A May 2006 trip
to Turks & Caicos Islands by gs11fz
Quote: Guides to some of the less well-known restaurants, great values, and other tips for budget travellers.
Location: This is not one of those restaurants by the beach with great ambience. However, it is conveniently located right at one of the stops for the Gecko bus. So you can have a drink (happy hour everyday 4-7pm) while waiting for the sporadic bus. It's 10 minutes slow walk from Grace Bay Club resort.
Food: There are two local chefs, one for lunch and one for dinner. As a result, the same dish may taste different depending on when you order it. Dinner is very reasonably priced ($15-25 for an entree). We tried conch pasta (awesome), foil steamed grouper (to die for, it melts in your mouth), jerk pork (so so) and conch sampler (not bad). The cafe is very casual and you don't have to order off the menu. If they have the material, they pretty much can make whatever you want (within reason of course).
Service: Faster than all other restaurants that we tried on the island. Owner is from North America, which may have something to do with it. Overall the service staff is very laid back. Chef is quite accommodating, especially during off-peak hours.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 1, 2006
Environment: Local food joint is the most fit description. Don't be fooled by the pictures in local dining guide booklet. If you are looking for a romantic dinner, this is not the place. It's next to a gas station and at a street corner. Air-conditioning was not on (not even sure if they have it), so indoor dining was too hot. While outside was cooler, be ready for bugs.
Food: Daily menus are written on a blackboard, in other words, they serve whatever they have that day (conch related dishes of course are sure bets). Food is not bad, but given a typical entree is only $10-12 compared to $30+ in most other restaurants in town, they are great value. We tried conch burger (surprisingly good), curry conch, and something else. Again, none to die for, but good value.
Service: Average, not too slow, not superb either.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 1, 2006
On Gecko Bus Route
Environment: It's by the water, but no beach. Many tour operators (boat captains, etc.) eat here since here's where they dock their boats. Nothing fantastic about it.
Food: We didn't get to see the menu since we brought in the fish that we caught during the fishing trip ($15 preparation fee). There are a few specials on the blackboard, around $15 for an entree. The fish was half fried and half grilled, with coleslaw, rice, and peas. None of it was impressive, so I doubt the skill of the chef (the fish was definitely fresh since it had been out of the water for no more than 2 hours).
Service: The staff was not slow, however, I got the feeling that they would quit the minute they have something better. They didn't even offer a menu for us to look at, and I didn't bother to ask.
Overall, I wouldn't go back there again unless I would pass out due to hunger.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 1, 2006
Attraction | "Diving"
I enjoyed diving with Dive Provo. They offer all sorts of options anybody could want.
Boat: 2 decks, relatively new or well-maintained. There are 10 to 15 people per boat, 1 captain, 1 guards the surface and 1 dive master goes down with everyone. You will not get the special attention, but enough if you know what you are doing (otherwise you shouldn't be down there in the first place). Big Blue offers smaller groups at a higher price tag.
Staff: Dive Provo is professional and friendly. They are always on time picking us up at the hotel. They proactively help anybody who needs it and took care of everything for me (me being only 5-feet tall may have something to do with it). Most of people do multi-day diving trip with them, and they make an effort to ensure that you go to a different spot each time (a lot of scheduling work).
Equipment: Any gear you need. The only thing that I didn't see is gloves. If you have personal equipment, you can leave on the boat if you dive multi-days. The staff will have name tags and move your equipment to another boat if necessary depending on your dive trip. During the 4 day diving, I didn't see one incident of equipment being mixed up.
PO Box 413
Food: It is expensive. IGA supermarket - I come from New York and still got the sticker shock. Alcohol and drinking water are comparable to the States, forget everything else ($2.50 for ONE golden apple). Hot roasted jerk chicken is an exceptional value ($7 for a whole chicken and tastes quite good). Bring some energy bars and instant noodles to the island yourself if you want to spend money on other things (diving and fishing like we did). Restaurants - eat big lunches, $10-15 per entree. They are not extravagant, but worth the money. You can get better food in the states for the money you pay for dinners.
Where to stay: Caribbean Paradise Inn, Turtle Cove or Comfort Suites. Paradise (see my other entry for details about this small hotel) is across the street from Grace Bay Club Resort. Turtle Cove - You will have to walk a little to get to the beach. Comfort Suites is 10 minutes away Grace Bay Club if you walk slowly, and it's at Ports of Call (one of Gecko stop, where Barefoot Cafe is). Don't try Airport Inn. It's too far from anything else and looks just awful.
New York, New York