A Couple of Tarts

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink, for dining alone is leading the life of a lion or wolf. ~ Epicurus

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bon bini!

S. and I left the boys at home and hit the beach in Aruba last week for a much needed vacation. Neither one of us had been to the Caribbean before, so it was a totally new experience. S. and I have traveled to a number of places here and abroad and all of our trips have entailed much walking around and checking out the local culture. Aruba, we decided, would be all about sitting on the beach, swimming and catching up on our reading. S. had a stack of New Yorkers and I delved into Heat by Bill Buford. We stayed at the Manchebo Beach Resort, which I highly recommend. It was low key, a little worn around the edges, but right on a quiet stretch of beach. The staff was incredibly nice and while the food was mediocre, it satisfied all of our other needs, which mainly consisted of doing nothing in a beautiful setting.

Well, I can't tell you much about Aruban culture or food for that matter, but S. and I did venture into town a couple nights and had some great food from other Caribbean islands. One night we went to Cuba's Cookin' for excellent mojitos and live music. We had a generous helping of lemony guacamole with plantain chips, followed by two different meat dishes with "moors & christians" (beans & rice). Mine was Picadillo de Res, which tasted a little like a meaty tomato sauce, served with more plantains.

The next night we headed for Jamaica Me Krazy. I just love saying that! To the point that S. was accusing me of wanting to go there just so I could tell people we ate at Jamaica Me Krazy. Luckily for both of us the food was fantastic. Unluckily, a few things we wanted to try they were out of. I ended up settling for jerk chicken, which wasn't a bad thing. It was spicy and juicy and came with plantains and a phallic looking bready piece that was akin to a hush puppy. For dessert I had my heart set on Jamaica Black Cake. I made a version of it with dried fruit at Christmas, so I was curious what this would taste like. At first they said they were out, but suddenly our waitress appeared bearing a plate with three slices of cake topped with chocolate and berry sauce and chocolate whipped cream. The cake was interesting in consistency, it had been soaked in rum for so long it had a slightly gummy texture. I loved it and ate far to much of the helping considering how heavy a cake it was. A few hours later it was still sitting in my stomach, lesson learned!

Now we are back in NYC, with our tans and tropical memories, looking out the window at the rain. Sigh...can't wait 'till summer! Or at least a sunny bit of spring.


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