28 June 2011

Anguilla, Anguilla, Anguilla: part the ninth


Saturday brings us a little change to our repertoire.  We breakfast at home that morning on some excellent toast made from the last of our loaf of Geraud's bread, and at midmorning we head for Trattoria Tramonto.  We hadn't been there since our first visit to the island in 2009, where we experienced shellshock over our most expensive lunch ever.  Guess that's what happens when you  order the specials without inquiring to the price…This year we wanted to give it another try, though we had a little bit of shellshock all over again.  They provide complimentary chairs & umbrellas to everybody who dines there for lunch, but their sign declares  (rather optimistically, in my opinion) that they charge US $40 for the privilege of using chairs & umbrellas for non-diners.  It's hard for me to imagine anybody who is willing to pay that much money for uncomfortable chairs and a tiny umbrella, but maybe that's just me. 
Blue Waters, an all-beachfront condo property

Romilda, our companion for the day
It was our first visit to Shoal Bay West in a couple of years, and while my husband was not an immediate fan, I certainly was.  I like the character of the beach, especially the windswept end near Covecastles, and the fact that not many people were using it.  We settled in to read for the rest of the morning (lunch doesn't start until noon), and we were tickled to note that a very sweet dog adopted us for a while and sat with us underneath my chaise longue for quite a while.  My husband dubbed her Romilda, and I split my time between my book and giving Romilda some woogies.  Right before lunch, two young women came upon us and walked the beach.  At one point one of them squealed "shark!" and grabbed her camera, but by the time hied myself out of my chair to see what was happening, it had swum away.  I asked her about it and she said it was a small shark and she indicated its length with her arms--about 18" long.   A baby shark, then. 

Romilda is ready for her close up!

Covecastles: bizarrely compelling architecture.  And green, to boot.

I'm getting a little weary of all of the crowds on Anguilla.  Here we have deserted Shoal Bay West
For once, both my husband and I are hungry at the same time, so shortly after noon we mosey up to the restaurant to claim our seats and order lunch.  We down one bottle of fizzy water before we order our lunch (have I mentioned that it seemed unusually hot and still this summer?), ordering a second round to accompany our grilled chicken salad (me) and the plate of melon & prosciutto (DH).  With the focaccia that came for the table, this turned out to be the perfect amount of food.  I even would have gone for a spot of dessert, but everything on the menu, including the daily dessert special, was chocolatey, so I passed and ordered for myself a Michelangelo, which is a yummy Prosecco beverage with mango nectar.  Our bill came to about US $70, but our beverage tab was about equal to our food tab.  Trattoria Tramonto is definitely an expensive place to have lunch, and that's with ordering basically two appetizers.  Still, it's pleasant and I love the cooling effect of the blue & white building there, and Shoal Bay West is nice & quiet.  One of these days when our fortune improves we might even stay at Blue Waters, a place that has long intrigued me. 

 Anyway, I guess it's a good thing that I didn't want dessert at TT, because before long, we pack up and head out for Cuisinart Resort, in pursuit of the elusive frozen mojito, of which I have read much.  Now, my husband and I are not really resort people.  We'd rather pay less money for more space in a villa when we're on vacation.  But there's much to be said about Cuisinart, which is very, very lovely.  If you think of the Viceroy as being very manicured and luxurious and precise, Cuisinart is very luxurious and lush and natural looking.  The grounds are exceptional and they clearly employ a lot of Anguillians to keep it looking that way.  Everyone we encountered was very friendly, even when we said we weren't guests and were on the property just for a cocktail, albeit a famous one.  They escorted us to an outdoor lounge area just past reception but before the pool area, where we kicked back with two frozen mojitos.  These drinks are justifiably famous and they are, bar none, the most refreshing adult beverage I've ever had, including the Sea Cooler with cucumber juice at the SandBar and the Infusion with strawberry, mango, and banana at Smokey's.  In fact, it was so good that one wasn't enough, so my husband and I shared a third one, and by sharing, I mean that I let him have a little bit of mine.  The lime and the mint were so perfectly balanced, and it's impossible to believe that a beverage with that much shredded herb could be anything but healthy.  At US $11 apiece, they pack more than one kind of wallop, but it was so worth it.  We chatted with the lady bartender there and enjoyed our books for upwards of an hour, during which we saw them offer afternoon snacks to the children at the pool--they were even kind enough to offer the leftover sorbet & biscotti to us, but we were thoroughly stuffed. 

Could an adult beverage possibly look more healthful?

Besides, we had places to go.  And by that, I mean Cap Juluca.  Now that I had the insider scoop for getting to Maundays Bay, we headed there as soon as I slurped up the last dregs of mint from my drink.  I wanted to have Cuisinart & Cap Juluca fresh in my mind in order to make a comparison.  Sadly, I'm not sure that I could choose between the two.  I think they're both beautiful resorts with lush grounds that are luxurious without ever feeling fussy.  I personally prefer the calmness of Maundays Bay over the more windswept Rendezvous Bay, but it's pretty much splitting hairs either way.  Both beaches are gorgeous and in an ideal world I wouldn't have to choose between the two. 

Walkway to Maundays Bay

Double self-portrait at Maundays Bay

Cap Juluca
 Maybe it was the sun, maybe it was the late afternoon rum drinks, but I was completely pooped when we made it back to Caribella.  After showering the beach off, I flopped onto the bed and napped until dinner--we opted to return to Picante for our second dinner of the trip and were well rewarded.  We shared the same taco plate but ordered the plain lime margaritas and a full serving of guacamole this time around.  Jovaughn and Kayshe both remembered us from our previous visit and made our night by sitting down to chat with us.  What wonderful waitstaff--I would be so proud to count them among my own staff members at work--they're both so genuine and friendly.  Our food was once again fast & fresh and we loved it.  Picante may very well now be my favorite casual eatery on the island--hard to believe after my own reluctance to try it a couple of years ago.  Their chips & salsa are great, their guacamole rivals my husband's (this is very high praise, as my husband is an excellent cook), and we left stuffed to the gills with their fresh and fun tacos. 

One last shot of Shoal Bay West

St. Martin seen from Shoal Bay West

27 June 2011

Anguilla, Anguilla, Anguilla: part the eighth

We have become quite the fans of the Sea Spray smoothies!  Friday morning we slept late, read on the balcony, and then packed up our beach bag.  Shoal Bay East is our destination for the day, but first we have to stop at our new favorite spot for another smoothie.  This time we wised up and shared one, creating our own taste sensation: peach & passionfruit.  Because brain freeze seems to come so easily to us these days, we stay there about 30 minutes while we sip away in leisure, casually waving to the people as they drive by. 

At Elodia's we set up shop again under the cabana we have fondly come to think of as ours.  First thing we do is take a walk down toward Tropical Sunset.  We make it about 3/4 of the way and decide to head back since DH doesn't have any sunscreen on his bald pate.  As we negotiate the soft sand leading to our cabana, a young woman hails us and asks if I am Emily.  Stunned, I reply in the affirmative and she introduces herself as Angie.  She and her husband Mike are vacationing for the first time in Anguilla and they've been reading my blogposts about Anguilla--again, I couldn't be more tickled.  Honestly, it makes my heart ache a little bit just knowing that somebody other than my husband and my mother are reading the blog at all, much less finding it helpful.  We chatted for a while and they compared notes with my husband about teaching high school--the pros and cons of private vs. public.  Angie & Mike were staying at Viceroy for their first two nights before moving on to Anacaona for the remainder of their stay, and from what they had seen on their first morning, they were a good way towards falling in love with the island. 
self portrait on Shoal Bay East
Just as we were settling in to our chaises longues, a large bus full of people pulled up by Elodia's.  Apparently it was a large tour group of people from St. Thomas who were on the island to celebrate a wedding--can't recall if it was the bride or groom from St. Thomas--and they pretty much cleaned Elodia's out of food.  No bbq, no fish, no crayfish left by the time we ordered our lunch.  No worries!  We ordered a hamburger (me) and a grilled cheese off of the children's menu (DH), and it must be said that it wasn't a great lunch. My hamburger was fine--nothing out of the ordinary to recommend or disparage it, but the grilled cheese was a little lacking.  Still, we had very ample portions of French fries, cole slaw, and green salad, and once again we left a lot of food behind on our plates.  Carol mixed me a really excellent passionfruit daiquiri, which went a long way to redeem the otherwise ordinary lunch.  And much to our surprise, Fay, the other woman working that day, offered us a discount on our cabana when it came time to settle up.  I never expected a discount and I certainly would never ask for one, but it was sweet of her to offer, despite my protestations that she should charge us full price.  She told me that I shouldn't argue with her, and as I filled out the tip portion, I reminded her that there was another way for me to settle that argument.  She grinned very broadly when she looked at the receipt. 
Another shabby sunset on Barnes Bay
 I wish I could say that the rest of our afternoon and evening continued in such a fine fashion, but alas, it would be untruthful.  We had decided to go casual for dinner that evening and selected the Ferryboat Inn, but once again, the three times I called to make reservations, nobody answered the telephone.  Thinking that the phonebook listing might be outdated, I checked in the dining guide in our villa and called the other number listed, but to no avail.  My karma clearly doesn't align with the Ferryboat Inn's.  We took a chance and decided to just show up, something we don't really like doing in Anguilla because we don't want the chef or the wait staff to be unprepared for dinner guests to arrive.  When asked if we had a reservation, I responded that we did not, but that it wasn't for our lack of trying--that we'd tried to call several times over the course of several days, at different times of day, but that we never got an answer.  The response?  Nothing.  Just a long look.  Then we were told to choose any seat.

Ferryboat Inn

Ferryboat Inn
Okay.  Fine.  Not everybody on Anguilla has to be friendly.  Maybe it had been a rough day at Ferryboat.  Who knows?  But the setting is nice & breezy and as other people have noted, the lights of St. Martin in the distance make for a pleasant backdrop for an evening meal.  Our server comes to ask if we want a beverage, to which I respond that I'd like a small bottle of water and a rum punch.  She then leaves without taking my husband's order.  We're a little befuddled but figure he'll just order the next time she comes back.  She returns with my rum punch, which is admittedly excellent, and deposits the bottled water with little fanfare in front of me, but with no glasses.  Thinking maybe she just had her hands full and will bring glasses later, I don't mention anything, but my husband has to call her back to place his initial drink order.  She seems a little put out that we didn't give it to her before.  Um, yeah.  We actually would have given it to her if she hadn't rushed away the first time.  It's not like we plan ahead to figure out ways to make our servers's lives as miserable as possible. 

We order the grilled snapper, which comes with potato and vegetables, and when she brings our entrees to the table but we still don't have any glasses for our bottled water, I ask for a couple.  She *actually* rolls her eyes at my request.  I mean, come on.  Are we both supposed to swish back water from the shared bottle?  This is the only time in Anguilla where we have ever had to request glasses to go with our water--including barefoot beach bars--and we're not keen on being made to feel like it's an imposition.  The meal itself was perfectly acceptable--neither great nor terrible, but once again, we didn't finish.  After our server cleared our plates from us, she brought us the bill.  Either there was no dessert on offer that night or she just assumed from our half-eaten meal that we didn't want anything else.  At that point it didn't much matter to us.  Her service was indifferent at best, sullen at worst, and we would just as soon not spend any more of our money there anyway.  I know that Ferryboat Inn has a legion of fans and is well-loved by many, but after giving it a couple of chances,  my husband and I will not be among them in the future.  We'd rather go where the food is better and where our custom seems appreciated. We won't be bothering them any more. I manage a small independent bookstore at home, and while I am not in the hospitality industry, good customer service is critical to our survival.  An employee who acts as put out as our server did over the request for two water glasses would not last long.

Another lovely apres-sunset.

26 June 2011

Anguilla, Anguilla, Anguilla: part the seventh


We'd decided the night before that we would get an early (for us) start and head to Geraud's for breakfast.  We arrived shortly after 8:00, where we had so much trouble deciding which two pastries to try that we got three instead: coconut, peach, and pineapple.  One cafe au lait and one breakfast tea brought our total to a whopping US $10.  We lingered there for what turned out to be over an hour.  My husband and I are still not accustomed to asking for our check when we're ready, so we sat there, reading & waiting, waiting & reading 'til we realized what we needed to do.  It all worked out perfectly, though, because we had wanted to stop at the wine store next door anyway, and they opened right as we got up to leave.  Fortuitous, no? 
Geraud's: A pleasant place to linger for breakfast
 We bought a couple of bottles of white wine and asked the lady where we might find a bottle of Beefeater gin to purchase.  My husband doesn't particularly care for Gordon's or Tanqueray, the two brands we most frequently encountered in the shops, so we were happy to drive around and find the two places she recommended.  We found it at a place called, I think, Island Liquors & Gifts, where we had a fun time chatting with the lady working there--and much to her amusement, we purchased another sarong for my husband, this time in a bright tangerine.  It took a moment to convince her that it was for him and not for me, but by the time we left, we all agreed that it would be fun to see the men of Anguilla sporting these lava-lavas.  After all, there are very good reasons that the men of the South Pacific wear them and I daresay that they would hold true for the Caribbean as well. 

Road Bay, AKA Sandy Ground, seen from Back Street
 After driving around a bit more, including a stop at Irie Life to purchase a souvenir for our house sitter, we head back to Caribella for that afternoon where I finally make contact with Ronnie Bryan to meet up for the rental car paperwork.  I really do love that about Anguilla in general and Ronnie Bryan specifically--that we can have a rental car for eight days and that *I* am the one contacting him about getting the paperwork done.  (He was off island for a few days when we arrived, thus the delay.)  Barnes Bay was looking as beautiful as I've ever seen it, so it was a good day to stay "home" and swim & read while waiting for Ronnie.  He showed up about an hour later than expected, so the three of us shared a beverage and chatted about Boston and bicycling and his trip to India, where he was last fall when we were on the island.

Barnes Bay at its sparkling best

More Beautiful Barnes Bay
As soon as Ronnie leaves, we immediately leave for the SandBar in Sandy Ground, eager to arrive there by sunset.  We got there just in time to settle into our chairs out on the deck before the western sky put on its nightly show.  I ordered a Sea Cooler, one of the most refreshing cocktails I've ever had the pleasure of sipping with its cucumber juice, lime, fresh mint, and rum, while my husband ordered a drink quite out of character for him, and with which he was a little disappointed--something creamy with banana and coconut and rum.  Entirely too sweet for him, at least before dinner, so I suggested that he ask our server if she could put it in a refrigerator to keep it until after our meal. 

Sunset at the SandBar
Yummiest drink ever!
      Speaking of which, we're of differing opinions on our meal that night.  We ordered four tapas to share: cubed watermelon with olives, feta & basil; panko crusted shrimp, chicken satay with a peanut sauce, and cayenne carrots with garlic & honey, hold the cilantro.  Despite the watermelon dish being served with UNDISCLOSED CILANTRO, I liked it and the rest of the dishes, with the shrimp perhaps being the most pedestrian.  I loved the spicy, sweet garlicky carrots that also came with pinenuts, despite not being a general carrot fan.  My husband, however, thought the overall meal was in the range of pretty good, not beyond that.  Still, it's a very good value no matter how you slice it, because even with a shot of rather expensive rum from Whiskey's Rhum Bar, our meal only came to about US $60, plus additional tip. 

Sunset seen from SandBar

Apres-sunset sky still looking beautiful

25 June 2011

Book Reviews: Ladies & Gentlemen AND The Wettest County in the World

Ladies and Gentlemen by Adam Ross.  I never read Ross's first book, the highly acclaimed Mr. Peanut, but I knew enough of it to expect a few dark twists in this new collection of short stories and I was not disappointed.  The titular ladies are mostly non-existent; instead these stories are populated with so-called gentlemen who are up to their chinny-chin-chin hairs with misapplied expectations.  The stories are quite good and just varied enough to feel like you're getting something a little different each time around while still getting a sense of unification through tone and theme.  One throwaway detail that caught my eye and just might catch the eye of some of my Caribbeanophile readers is that the narrator of "In the Basement" recalls with a sense of dismay the private island where a former friend honeymooned: "every couple had an open air hut and put up a flag when they wanted a meal, how the owner of the resort bred yellow Labs that swam in the surf and ran free in honey-colored packs." Yes, that is the island of Petit St. Vincent, a private island resort in the Grenadines that has long captured my imagination. When I make my millions as a bookseller, that will be one of the first places I visit. 

Ladies & Gentlemen is published this month by Knopf and I received an advance reading copy at my request from my Random House sales reps. 

The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant is a book that straddles the line between history and fiction.  It's the book that my husband asked me to read for Christmas this past year, so it was the one book that guaranteed a coveted spot in my luggage for vacation.  (NB: every year for Christmas, my husband and I give the gift to each other of reading one book of the other's choosing.  It started out as a way for me to get him to read Harry Potter many years ago, but it has since become one of our most beloved traditions.) At any rate, this is the story of Franklin County, Virginia, during the time of prohibition and after, which according to Sherwood Anderson had more illicit liquor stills per capita than anyplace else in the US. The author tells the story of his own grandfather, Jack Bondurant, and his great uncles who were as famed in the first third of the 20th century for their brutality as they were for their liquor.  Sherwood Anderson, who did in fact cover several legal trials during the 1930s in that part of the world, shows up as a character in this self-described "novel based on a true story."  Matt Bondurant is, along with James Carlos Blake and Tom Franklin, one of the literary heirs of Cormac McCarthy, flinching neither from the violence nor the hardships that shaped these people's lives. 

This is a very good novel but it's not for those looking for a light read.  Despite my admiration for the works of Blake, Franklin and McCarthy, there were times I had to set this book aside, dipping into other books when this one became a little too intense for comfort.  There is some beauty to Bondurant's writing, but mostly it is of a prose style that serves the story: straightforward, indifferent to the reader's reaction.  One passage I would like to share is this description, near the end, of the kind of liquor the Bondurant boys cooked up in their hidden hillside stills:

"Pure corn whiskey comes at you like a knifing, Cricket Pate had told Jack once: point first and hot all the way down…A shiner's stock was made from the purest ingredients, the finest alcohol you could make, its taste and resulting effect unlike anything else in the world. A few ounces and even the hardest backwoods drinkers…felt it deep in their bones, as if something sucked the marrow out and blew in white fire. You opened your eyes again and the angles sharpened on things, the trees and sunlight comping together, the thunderheads to the north rolling with impotent fury; a man curled his hand and felt the steely power in his fingers, the dynamic strength in his legs, the hills shrinking before him, and he was filled with what can only be described as the infinitely possible."

24 June 2011

Anguilla, Anguilla, Anguilla: part the sixth

Barnes Bay: Home Sweet Home

Gosh, another beautiful morning in Anguilla.  We spent the first part of the morning on Barnes Bay.  Interestingly enough (at least to me) we have never spent this much time at "home" before, but we enjoy it quite a bit.  Unlike last year, when more Viceroy guests would walk down to our end of the beach, Barnes Bay has felt very much like our own private beach.  Every evening around sunset a woman walks her dog the length of the entire beach, and a handful of times over the course of our stay so far we have seen other people walking along.  One morning a family of three even put their umbrella up not far from our villa.  But for the most part it has felt utterly and blissfully quiet.  I never would have believed it would be this serene, even with at least one of the large beachfront Viceroy villas being occupied.  In short, we love it.  Spending a couple of hours each morning out on our balcony, watching the sunlight play on the water and enjoying our coffee and books is about as perfect a way to start our day as I can think of.  Add in a breakfast of fresh mangoes and some thick slices of buttered toast made from a loaf of Geraud's peasant bread creates an entirely new level of superlative.

Around 11:00 we packed up another beach bag and hit the road, our first stop being Sea Spray to see if the smoothies were just as good as we remembered them.  I am pleased to inform you that they were.  However, we were greedy and couldn't agree on a flavor to share, so we each got our own--not the best decision, as it turned out later.  But at the moment we were happy with our brain freeze-inducing beverages: DH with the Very Berry again, and me with the mango/guava/passionfruit one.  It took us a long time to finish them, and then we were off & rolling again, this time toward the east end with the idea of eating lunch at Cote Mer.  Of course when we pulled up to the restaurant, neither one of us could bear the thought of food after polishing off our large smoothies, so we decided to backtrack to the Anguilla Heritage Collection and see what we could see.  Admission is US $5 for each adult and the quietly intense and handsome Colville Petty, OBE, came out to give us a brief summary of the collection, where no photographs are allowed inside.  We learned a lot about Anguilla history that day, beginning with the Arawaks and ending with the bloodless revolution, commemorated with a hilarious article by journalist Art Buchwald.  The collection is small and somewhat amateurish, but it is very thoughtfully put together and we spent about 90 minutes wandering through and reading the informative placards and signs.  What's more, very little is behind glass, so you can reach out and run your finger along, say, the enormous mortar and three foot long pestle on display or feel the ridges on the makeshift sandals that Anguilla men wore up until fairly recently in the last century, fashioned from sections of car tire and strapped to the foot with leather or rope straps.  There are photograph albums tucked into many parts of the museum, which we also thumbed through--some depicting hurricane damage during the 20th century, others with more lighthearted subjects such as royal visits or the brightly painted buildings around the island.  If anything, I'd say that the history of slavery was a little glossed over, and the museum certainly gives the impression that slavery on Anguilla was not as bad as slavery on other West Indian islands.  But I wonder how true that is?  Slavery is still slavery, and to gloss over it in any way (and I really don't want to know if it's just to ease potential discomfort of white tourists to the island) feels like we're not acknowledging properly a very dark period of human history.  At any rate, there didn't seem to be much glossing when it came to describing the harsh conditions of salt harvesting, which was also a primary means of living well into the second half of the 20th century, and frankly, it's hard to imagine a more brutal way to spend one's life.
Outside the museum it's okay to take photos.  Here is a traditional Anguillian wooden racing boat.

Sweet pothound napping in the shade
With those sobering images, we bid good day to Mr. Petty, OBE, and made our way back to Island Harbour to Cote Mer, where we immediately became smitten with the breeze and the beautiful view of the beach & water.  
Walkway to Cote Mer from the parking lot
DH ordered a Ting while I opted for a glass of sauvignon blanc and we decided to share the conch tempura.  The chef sent out an amuse-bouche of thinly shaved smoked mahi-mahi over a thinly shaved slice of lemon, served on a flatbread.  I am decidedly not a fan of smoked fish of any kind, but even I enjoyed the way the lemon played off the smoked flavor.  You know that your conch is fresh when you can hear the chef hammering away at it in the kitchen, and before long we were digging in.  There were three pieces of conch tempura, each one about the size of your average chicken finger, but less thick, accompanied by a wonderful salad made of cucumber, red pepper, celery and fresh mint, drizzled with olive oil & lemon.  Everything was delicious and we were thrilled with the sense of discover that comes when you try out a new-to-you restaurant.  The breeze off the water was always ample, with Scilly Cay in the background and waving palm trees in the foreground.  Despite not finishing the last few bites of salad and conch we decided to throw caution to the wind and order a dessert after lunch, and even less out of character, we ordered the Cuban chocolate biscuit.  Neither DH nor I am a big fan of chocolate (yes, I know--the horror), but the proprietor suggested it and we were feeling agreeable.  Even we thought it was very well done, so I imagine that a chocolate lover would be in heaven.  We never did figure out the "biscuit" part of the description, as it seemed to be two layers of mousse of varying chocolate intensity and denseness, all on top of a heavenly piquant raspberry reduction.  Alas, we could only finish about 2/3 of it, and it wasn't especially large to begin with, but it was all we could manage.  One small bottle of water brought our tab to US $45, plus additional tip.  We definitely intend to go back, either for dinner or lunch. 
Lovely Cote Mer with gorgeous view
Caught reading.  Again!
We originally thought we might stop off at Gwen's after lunch, but the thought of more food or beverage was a little too much, so we left Cote Mer around 3:00 and headed back in a westerly direction.  Long drawn to the architecture and mystique of Cap Juluca, and having read many wonderful things about that august property and its beach,  we turned off the main road and headed there across the salt pond.  We stopped at the little gate and asked for directions to the public access to the beach, which they gave to us with a smile, so we found the car park and walked through the shrubbery to find ourselves stepping onto the sands of…Cove Bay.  The windy end, opposite from Smokey's.  It was lovely and windblown and wild, and we were glad to see it, but it wasn't the quiet calm of Maundays Bay that we were looking for.  Not wanting to poke around on private property to get to Maundays, we made a few photos and left.  (NB: I have since learned from TA's Anguilla forum how to get to Maundays Bay, so we will give it another try before we leave.)
Picante Restaurant
After that we headed home for a quick swim at Barnes before cleaning up for dinner at Picante.  It's hard to imagine now, in retrospect, exactly what our hesitation about trying Picante was two years ago during our first visit to Anguilla.  People whose advice I had come to trust certainly raved about it.  But now we're dedicated Picante fans--we love the vibe, the casual picnic table atmosphere, the bright paint, the low light, the prompt service, the tasty food & drinks, and especially the outstanding value it provides for a night out in Anguilla. 

That night we ordered guacamole to go with the complimentary chips & salsa, and then settled into our passionfruit (me) and serrano pepper (DH) margaritas.  Mine was frozen and could have easily passed for dessert while his was a spicy little on the rocks number that was perfect as an appetizer. We shared the platter of Picante special tacos with ground beef, which is a traditional hard shell taco, with a soft shell taco wrapped around it, with a buffering layer of beans and guacamole in between the two shells.  Even though the platter was just two tacos and some cole slaw, we couldn't quite eat everything on top of the chips & salsa we'd been hoovering into our mouths.  Still, it seemed like a good idea to order one more round of drinks and the frozen lemon-lime pudding.  We left the table literally groaning and clutching our bellies.  It was a stupid, fool thing to do.  And we can't wait to go back!

Scilly Cay in lovely Island Harbour

The windblown end of Cove Bay

This wasn't even one of the larger splashes by the point.