Our favorite way to start out any meal here was with one of their several varieties of fresh, fruity rum punches. I stuck with the Rum Cooler (orange, banana, strawberry, and rum) and the Carnival Jump-Up (rum, grenadine, and coconut milk)—both dangerously delicious. Mom’s favorite was the Big Bamboo—a tart mix of lime, grenadine, rum, and orange juice. Also available are local beers like Carib (my favorite) and Stag. Rum punches were $4 or $5; coming from New York, this was a revelation to me. Bartenders were all really friendly and quick with our orders, and sitting in the open-air space, letting the ocean breeze blow in as we sipped fresh fruit and local rum, was heaven.
But the real surprise here was the food. I had heard rave reviews of the flying fish sandwiches in the bar before coming to Tobago, so on our first day here, I ordered one, and Mom went with a jerk steak sandwich. Whether we placed our orders with the bartender or a roaming waiter, they were taken quickly, but because we usually ate at such off-times, it took a while for our food to arrive. While this is usually a point of frustration, here we knew our food was being made fresh (and the rum punches didn’t hurt to pass the time, either). And was it ever worth the wait.
By the time the food came out, we were good and starving, and the freshly fried fish and grilled steak were juicy and aromatic. It was hard to determine which was better, although the flying fish sandwiches were what we ordered again and again. The sandwiches were served with bottles of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise enhanced with spices from the kitchen. But forget all those. All you need is the bottle of spicy, tart, absolutely delectable pepper sauce. I used mounds of this stuff on every sandwich and even dipped my fries in it, and I am now a convert for life.
On another occasion, we ordered shrimp salad to share, and it was also incredibly fresh and flavorful. And the best thing? Meals were always affordable here—flying fish sandwiches were around $6, so any meal here came to a manageable total of $20 to $30 for both of us. Between the serene alfresco setting, the friendly service, and the delicious food, this option was far superior to the main restaurant in our estimation. I’m craving one of those flying fish sandwiches right about now…
New York, New York
June 19, 2005
From journal Travels On Tobago