Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Cayman Islands Eats

I've been home from my girl's trip for a little over a week and I wanted to share a bit about the food we ate, and some additional information about the Cayman Islands. For me food is an important part of vacation, and being in a new country means trying new foods.

The Cayman Islands are a British territory, encompassing three islands in the western Caribbean Sea (next to Cuba). Grand Cayman, where we stayed, is the largest island and is known for its beach resorts and varied scuba diving and snorkeling sites. 

In the Caymans, you drive on the left side of the road and road signs say things like "Reduce Speed Now" and "Give Way" instead of yield. These islands are a fairly expensive place to visit and the US dollar is not strong: $1 CI is equal to $1.20 USD. So when the menu says an item costs $10, it really costs $12. And drinks (which we partook in, because we were in the islands!) were expensive.

While breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out when traveling, we only managed to eat one breakfast out on this particular trip. Even so, we still managed to have some really excellent meals. Due to the cost of everything, we chose to only eat out for two meals each day to offset some of our costs. Following is a look at where we dined on this trip...

When we arrived at our resort on Friday, we ate lunch al fresco at the Tortuga Beach Grill & Bar (#85 on TripAdvisor). The weather was amazing and I couldn't get over how blue-green the water was. The Tortuga had amazing wraps with fries and we both had a Pina Colada for dessert. While we dined, I noticed a fairly large iguana propped on a tree next to our table. I also noticed that the birds in this country were different from home – no seagulls on the beach here.

For dinner, we walked across the street to the Sunshine Grill (#8 on TripAdvisor). I tried the Tres Tacos which included Cuban, Shrimp and Fish tacos. All three were excellent but I had to get used to the spiciness of the Cuban taco. Spicy foods normally give me heartburn and I was worried about this spicy taco. Surprisingly it didn't bother me at all. Unfortunately, though the food was excellent, our glasses of ice water tasted dirty. The water in the Caymans is safe to drink so we were surprised at the water here. Thankfully it didn't make us sick. We paired our tacos with the featured Rum Punch (when in Rome the Caymans...) and finished the evening with a small Pina Colada ice cream cone on the house. It was all delicious and our bar tender was super friendly.

Our only sit-down breakfast on the island was Saturday morning. We had been told about the great breakfast buffet at the Beach House (#26 on TripAdvisor) – one of the two onsite restaurants at our resort. Unfortunately for us, their really good buffet must have been on Sunday, not Saturday. We both thought it was ok, but not fantastic. My favorite thing were the coconut pancakes and the made-to-order omelettes.

We skipped lunch and got massages instead, but did grab drinks to take down to the beach from Tortuga Bar & Grill – a Pina Colada for K and a Mud Slide for me.

We were on a time crunch to make our bioluminescence excursion so we had dinner across the street at a small dive called Eats Cafe (#34 on TripAdvisor). I had a truly amazing burger – the only thing that would have made it better would have been to have a fried egg on top, and K had the fish ad chips. This ended up being our cheapest meal by far (no alcohol!). 

On Sunday I grabbed a latte and croissant from the small cafe inside our resort before heading to the beach for our Snorkel Safari.

For lunch we took a cab to the Thai Orchid (#22 on TripAdvisor) which had been recommend by our spa concierge, Sarah (she must love Thai places!). Both the massage and lunch were great. At Thai Orchid we had a buffet that included fresh sushi and Thai food.  I had been hoping to grab breakfast for lunch, but the Thai food was worth the visit.

For dinner we followed another recommendation by Sarah and hopped in a cab to Catch in West Bay (#37 on TripAdvisor). Kristalynne had originally booked Wharf but we changed our reservation based on Sarah's suggestion since she had yet to fail us. We enjoyed our meal at Catch. 

We were on a northern tip of the island, so we didn't see the sunset, but it was lovely to sit overlooking the water. We started our meal with Cracked Conch – which was amazing. The Caymans are known for their conch, and it was so good! I tried the Snapper and Shrimp plate while K had the Crusted Mahi Mahi. We finished our meal with a Molten Chocolate Cake. It was an excellent meal to end our lovely weekend in the Caymans.

As honorable mentions, while traveling home on Monday, we stopped at Einstein Bagel in the Miami airport where I grabbed a cinnamon sugar bagel and a latte. 

I ended up spending most of my day in the Miami airport (with flight delays, it ended up taking me 20 hours to get home!) so I went to the Islander Bar & Grill for lunch and tried the Fried Shrimp and Mahi Mahi with a Mojito. 

For dinner I was in the Charlotte airport, so I savored an amazing barbecue plate from Carolina Pit BBQ. It was all excellent food, even if I was stuck in an airport!

Girl's Getaway Recap

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