24 October 2013

Ahhhh, Anguilla: October 2013, Part Three

Beautiful Meads Bay
We awaken to wet pavement and wet cushions 'round the pool.  There's been a storm in the night but we both slept so well that neither of us heard it. We settled into our routine of early morning coffee outside, followed by breakfast around 9:00 inside.  There are about two hours mid-morning when the pool and deck area are completely in the sun with no shade at all, so we always ate breakfast inside.  I picked out the veggies from my pasta the night before to make a cheese & veggie omelet while DH opted for scrambled eggs.  We both had bacon, toast, coffee, and juice.  After breakfast my sweet'art wasn't feeling so hot, so he reclined for a while and I busied myself with my book and checking in on the Anguilla travel forums using the villa's wifi.

Breakfast at home
Fetch me my fainting couch!
Around 1:00 pm, DH starts to feel better, so we decide to pack up beach bags and a couple of chairs & umbrellas and head for a west end beach.  We really wanted to go to Maundays Bay, but with Cap Juluca still closed, we weren't sure what the beach access would be.  Remembering how much we loved that little cove on the Malliouhana end of Meads Bay, we headed there.  Surprised that nobody was under the tree, since it was a Sunday afternoon--we'd expected more locals kicking back down there--we ducked over the small headland and started to set up shop in the "private" cove on the other side.  I say "private" because by law,  all beaches on Anguilla are public up to the high water line, but we were the only two on it. We lasted only about 5 minutes, I'm afraid.  It was so frickin' hot in that cove, with not a lick of shade other than what we brought, and not even a hint of breeze. And it was hot. And one of our umbrellas didn't work. And I stepped on a thorn, lost my balance standing on one foot trying to get it out, and served only to jam it further into my instep.  And did I mention it was hot?

The public access road to Meads Bay 
Our one working umbrella
You can see Malli's dismantled restaurant here
Steps leading down to the private cove
We just looked at each other after I stopped swearing at the thorn, and it was a good thing, too, because we started laughing.  If I hadn't started laughing, my mood would have become very foul, very quickly. We it took us more time to pack & unpack everything than we spent actually on the beach. We headed back to Sweet Return to enjoy the comforts of the copious breezes and the nice swimming pool.  Note to self: In the future, only visit Meads Bay in the morning.
DH, right before we started laughing at ourselves for poor judgment
At least we got to see some nice animules on our way back to the villa:


I've never seen such a big hermit crab in such a small shell.
DH tried to help it across the road so it wouldn't get run over,
but he couldn't get a grip on it that was safe from pincers.
Neither one of us could get into the pool fast enough.  We floated there for longer than we should have, considering the sun was still pretty high in the sky, but eventually common sense kicked in and we retreated to the shade once more to read and doze. I was really peckish by that time, having skipped lunch, so we snacked on the remainder of our cheese plate that the villa provided us, and we nature provided us with a show in the form of a storm approaching from the east. We looked up and all of a sudden St. Martin wasn't there any more.

Normal, hazy view with St. Martin in distance
Stormy view, all but obliterating St. Martin
We debated whether to go out for dinner or just order a pizza to go from the Corner Bar and Tasty's won. We called ahead to see if they could accommodate us and arrived around 7:00.  We'd only been there for breakfast on a previous vacation, and it had been disappointing, so I doubt we would have returned to Tasty's if other options had been available.  As it turned out, it would have been completely our loss had we skipped it, because we both enjoyed dinner quite a bit.


There were a few tables already seated when we arrived, and several more would fill up before we left, so it was also the busiest restaurant we visited on this trip. Despite the fact that the restaurant is on the main road and not on the water, the dining room was comfortable, with breezes darting in through the windows. Chef Dale Carty sent out an amuse bouche of  tuna in a sweet but spicy sauce--I liked it, though I'm not a big fan of thoroughly cooked tuna.
The amuse bouche
We shared the conch fritters as a starter course, which came with a spicy banana sauce and a small seaweed salad accompaniment. DH selected the goat stew, which proved to be the best goat he's eaten anywhere, and in a break from my usual island protocol, I ordered the coconut curry chicken, which had a sauce that was hot and sweet in equal measure.

Conch fritters to share 
Goat stew, with provision
Coconut curried chicken
The food was good, and we were happy to tell the chef so when he came to the front of the house and did a walk through the dining room to greet each table. We felt that Tasty's provided a good value for dinner on Anguilla, all with the charm of feeling like we were eating hearty, home-style food with a touch of flair.  One appetizer, two entrees, two cocktails, one glass of wine and a clearly marked service charge came to only $5 more than our barefoot beach lunch the day before, which led to an interesting conversation about expectation vs value. The dessert menu didn't interest us, so we drove back to Sweet Return to have a bowl of ice cream and a night cap. It was another mighty fine day on Anguilla, but our trip is already halfway over.

Tune in next time for two ingeniously identical days: Tropical Sunset for lunch, hours on Shoal Bay East, and dinner at Dolce Vita.

14 comments:

  1. I think Tasty's and E's Oven are both great values with terrific food - I have never been disappointed at either and am always happy when we can get out the door for under a hundred!
    Another great read Emily - it is going by way too fast.
    Thanks for your time.

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    1. Ellen, I agree about E's Oven. And I'm really, really pleased that we went back to Tasty's this time because now it will be part of our usual rotation each summer.

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  2. Emily, the picture with DH on the couch is priceless I can't wait to doze off in Anguilla-la-land!

    Thanks again :)

    Roxanne

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    1. He wasn't keen on my taking that photo, but he'll chuckle about it now that it's posted. ;)

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  3. oh, that looks like so much fun :-) and yummy looking food too!

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  4. Tasty's always sends out and an amuse bouche - one of the few places that still do, I think it is such a nice touch, I remember years ago two women at RB Hotel telling me "oh it is too noisy there with the road traffic and barking dogs", and I just looked at them and thought "you don't get it".

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    1. It's always fun to get an extra bite of something. It seems to me that Veya, Tasty's, and DaVida do the amuse bouche regularly.

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  5. The goat entree looks delicious. I've never had it and wonder about the taste and texture. Please don't say it's a lot like chicken.

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    1. Nothing at all like chicken! Think of a gamier beef. Add a little more fat.

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  6. Em. I continue to relish your lovely posts but I am confused about your "unpleasant" visit to Malli's "cove". What cove are you referring to where you say there was no shade?
    From your photos it doesn't look at all like Turtle Cove and the steps you show are entirely different from the 64 steps (yup, I counted every one!) down to "our" Turtle Cove.
    Could you have been referring to a different cove other than where the private bedroom suites overlook Turtle Cove?

    Pepper24

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    1. Pepper, I have no idea--sorry! I don't know the name of the cove in question, but it's the one you would get to if walking down the public access road to Meads Bay (the one that cuts across the Malli property) and then walk to the right, over the rocky/coral headland to a small cove of sand. In the morning it's got shade but not in the afternoon. Is that the one? There are stairs leading up from it towards the restaurant/bar in the photo, and those are definitely longer!

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  7. No. That is another cove that I am not immediately familiar with but DH says it is definitely not our Turtle Cove.
    You might want to try to sneak over to that one someday. It is heavenly -- and all yours! (except when we are there!)

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    1. Aha! Now I have a mission for our next vacation. ;)

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  8. Hi Emily,
    Loved reading that you liked Tasty's! While we have never made it there for bfst (wanted to, but never happens...every year we try....), it is a wonderful choice for dinner or lunch. I ran into Chef Carty (Dale) at Mingz, where he was shopping too, early Sun before Thanksgiving and he gave me a big hug and welcome back - such a super nice guy and such a great chef! Last year, we went to Tasty's on our first night on the island, but they were out of the whole snapper by the time we got there (we eat later, like you, around 7:30 for dinner.....or 8pm....), so this year we were determined to both have the whole snapper and it was AWESOME. We went on Mon night after Thanksgiving and they have live music (soft sounding female singer and keyboard) on Mon and Wed nights (we did not know, and just lucked out with the night we picked!) - it was so lovely! We also had the conch fritters (and while I hate to pay $16 for conch fritters, they were wonderful!), and then we both had the whole snapper. It was so good we were sucking on all the bones. People next to us were having the goat and a boy about 8 years old at another table next to us was having 3 lobsters (I, of course, offered to "help" him if he could not eat all that lobster, but his parends laughed and told me he would eat every bit! - They were not eating lobster.......the kid was extremely happy eating every bit of his lobster). Dale came around the dining room several times, checking that everyone was happy and I have to say that it was one of our best dining experiences this trip. He is a wonderful host and told me that his seafood salad (served at lunch) is one of his other specialties (like the whole snapper is) - unfortunately, my hubbie will not leave the beach ever for lunch unless we are at TT for the day, so I will not get to try that seafood salad unless it storms one day (which it luckily did not do this trip at lunchtime).
    I also want to weigh in that E's Oven baked chicken was also excellent (as always) this year and I actually told them when I made the reservation that we would both be having the 1/2 chicken so that they would save 2 halves for us when we came at 7:30, since last year they had "run out" by the time we showed up for dinner - great value and consistent performer like Tasty's. Thanks again for the fun read.

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Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)