint blog

Anguilla Part 2: Lucy's Sleep-It-Off Special

32 °F

The day started off cloudy with some rain showers, so we decided to spend the morning stocking up on snacks. The hunt for three particular items took us to three different grocery stores, which might lead you to believe that the grocery stores in Anguilla are not very well-stocked. But stocked they are, with all sorts of interesting things.

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I know what you're thinking: Just how popular are soy chunks to warrant their own aisle? Why have I never tried a tropical soy chunk smoothie, or the island grilled soy chunks? I must be eating at all the wrong places.

One of the right places to eat is at Lucy's, where, despite the lack of soy chunks on the menu, the food is quite delicious.

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At Lucy’s we shared a crab fritter appetizer, followed by two orders of the snapper from the dinner menu, which is a salty, garlicky, fried fillet so good that apparently I couldn't even pause to take a photo before digging in.

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Right as the appetizer came, Ronnie Bryan showed up -- we’d called earlier to let him know that the trunk on our rental car wasn’t closing properly. (You know it's a small island when someone can track you down at lunch in the space of about two hours.) While Angel chatted with Ronnie in the parking lot, I of course ate the entire crab fritter appetizer. Later, when Lucy brought out our entrees and noticed that Angel was still out talking to Ronnie, she swiftly took his plate back into the kitchen “so you don’t eat it all!” As if I would do that . . . twice.

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Lucy has been working on a new special drink, which is approximately 1 oz. of lime juice, 1 oz. of mango puree, 1 oz. of amaretto, and 48 oz. of rum. Either that or our eyes are this squinty all the time.

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After passing out napping for the entire afternoon, we were still too exhausted from the Lucy’s Foodapalooza to do much for dinner, so we drove over to Corner Bar for some pizza. As you know, the laws of physics dictate that no matter how stuffed you are, you can always eat a slice of pizza.

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The next day was bright and sunny, which could only mean one thing: Rendezvous Bay.

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Later that evening was Blanchard's for dinner, which is where the rich and famous hang out when they visit Anguilla, and the poor and infamous get to wait 20 minutes for a table . . . even with a reservation. Not that I am bitter or anything.

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Blanchard's is known for its "Cracked Coconut" dessert, which is a chocolate shell dusted with toasted coconut and filled with coconut ice cream. It was very tasty, but not even a giant ball of coconut-shaped chocolate can make up for the good-but-not-great food and $200 tab. Boo.

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The next day we drove across the island to Shoal Bay East, with a quick stop in Island Harbour.

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Remember when you were a kid and you thought a watermelon would grow in your stomach if you swallowed a watermelon seed? Caribbean kids must be terrified of coconuts.

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Shoal Bay is gorgeous, but do not be fooled.

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First of all, there are tiny, curious tropical fish here, which will swim around your calves when you enter the water. I personally find this sweet and charming, and could watch them dart around my feet all day. But Angel, who is a powerful magnet for sand fleas, gnats, mosquitos, rabid dogs, and virtually every other loathsome creature in existence, does not agree. “Those legless bastards are trying to get me,” he explained, exiting the water. I laughed and asked why a fish the size of an anchovy might want to get him. “Because I am tender and tasty,” he answered. Of course.

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The second reason to be on your guard at Shoal Bay is that a large stingray lives here. That in itself is not so terrifying, until you realize that he is cleverly disguised to look exactly like a part of the reef. God help us all.

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Posted by TraceyG 05:59 Archived in Anguilla Comments (1)

Anguilla Part 1: Bored to Tears (of Joy)

It Is Good To Do Nothing, and Then To Rest

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 nightclubs.

No casinos.

No jet-skis.

No quaint villages to explore or lush mountains to gaze at.

No duty-free shopping.

No fun.

Well, but Anguilla does have this:

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And this:

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And this:

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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:

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Also, the crowds were overwhelming. I mean, just look at them all:

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Frankly, I don't know how we stood it, but I'm pretty sure these helped.

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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!

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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.

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Dinner on our first night was at SandBar, a lovely new addition to Sandy Ground.

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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?

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The next day we had lunch at CuisinArt, a lovely resort named after a handy kitchen appliance.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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A couple of Type-A New Yorkers, smiling and relaxed? Maybe Da'Vida needs to change its motto to Celebrate Miracles.

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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.

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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.

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Posted by TraceyG 05:40 Archived in Anguilla Comments (5)

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