So, my question to you would be… would you stop here to eat?
You just did a strenuous 3 mile hike in the hot sun and snorkeled in a strong current….though you may have stored body fat you are still ravenously hungry. Do you stop or wait ’til you can get back to your villa or a “cleaner looking place”? I must confess on our first visit, on island, I told Dan there was no way we would be stopping. The following visits we were open to stop but they were not. This time we made sure we were able to visit and are we glad we did. More below…
We have learned that on this tiny island there are many food choices from very high-end, 5 star dining to roadside stands. One of our fast favorites was a bbq place, Joe’s, just downtown. It was a bbq pit and 3 plastic tables but my oh my the best bbq chicken EVER. We have since graduated to some other local spots, Shela’s Pot, which was previously overlooked and has since closed due to recent construction.. so glad we made it at least one time. The past two years we have visited Candi’s. Here is what we had for Cinco de Mayo…. before & after. Then there is Hercules Pate…oh, another day….so much food so little time.
Now back to the other business at hand… the Tourist Trap.
Would you? Stop, that is? The first year, I will admit, I was a bit of a prude and not without reason, I thought. I have taken so many food safety courses sometimes I am scared to eat out of the my own family kitchen. THIS was the year of TT and we could not get enough.
After a long, long, long (did I make it clear enough) long 3 mile hike in the hot sun followed by a cool dip and snorkel we were famished and had a plan, The Tourist Trap. We had worked up an appetite and thirst. My only mistake… when thirsty it should be water and a mixed drink NOT 2 of Larry’s signature drink…Drink Right, Drive Left but it is what it is and they were tasty.
First things first, selecting a table was not too hard. We picked the one with Mr. Snoozalot the cat. We enjoyed the company of Larry, the owner, our server Maria, and the other hungry, trial worn patrons. One couple was from the heart of bbq country and gave their thumbs up for the pork bbq special.
Here is what we two Lancaster County folks enjoyed…. Dan had the famous lobster roll on a soft bun not too much mayo.
I wanted to sample the entire menu… but settled on, and shared with Dan, a soft shell beef taco & grouper taco (pan seared not deep fried..ahhhh). I was a perfect portion size served with sour cream and a homemade roasted tomatillo sauce… sweet and a bit smokey. The beef taco ( I will eat it about once a month or two) was simmered with a cinnamon stick and served with local veggies and crisp lettuce. Both were amazing for this trail weary gal. Oh, did I mention the 2 famous Drink Right, Drive Lefts? It was a blend of 5 rums, guava juice and after the first sip have since forgotten the rest of the sweet goodness!
At the Tourist Trap it is not just about the food, the new friends you’ll make, the warm & chatty service with the owner and staff… it’s ALL about Larry’s playlist. On our visit he was giddy with excitement about the recent discovery of Amazon.com and all the music he had at his finger tips. He had recently placed an order, due to arrive next week, of at least 25 new cd’s. I suggest, that you bring a few cd’s you on your next visit to gift this fab dude. We enjoyed lunch to the crooning of Neil Young… I feel compelled to buy Neil Young now just to keep me closer to the whole Tourist Trap in paradise experience.
Larry’s taste runs from The White Stripes to Iron Maiden. Needless to say he said he felt like, “a kid waiting for Christmas” looking forward to those cd’s. I think one of his staff needs to get together an MP3 playlist for us tourists to buy which is, by his own profession, to high tech for him.
Visit a few days later….planned of course…we stopped by again for a quick nacho snack because we have dinner reservations for ….. can hardly WAIT… Sweet Plantains and had to save room. Dan is not as excited as I am, Sweet Plantains food runs a bit spicy. Maybe this year will be the year he finds something he likes… but that is another post, Sweet Plantains.
This is the menu and today we shared the pulled pork tacos (pork awww… I know…) but it was delish.
the next time you find yourself on St. John I’d like to know your excuse for not trying the local guy’s food? As if you needed the prodding you fame seekers,… here is a recent article that Larry shared, printed in the Caribbean Travel & Life Magazine, April 2012. Get over your inhibitions and try it.