Posts Tagged With: Providenciales

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Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Provo – Food for Thought 2015

Caicos Cafe - Grilled Calamari

Caicos Cafe – Grilled Calamari

Another fun eating trip on the island we call Providenciales.  The weather was a mixed bag of sun, clouds, wind and seaweed.  An island version of Guess is in the works, where you try to guess which hotel got the seaweed this morning.  February may not be the best month to experience Grace Bay at her best, but its the best month to escape the Gotham frozen tundra, among many other reasons.  We are back rejuvenated, even if a little bruised.  The seas were angry for much of the week, and the palapas were just standing there.  “Why the scar?  Did you belong to a gang?  Tough childhood? ”  “Nope.  Ran into a  a palapa”.

As I stated in the past I dont write negative reviews for various reasons.  One of which is the increased cost of Krav Maga trained body guards these days (my depandant duo unexpectedly quit last month).  However, since this is just a harmless not so Google friendly recap, I offer a rare glimpse of the good and the ungood…

Kalooki’s – The new kid on the Blue Hills block produced mixed results overall.  A mature, promising feel, friendly knowledgeable service in an inviting location by the water.  Lemongrass Seafood Chowda was the New England creamy kind, good but forgettable once compared to other chowders we had later on.  The cod fritters were like thin plain latkes that Jewish moms throw out because they didn’t come out as the other latkes.  Jerk Chicken and Ribs were missing that oomph that Sailing Paradise used to deliver just down the road.  Whole fried Snapper was a little over fried, but manageable with good flavor.  No comparison however to what they do with it in Bugaloos.  Not terrible by any means, but there’s plenty of room for growth.

Kalooki's Fried Fish

Caicos Cafe – More of the same from our old fave after two more meals.  CC continues to hit on all cylinders, and chef Mad Max shows he still got tricks up his sleeve.  A food recap here may result in a dangerously long and tedious paragraph, so instead I will offer you these suggestions.  Pay close attention to the right side of the menu, the left side, and the specials insert page in between.  What I’m trying to say is over the years we pretty much had every single item on the menu, and the hits keep coming.  I will try to write a more detailed post about some of our favorites soon

Caicos Cafe Tortelli

Le Bouchon – Another must for us at this island institution.  They should really name a street after them, or a village at Beaches…  “Le Bouchon du Village” or something.  Julian and papa continue to fill the chalkboard with all sorts of French inspired goodies.  The classics continue to shine, including the always delightful Escargot.  More than worthy of garlic breath Mrs Z.  We love the soups here (conch chowder and black bean soup) especially on those cold winter nights when the temps dip from 82 to 80.  The great Steak au Poivre is still the main draw, while the grouper, and lobster were expertly grilled as expected.

Le Bouchon Escargot

Lupo – This is becoming a regular lunch spot for us.  I don’t see Lupo as an Italian restaurant, but more of a fun sidewalk café with an Italian inspired menu.  The smoky lettuce continues to be a favorite, the refreshing caprese continues to refresh, but the bulky Arancini, oozing with deliciousness, stole the show early.  The basic flatbread pizza filled one void, and the Orecchiette filled another.  Desserts are always good here, especially the top notch Tiramisu

Lupo Arancini

Crackpot Kitchen – Dubbed Crackpot-hole Kitchen by me on the message boards.  On the way to this closest middle of nowhere establishment you essentially need to maneuver between a bunch of potholes, a can of coke, and three kittens.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this place which came out of the gate rather strong.  But we liked it enough to return and recommend.  The conch fritters (more like kebabs) were different and quite good.  The lobster salad was essentially a crab salad gone wild.  The conch salad was fruitier and zestier than the norm.  The ribs were of the wet and flavorful variety, and the goat curry was that island goat curry we know and love.  The glaring big miss was the grilled lobster, a dry overcooked mess.  But we’ll be back for sure for more

Caravel – Brand spanking new, in place of Sora which closed last year.  The funky Japanese lights remain intact which gives the place a rather strange look, and the ice cream-like name doesnt help.  But the few items we tried by the former Mr Grouper’s chef were very promising.  In particular, the fish tacos; lightly fried to flaky perfection, inside toasty flower shaped tortilla shells.  Add the homemade hot sauce and you got perhaps the new fish tacos to beat.  The jerk chicken was another winner.  Its on the menu as a sandwich, but they can plate it.  Go!

Caravel Fish Tacos

Bugaloos – Another regular spot for us after a morning at Taylor Bay.  People enjoy the coconut cracked conch and the conch salad is always a winner, but we come here for the magnificent Sautéed Whole Snapper.   Gorgeously cooked with onions, bell peppers, thyme, garlic, and coconut milk producing this light sauce that compliments the fish well.  For the time being Bugaloos has replaced Las Brisas for us on the south side, but you still need to get to LB at least once to for the views.

Bugaloos - Snapper

Via Veneto – Broke my heart, Fredo style.  Not even Al Fredo could have saved these pastas.  Sadly not much worked on this particular night.  Between the bland Gnocchi with Shrimp, the Carbonara that got boring in a hurry, the stringy, chewy lobster with the linguine, and the pricey Fettuccine whose truffles lost their luster.  I was a fan after the first meal when they first opened, but I dont think we’ll be back.

Coyaba – After a long hiatus we decided it was time to revisit this old friend, and the result was a mixed bag overall.  Wine menu filled with 2010 Barolos all over $100 is the first clue about the price levels.  Lobster Bisque was still satisfying but the creamy Gnocchi got even creamier.  The Thermidor was still good, but felt heavy sooner than expected.  Same kind of heaviness was present in the Ravioli, while the lone shining star was the $60 Snapper for two.

Coyaba Snapper

Flamingo’s – Another regular lunch spot for us.  Rum punches are strong, and the Curries Groupers are even stronger.  Don’t worry if the menu doesn’t mention them… “x Curried Groupers please” one for each person.  And if another item does some magic, like the jerk chicken did on this day, consider its a major bonus.

Flamingos Grouper

Seaside Café – A lunch and a dinner is now firmly part of the rotation.  The Blackened Fish Sandwich and the Peruvian Conch Salad are still the lunch musts, while the Tuna Sashimi and the Lobster Risotto are the staples for dinner.  New discoveries were the excellent Conch Chowder, and a Japanese style Salmon that was the topic of conversation for the next few days (we really need new topics to talk about)

Seaside Salmon

Hemingways – Only half of the family made it here this time, for the great fish and chips and fish tacos fix.  Nothing changed.

Sweet T’s – Still the best deal in town.  On the way from the airport last time, on the way to the airport this time.  As you exit the Airport road, and start smelling that fried chicken, just follow the smell to the round pink building.

Sweet T'sSweet T's Chicken

Coyaba Molten Cake

Coyaba Molten Cake

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Beautiful by Nature

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That’s my youngest above, staring ever so watchfully at the looming cloud action over Grace Bay, Providenciales.  Knowing her, she must be wondering at that moment which direction the clouds are moving, and whether she’s allowed to have steak tonight.  She then remembers that she had steak yesterday and tonight is most likely fish night, and continues to wonder if she would be happier with another family where she could eat, like a lot more steak, and have more sleepovers.  Steak sleepovers!  Me and 3 of my closest friends, nails, hair, Peter Luger, sleepover.  What if that adopted family isn’t that close to Peter Luger or even a decent Hibachi.  Thoughts slowly shift back to “Pretty Little Liars”.  One out of many random thoughts during our 9 nights in our adopted home of Turks and Caicos.  Here’s a recap of what we did

Ate

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Caicos Cafe – More Sea-food-gasm

Caicos Cafe beef tartarPreviously on as Caicos Cafe turns

Sometime between the second and third course of the first meal, I made an executive decision.  Scrapping the plan to only go to Caicos Cafe once on this trip in order to give someone new a shot.  A plan I was never comfortable with, and the most likely cause of my Shingles.  Crisis averted, vacation saved.  Ok, a bit melodramatic I know.  But Ziggy’s mind is a mysterious and complex labyrinth, that produces joy via creating anticipations on a whim.

Caicos Cafe in a way represents everything I love about eating in places like Turks and Italy.  A masterful use of “backyard” ingredients by a talented chef, and the perfect formula.  A formula helped by a menu that screams for repeat visits.  A nice mix of old and brand new awesomeness during the recent visit….

Caicos Cafe - Troccoli

Jumbo scallops wrapped in pancetta (bacon for those scoring at home or if you’re alone) on a bed of green pea purée.  Expertly prepared, perfectly cooked scallops.  Goat cheese roll and butternut squash Brie tart with walnuts, sundried apricot, mushroom vinaigrette.  Somehow, I never got to try this so I can only go by Mrs Ziggy’s facial expressions and the words coming out of her mouth… “Ooh yum mmmm ooh need to go peepee”.  I think it was good.

It’s listed on the menu as a yellow tail snapper but we got a fresh grouper instead, prosecco flambeed with all sorts of seafood delights including some tasty bay scallops.  Another great dish showcasing Mad Max’s skills.  A dish of the year nominee for me was a new addition to the menu, Troccoli with octopus.  Troccoli pasta is homemade with a guitar like instrument (Chitarra) pressed against the dough sheet.  It looks and tastes like the Tuscan Pici but with egg and must be cooked more al dente.  With a super tender tasty Octopus (he uses another tool to tenderize the sucker) and Max’s signature roasted tomatoes to balance things out, the entire creation cooked in the locally caught octopus juices.   Simply fantastic!

Caicos Cafe - Wahoo Carpaccio

On the last night there it was again on the specials board, Wahoo Carpaccio.  People if you ever see it on the board and you love seafood, you must order this.  Whenever Max gets fresh Wahoo I believe he puts it up there.  Expertly done with a touch of pink peppercorn, melt in your mouth sea butter foodgasm when harry met sally worthy of a run on sentence goodness.  Another top dish nominee was the beef tartar.  It was tough taking pictures of this one with the strong truffle oil (first time I see truffle oil used here) scent slapping you in the face.  I was just anxious to attack this thing with full force.  Served with toasted baguettes this was another killer tartar (as is the tuna we enjoyed in the past).  The conch and grouper chowder while lacking the spices of Le Bouchon’s version it more than made up for it with hefty chunks of grouper and conch

Seafood Casserole was the last menu classic I haven’t tried yet, and turned out to be well deserved of the classic tag.  Like a glorious bouillabaisse, with every seafood known to man in it.  Or at least every seafood known to south Caicos fisherman.  A sauce you just want to dip anything in, fingers, room keys, anything.  Lobster linguine fra diavolo was as good as ever, but with an extra kick this time seems like.  Shared Ziggy’s fave Affogato (thats what it says on the menu.  Ok, not really, still working on it) and the mango apple tart, possibly my two favorite desserts at the moment.

Caicos Cafe - Chowder Caicos Cafe - Scallops Caicos Cafe - Grouper Caicos Cafe - lobster fra diavolo Caicos Cafe SeafoodCaicos Cafe - Apple Mango Tart

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Long Bay Beach Kite Surfers

Kite SurfersLong Bay, Turks and Caicos – Beautiful beach, beautifully isolated, beautiful people.  We fit right in! 🙄

We were invited by our friends from Ottawa to watch them fly in gorgeous, windy Long Beach.  An ideal spot for Kitesurfing, and most ideal to learn how to kite surf due to the shallow waters.  While things got to a rough start where we met with an angry rain shower (kites = great shelter), followed by dying winds, things got back to normal as the skies cleared and the winds came back.  Besides,  it was a good time for me to practice my true passion, Beach Yoga!

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Roberto from kitesurftci.com

Roberto from kitesurftci.com

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Meryl from Spa Tropique

Meryl from Spa Tropique

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Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mis Amigos – Turks And Caicos

Mis AmigosIts been 33 hours and 25 minutes now since I’ve said goodbye to our friends in Turks, and I have to tell you readers (both of yous), I miss my Turks amigos already.  There’s a lot to write about this time.  And when I run through the possibilities in my head on where to start, there’s always one that puts a smile on my face.  That’s the one.

Mis Amigos

Mis Amigos is the perfect first stop from the airport and to the airport.  Not only it is a good place to start practicing your right turns, its convenient, delicious, and you feel like you are visiting friends, rather than a restaurant.  Friends with benefits!  Friends that can cook well (a luxury in the city of NY).  Tina the owner runs the place, the kid serves, and the husband does nothing.  Oops, got caught day dreaming again.  I mean the husband cooks.  Its one of those places that you simply don’t want to leave.  So not surprisingly two nights ago it was packed with locals.  Remember when I said that this is one of those places you don’t want to leave?  The KILLER Margaritas may have something to do with it.  Avid readers of EWZ know that I don’t use upper caps cheaply.  I only use them when I mean it, or when I get paid to do it.  They were KILLA! (joking about the paid stuff of course)

Mis Amigos Chips And salsaFreshness is key in this 6 month old Mexican cocina/cantina.  Sometimes, on a remote island it can be more economical to make things from scratch.  Which means everyone wins!  On my island of Staten, everything is done fresh by a guy named Joe.  Trader Joe’s! (we are strong supporters of the farm-to-freezer-to-my freezer-to-microwave-to-belly-to-why is the microwave smells of fish for a week concept).  That freshness and special attention to detail is felt right off the bat with some of the best Chips and Salsa north of Tijuana.  The salsa has a nice kick, thick, and easy to scoop.  This is not your typical watery, soggy restaurant stuff.  I normally don’t care much for chips and salsa wherever we go and I normally stop eating them after a couple scoops.  I cared here.

A hefty Poblano pepper stuffed with pork sitting on a corn veggie Quesadilla was more than satisfying.

Chille Relleno – Anaheim pepper filled with cheese deep fried in beer batter had pleasant mild heat and was good

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Lobster Quesadillas – “Pretty Pretty Good” Larry David quotes sometimes come to mind while eating.  I should probably see someone about that.  Fresh Lobster chunks with cheese in those perfectly crisped tortillas.  Good luck finding this in your neighborhood Chili’s.  Our favorite item here so far.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich – with homemade mayo and slaw. Honestly one of the juiciest, tastiest chicken sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.  Nice buns from Caicos Bakery

For a place that is still trying to get its bearings with its vendors Mis Amigos is doing a lot of things right. You can really sense the passion of the owners and the attention to detail here.  Check em out, Amigos!

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Turks and Caicos – Top Seven Large Bites

As published in the current issue of WhereWhenHow, this is a follow up to the Top Seven Small Bites 

Who said that Providenciales is an expensive destination?  I did!  Approximately 14 times while eating with the kids on our last trip.  Gone are the kiddie menu days almost overnight for the Ziggy clan, much to the chagrin of my wallet.

Does this sound familiar?  One minute your 10 year old is eating the international kiddie specialty known as Penne with Butter, and next thing you know she is ordering Garganelli with conch and clams, after just discovering that she’s also into Escargot.

Or, one minute both of your kids are sharing a steak (with daddy). Fast forward 8 months later, your 60 pound youngest wants none of that sharing nonsense.  The last time she got a kiddie menu, she asked me to leave no tip and write a review on Trip Advisor about the various service issues of the establishment.

So I’m feeling the pinch.  And as a result, I already told the kids that they would need to rely on their grandparents for continued education.  I told them that while sipping through a straw of my $16 + Tip + tax drink at my resort.

Of course I’m being just a tad melodramatic.  Providenciales or “Provo” if you don’t want your iPhone to correct it to “doomsday” or something else that makes no sense (its a mysterious thing this auto-correct)  can be as expensive as you want it to be.  As I’m about to point out you can have your pick of deliciousness from white cloth to no cloth, from sommelier to.. {shrug} no sommelier.  And the good thing about traveling with kids when they are grown up is that you get to share and try a few things as a family.

But I’m not here to audition for “Mommy and Me Magazine”.  I’m here to write about 7 large bites as a follow up to the 7 small bites from the previous issue.  Can daddys even write for “Mommy and Me Magazine”?  Does such a thing even exists? Great, now this is going to bother me for the rest of the day.

At any rate, here are the top 7 large bites from our last trip

Pecan Crusted Conch at Bay Bistro – Schnitzelicious Bliss!  Lights Out!  Or until we realized we accidentally leaned against the light switch and turned off the lights at the patio.  True story!  Like a beautiful conch schnitzel, with a mild but potent orange sauce.  Its a consistent crowd pleaser for adults and kids alike.  Island historians can tell you what happened with the failed Coconut crusted conch with curry experiment.

Strong contender:  Grilled lobster (in season)Bay Bistro Pecan Crusted Conch

Best End of Milk Fed Lamb at Seven – Benny Hill? Downton Abbey? Its not exactly clear what motivated the British to name the lamb’s back of the neck differently than the rest of the world.  But it IS clear that it can be delicious, and that chef Josu knows what to do with it.  Three tender, perfectly cooked (medium rare) neck filets accompanied by all sorts of glorious goodies, too many to mention (i.e Blogger lingo for “I forgot”).  And its great to have the knowledgeable Alan Daffy on the floor to make sure everything is running smoothly and remind you what you are eating while under the (fine wine) influence.

Strong contender:  Duck breastBest End of Lamb

Caribbean Platter at Sailing Paradise – A more than worthy schlep just for the plate, and the serene waters and colors of Blue Hills an added bonus.  Addictive, tender, juicy, spicy, tastes much better than it looks, Jerk Chicken.  Same idea applies to the jerk pork, and if you did not get the homemade Jamaican sauce to add even more pleasant heat than ask for it.  Add the wonderful lightly fried fish, rice and peas, plantains and you got yourself a dish.  But we aren’t done yet.  The glorious goat curry, with all its bony glory requires its own space.  Maneuvering through these bones was a succulent adventure.  After the meal at the airport we were smelling our index fingers like in a gynecologist convention.  (Ahem… Brenda/Kathi, under the belt? ;))

Strong contender:  Get the platter!Sailing Paradise - The Platter

Tagliolini with Seafood at Caicos Café – White smoke rising from the chimneys of Caicos Plaza signals a new menu at Caicos Café.  While black smoke rising suggests someone just burned a toast.  Savory fish, scallops, shrimp, mussels, flambéed with Pernod and a lot of love.  An Emilia Romagna classic in Providenciales.

Strong contender:  Orecchiette (Mike Tyson’s favorite pasta)Caicos Cafe - Tagliolini

Steak au Poivre at Le Bouchon – soi le bienvenue Pierrik and family.  A gorgeous rendition of the French classic that normally no one talks about nor knows how to spell, like the 4th and 5th Kardashians.  Perfectly cooked, flavorful steak with a deliciously light peppercorn sauce that made me dip the fries, bread and fingers into it.  A month before, a similar dish in a renowned similarly named Bouchon in Las Vegas was double the cost and half the flavor.  Well Done Pierrik!

Strong contender – Burger with egg (for lunch only – ask for the egg)  (Brenda, I’m pretty sure its only available for lunch, I didn’t see it on the dinner board)Le Bouchon - Steak

Lamb Burger at Lemon – What to order in Lemon is always a challenge for me.  A good dilemma.  Unlike the choice you have to make before leaving the house on a rainy day between the pink polka dot umbrella, and the one with the yellow circles.  Which one makes you look more manly (Mrs Ziggy if you reading, it would be nice to have a plain black umbrella around the house.  I have a second job now writing for a major magazine and I dont have time for matters like this.  Love, Ziggy).  But I digress.  An excellent lamb burger!  Lamb, hummus, cucumber mint yoghurt, brie, play together like a beautiful symphony with every morsel.  Add the delicious roasted potatoes and you got a great dish.

Strong contender:  Mushroom Risotto with PorkLemon - Lamb Burger

Curry Grouper at Flamingos.  A customary 10 minute moment of silence normally follows after the dish arrives, reminding us why we come to Turks and Caicos year after year.  An Island legend at an Island institution.  You will be hard pressed finding a piece of fish with texture more perfect.  Sweet, savory, melt in your mouth goodness.  Like eating delicious butter. This was love at first bite, and a regular dish since.

Strong contender:  No idea!  But was told the similar coconut grouper is as good if not betterCurry Grouper

So there you have it.  7 memorable big bites from our last trip.  Enjoy your trip and stay hungry my friends

Categories: Turks and Caicos | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Getting Organized. Introducing the TCI Page

Last TCI post for a while.  I have quite a few New York posts cooking on the back burner.  The Turks and Caicos link now points to this page, your one stop shop to everything Provo including other one stop shops, dining stuff, photos, directions, Hitler videos, and more.  I will try to update the page as needed.

https://eatingwithziggy.com/turks-and-caicos/

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Ziggy International

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Start posting nonsense on Trip Advisor – Check

Make a YouTube Video – Check

Start a Blog – Check

Learn the difference between i.e and e.g. – Check

Get a feature column in a world renowned magazine – Check

If the link does not work, just click on the magazine on the left here

 

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Lazy Post – Turks and Caicos in Pictures

Bugaloos Garam IMG_7364 IMG_7370 IMG_7388 IMG_7393 IMG_7395 IMG_7525 IMG_7535 IMG_7537 IMG_7542 IMG_7557 IMG_7559 IMG_7562 IMG_7564 IMG_7588 IMG_7605 Sailing Sailing2 Sailing3 SS pool SS pool (2)

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