Sunset at the restaurant on the beach

japanese cake
We were recently on an island in the Caribbean which has achieved notoriety for the notable disappearance of several young ladies. We are pleased to say that we returned after one week of sun, surf, warm weather and cobalt blue water. It was almost like a real life “ground hog day” experience. Every day much the same as the previous day–same weather, same cobalt blue sea, same fellow in white shorts and tennies greeting us to place our same 4 allotted towels under our allotted palapas (grass huts that provide shade). Having said that, there is no doubt that the beaches are spectacular. 

We had dinner at a restaurant that was literally on the beach. The restaurant specialized in fish–fresh fish to be exact (what other kind would a restaurant advertise?) During the day it is a beach much like any other on the island; with palapas and sun bathers lounging under them. In the evening the lounge chairs are removed and the dining tables and chairs are brought out.  As a matter of fact as we were being seated at our ocean side table another waiter was surreptitiously removing the towels and swimming paraphernalia of a guest who had left them behind unaware of the transformation that occurred to the beach at sunset. There is little that can describe the freedom of sitting at a table with your bare feet planted in cool fine white sand watching the sun sink into the ocean in a display of pastel pinks and blues. The dinner did not disappoint. The appetizer of shrimp kabob on lemon grass  was flavorful and the shrimp were impeccably fresh and succulent. One dish was local grouper, the other was chilean sea bass. The grouper was the better of the two dishes. Chilean sea bass?? We don’t entirely understand the dearth of local fish available on Caribbean islands where fish are literally swimming with the guests just off the beach. But local markets or restaurants do not appear to have any local fish to sell–somehow salmon and tuna do not strike us as local fish.  Someone told us that if we went to a nearby dock in the late afternoon when the fishing boats came in we could buy fish right off the boat. We went to the dock but there were no boats, no fishermen, no fish. Joke on us? We noticed this absence of fish as pervasive to almost all Caribbean islands we have visited (an N of 4). We speculate that fishing may not pay as well as working in the tourism industry, to which we are contributors. In any case, the fish at this restaurant was good and with our bare feet firmly planted in sand not even Anthony Bourdain could not say food served under these conditions “sucks”. Aaaah, the joy of a vacation on a tropical island!

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