There are plenty of good reasons for that ranging from simple beach shacks, to beach shacks that serve gourmet food to BBQ shacks (known as lolos), to ethnic foods such as local Creole places, Eastern, Indian, Chinese, and yes, even pizza. And of course the grande dame of the foodstyle there, the Boulevard in Grand Case which is known as the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean.
I am also sad to report that American fast food is taking over on the Dutch side: Burger King, Dominos, Subway, and Kentucky Fried Chicken are all available. Ask me if we'll EVER go there? Sigh.
I realize some people like all inclusives for drinking purposes, but when you can buy a very good bottle of French wine for $6 or a bottle of liquor for about $9 - what's the need? You just have to learn to buy your wine on the French side and your liquor on the Dutch side.
Our first trips there we ate out all the time. As I mentioned before I had agreed if we got to go for two weeks this time, I would do some cooking - and I did! Very simple things like my BBQ chicken breasts in the crockpot while on the beach, marinara sauce and spaghetti at Mr. Helen's request. I made grilled polenta and a huge pot of rice and peas that we ate for almost 10 days lol! He grilled steaks one night and we had a baked potato and salad then a couple days later had a Chef's salad with the leftover steak meat. We ate eggs or just fruit and bread for breakfasts and of course, lots of baguette and crackers with delicious Mimolette cheese.
This was my first time really grocery shopping on the island so I asked our friends where to go and they suggested the Grande Marche (translated = Big Supermarket) over on the Dutch side. The dollar to guilder is a better value than the dollar to euro and there are so many Americans that stay on that side that all the price tags on the shelves showed both types of money. There were some things that surprisingly I found very similar in price to what I pay here and then there were others that were a lot more expensive. The cheap liquor made up for the expensive stuff LOL!
To get to the Grand Marche we got to drive on one of the only stretches of "highway" in St. Martin. Seriously it's basically one major road around the island and I've told Mr. Helen many times I feel like the cars are like ants marching in a line. You get nowhere fast and drives are described in time there, not miles.
On our first night there, which was a Sunday when many restaurants are closed, we went to the Lolo. On our last night there, we went back to the Lolo. When I tell you that you can get a huge plate of food and a couple of soft drinks or Ti Punch (a tiny rum drink) for $20 for two people - and it's GOOD you understand why we go there! The Lolos grill everything: ribs, chicken, lobster, fish, etc. Then they have all sorts of side dishes you can choose from, including my favorite plantain.
Next post: Our favorite Creole restaurant and an organic, self-sustaining farm restaurant!