Carriacou Revisited “Gastronomic Adventures at the Tail End of the Grenadines”
Carriacou is a small island (one of three islands that make up the country of Grenada) which is at the most southerly point of a chain of islands in the Caribbean called “The Grenadines.” The other islands to the north are mainly part of the country known as St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I have been coming to Carriacou for four years now and have witnessed a remarkable improvement in both the service and quality at some of its restaurants. For a different approach to my review of Carriacou’s eating places, I thought I would order my report based on the bus route numbers. First I will start at the centre of the transportation system, the town of Hillsborough.
Hillsborough is a thriving little town where everyone seems to know everyone else. Cars are constantly honking to passersby as a way to say “hello”, and responses are yelled back…there seems to be endless conversations going on everyday. We had two “go to” places in town.
Kayak Café & Juice Bar
Owner Sally does a marvelous job with light meals and the smoothies are amazing. This café is right on the water of Hillsborough harbour – it’s a great place to watch the comings and goings of the ferry that comes in around noon from Grenada. There’s also many fish trawlers and yachts to watch as they anchor for the day or longer. The wait staff are also good fun, led by Christonia who has a super sense of humour, and has no hesitation in giving you a cheeky remark.
Attached to the Mermaid Hotel, this place serves good breakfasts and has interesting features everyday. It is also nicely situated on the water and is open to the trade winds. The owner Leo Joseph has made major improvements to the overall facility and service is very good. My favourite wait person on the whole island works here – Charisse provides the perfect combination of professional service, attentiveness and, most importantly, friendly greetings. I told her she can have a job at anyone of my restaurants if she ever decides to move to Guelph!
There are two other spots to get one of the island specialties – chicken roti. Either go to Ann & Sharons on the main street or wait for the “Lunchy” van to pass by and grab one of her rotis.
Bus Route #11
Green Roof Inn
This little Inn has one of the best situated dining rooms I’ve ever seen. There’s something about its design and aspect, with palm trees and sunset views that just seems to make it perfect. Get Suzanne to whip you up a special cocktail and then order their lobster dinner – you won’t be disappointed.
The Round House
This is the top restaurant on the island. Besides the perfectly round and unique stone dining room, a sort of Hobbit house feel, there is the superb cooking of owner Roxanne. Assisted by her husband Fabian (nicknamed “Shaggy”) this restaurant wouldn’t be out of place in any gastronomically important city. The food is “top shelf” and the service is very good. If you have nothing else, be sure to have Roxanne’s house-made nutmeg ice cream – it’s to die for!
Pizza Meh Heart (in Windward)
Just the name of this place had me sold from day one. And, the pizza is delicious. We went there to see a full moon rise…it was magical. The owner, Tina, has created a thriving little business – she has that right hospitality touch which is so important in the industry.
Bus Route #10
Located in Tyrell Bay the “boaters” harbour, this is one of the “fine dining” places on the island…yet, in Carriacou character, it is also casual. The restaurant does a great job with fresh fish while offering meat-lover specials as well. Owner Kate makes the best bread on the island, giving me enough reason to always come back. Say hello to her dog when you arrive!
Lazy Turtle Pizzeria
One of the busiest places in Carriacou, this is another “boaters” favourite. Perched on the beach overlooking Tyrell Bay, owners Sue & Shayne provide good fare at decent prices. Our waiter, Justin, was excellent; one night we were there when the power went down (not uncommon in Carriacou) and he handled the mini-crisis with aplomb…being in the business myself, I was impressed with his composure.
Off The Hook Bar & Grill
This beach bar became our regular haunt during our two months stay. We were always made to feel welcome by owner Curtis along with server/cook Coleen. If you’re lucky, Curtis will be on the BBQ and grilling some fish. One day we had “stew chicken” made by Coleen which made for a fine lunch. We always enjoyed their rum punches… and it’s located on the best beach in Carriacou. Don’t miss it!
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the best little “rum shack” on the island. Carriacou was once said to have hundreds of these little rum shacks spread out over the island…there are still a lot of them. We often stopped by one for a beer (avoiding the Jack Iron rum…some of which is so high in proof that they are almost lethal, and a fire hazard!). Our favourite, perched up on the top of the hills in Belmont, not far from an old Sugar Mill, is Gail’s Sunset Bar (you could get there by Bus Route #11 if you asked the driver to take you). Owner Gail is one of the warmest ladies you’ll ever meet and the beer is ice cold. It’s definitely worth the hike up to her bar.