The Lookout: Shirley Heights Pub
We took shelter in this pub when it rained. Apparently in the evening, they have a steel drum band and it is a nice place to go for dinner and drinks. Behind the gun platform is the site of a flagstaff that once sent signals all around Antigua.
Even though the CFTC historical architect drew restoration plans, the historic planners regret that the building was reconstructed as a profit making investment, the main problem being the use of dormers and the battlement built on where another section further north had been designated. The site is still a fine tourist attraction, mainly because of two of the best views (of the Atlantic and of English Harbour) to be had in the island.
Favorite Dish: Some of the other cruisers took the chance to get some food (we were to have a fairly long tour), but I was afraid we wouldn't get our food in time to eat it before we had to leaveRelated to:
- Food and Dining
- Water Sports
- Arts and Culture
Barefoot by the Sea: Good Beachside Lunch
What could be better than lunch on the beach with your toes in the sand? Barefoot is a casual restuarant on the beach where the floor is sand and the vibe is relaxed.
My wife and I enjoyed a few lunches here as well as dinner one night. The food here is very good quality. The service is on "island time" but who cares you're on vacation. The menu has a variety of food items: jamaican beef patties, quesadillas, pulled pork, jerk chicken....good stick to the ribs food. There wasn't a single item here that we didn't enjoy.
Service here was friendly and with a smile. The Rum Punches were definitely flowing as they kept your glasses constantly full of the tropical concoction.
The only downside here were the birds that waited for the slightest opportunity to grab your leftovers or squak for food. This was a bit unnerving as my wife has a major bird phobia so it was my job to keep the feathered friends away from us.
Favorite Dish: The chicken quesadilla, beef patties and the pulled pork are the best options in my opion. Their hummus appetizer is always consistently good. Chicken can be on the dry side but good flavor.
Courtyard Bistro: Good Cheeseburgers, Nachos and Roti
The Courtyard Bistro was another quick serve food option at the Sandals Grande Antigua Resort. They has a variety of sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken and even some nachos with cheese. They have daily specials as well.
We came here several times during our stay for soem nachso, hot dog, burger,chicken and my favorite their special vegetable roti. My wife enjoyed comeing here to grab some chicken to feed to the many local stray cats that lived on/around the resort. The cats seemed to know it was time to follow Liz if you want to get fed. It was sad but we felt better feeding them what we could.
The Drunken Duck: Good Pub Grub
The Drunken Duck Pub was one of our favorite places to grab some food at the resort. The food here is consistantly good; thanks to Chef David.
The Pub's decore is typical pub style with dark wood accents. There are pub tables, bar seating and tables in an elevated dining room area. There is also a seperate room with billiard tables. My wife and I often came here for pre or post dinner drinks, a snack before dinner, dessert or just a good pub dinner.
The menu here has changed from our visit in 2012; definitely for the better. I was incredibly happy at some of the new choices on the menu and how good the quality of ingredients were. Soem of our favorites here were the Fish and Chips, Chilli Nachos, Steak Sandwich, Mac n Cheese, Pork Ribs, Chicken Wings and the Peanut Butter French Toast.
The Steak Sandwich was tops in my book. It was served on a open pita style bread with thin slices of steak, cheese, lettuce and sauce. Every time I ordered it; it was incredibly good. The side dish of mac and cheese is out of this world good (not as good as my wife's but pretty close). My wife and I loved the Peanut Butter French Toast. It sounded weird at first but it was oh so good. It was basically a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made with French Toast; deep fried, covered with sauce and ice cream. Very rich, very filling and so good....definitely can't fisnih it even with two people.
We had a nice conversation with the Chef during one of our meals and told him how pleased we were with the changes he has made since coming on staff. He and my wife and too much fun chatting about their love of England that the manager keep given him looks to move on.
Soy: Not the Best Sushi Bar
When I heard that the resort had a sushi bar; I just had to try it out. The sushi bar is in the same building as Kimono's and is a no reservation restaurant at the resort. The sushi bar is a small venue with limited seating so we arrived just as they opened to ensure we got a seat.
We were greated by the chefs and handed menus. We ordered a few rolls; the California, spicy tun and crunchy crab roll. There were some premade appetizers sitting on an iced block for us to take at our leisure. I had a few of the tuna appetizers; they were just ok.
Now here is where the dissapointment begins. The chef took out a pre made roll wrapped in plastic wrap from the fridge below the bar and sliced up our order. Are you kidding me? Pre-made rolls? Then here comes the best part; the rolls were room temperature annd some parts of it were warm despite it comeing from a fridge. The only decent riolls were the California rolls which were not warm and tasted fresher than the others. We left dissapointed and decided to go to the pub for some drinks and dessert.
KImono's: Good Teppanyaki/Hibachi
Kimonos' is one of the reservation only restaurants at Sandal's Grande Antigua. The restaurant itself is located on the Caribbean side of the resort in it's own building. Inside the building is the Sushi bar to the left (no reservations needed); the bar and loung area on the first floor and upstairs are the dining areas.
My wife and I ate at Kimonos' the night of the resort's White Party (all guests dressed in white attire and with special events happeing on property). We gave our name to the hostess and made ourselves comfortable in the bar/lounge area. While we waited a resort photographer came in and took some nice picture of us in front of the brightly colored kimonos that decorated the walls.
We waited about 10 minutes to be lead upstairs to our dinig room. We were seated with eight other couples around the griddle. We were all handed menus and our drink orders were taken. Both my wife and I ordered a glass of Sapporo for our beverages. The menu consisted of several choices of soup, appetizers and salads as well as what the chef would be preparing in front of us.
My wife chose to have a salad and some vegetable tempura for her appetizer. I decided to skip the salad and have some eggrolls instead. After our appetizers were served we were introduced to our chef for the evening. The chef asked if there were any food allergies or Vegetarians in the group to which there were none.
He then began to prepar the food for our meal. He began with a shrimp dish with pepers and other vegetables; which was excellent. The next dish was salmon with a spicey glaze; I love it but my wife does not eat fish so I had her portion. The third dish was a delcious beef stirfry with a spicy brown sauce with mushrooms and vegetables which was incredibly good. A side of fried rice was served in a bowl and was the only item that I found to be lacking in flavor.
We all had a fun time watching the chef flip his knives and spatulas in the air and arial tricks with the food. We sat with a nice group of couples and had a fun time talking.
Bayside: Lunch Buffet with a Beach View
Bayside was one of my favorite lunch places on the resort. The restaurant is situated right on the beach with incredible views of the water. This is one of the lunch options on the property and serves a buffet lunch.
The dining area is open air so expect to be warm but there is a nice breeze off the water. Despite the very high temperature we never felt as if the heat was unbearable with the breeze and ceiling fans. The buffet is set up with various stations and different types of cuisines daily. Some days there was Asian with custom order sushi and Asian specialties. One day had Carribbean specialties and another had Mexican. On a daily basis they have a made to order pasta bar, meat station, assorted salads, cold cuts, fruit, vegetable dishes, desserts and breads.
I really enjoyed their Asian themed buffet. Liz and I so enjoyed the custom amde sushi made right in front of us to our specifications. They had a nice Pad Thai and a noodle dish with crispy shrimp that was quite nice. The pasta station was also very good and they had a spicy red sauce with olives that I really found to be tasty. My wife was happy that they had a large variety of fruit to choose from; in particular a large quanity of her favorite(Mango).
Service here is very good and friendly. During one of our lunches they had a local musician who sang songs as he played the guitar. They were funny songs and a bit off color but we had a great laugh. Drink service is very quick as the bar is right outside of the restaurant. Great view and great food made this a nice choice for lunch.
Manager's Cocktail party and Reception: A Nice Return Guest Perk
One of the perks of being a return guest at Sandals is the Manager's Cocktail Party and Reception. The party begins with a cocktail hour with passed Hors d'oeuvres and an open bar. This is a great way to mingle with other guests as well as staff. We had several staff members that remembered us from the previous year and two in particular who wanted my wife's shoes.
The sit down dinner is held in one of the ballrooms in the Med section of the resort. The meal they provide is always superb with some incredible selections. This year I was quite impressed with the offerings; in particulat the filet mignon and seafood soup that was chocked full of delicious shellfish.
We were fortunate to have a table with a few of our new friends from the pool as well as the Hotel Manager who we loved chatting with throughout our eight day stay at the resort. We did feel a bit bad throughout the course of the evening as we did chat with him the most out of those at the table.
During the reception the managers recognized loyal customers, handed out some awards, recognized guest birthdays, anniversaries and honeymoons and gave out gift bags. Gift bags included a nice bottle of Appleton Rum; yum.
One of the things I love about this party is that there is a dicounted souvenir photo to buy at the end of the evening. The photographer took a photo of us before we entered the ballroom and it was displayed in a silver frame by the end of dessert in the main entranceway. It was $25 for purchase and we always love a souvenir photo of us on vacation.
Bayside: Dinner by the Beach
Despite this being our second stay at Sandals; we never ate at Bayside for dinner our first visit. After hearing that the menu had been re-vamped we decided to make this our first dinner of our 2013 trip.
We arrived a little after the restaurant opened and were seated at a table for two on the beach edge. This was a nice secluded spot; very private with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach next to us. I was impressed at the menu offering it definitely was improved from our last visit and I was eager to try the food. My wife and I both found some appetizers and entrees to suit our tastes and placed the order with our server. In the meantime; water and drinks were brought to the table along with a basket of fresh bread.
My appetizer was the goat cheese profiteroles which were amazing. It's funny that I loved them so much as my wife had to convince me to order them; she knew they would be right for me. The flavor of the cheese was excellent; warm and gooey inside their pastry shells. My wife's appetizer proved to be dissapointing. She ordered the onion soup which was flavorless.
Our main courses were both pleasing. My lamb was fall off the fork tender with a delicious sauce. My wife oved her peppered steak that was oozing with butter. This was indeed very good. After such a meal; neither one of us was terribly hungry for dessert so we decided to call it quits and head off in search of some after dinner drinks.
Hemingways Caribbean Restaurant & Cafe: Rum Punch & Cold Beer
Hemmingway's a local bar/restaurant in St. John's overlooking St. Mary's Street; just steps away from the main shopping area. After some serious shopping my wife and I decided to stop in to have a nice cold drink. Hemingway's has a reputation for good food, good drinks and local hospitality.
As I imagined it would be...the place was hopping. The large veranda was jamming with diners munching on some tasty local fare such as conch and local fish, We decided to have a seat at the bar and enjoy some cool drinks. I chose to have the local beer; a Wadadli. Wadadli is a crisp light lager; perfect for drinking in the tropical heat. My wife chose to have one of Hemingway's famous Rum Punches made with the local Cavalier rum. From the first sip; she was in heaven...Liz loves nothing more than a well made Rum Punch.
We had a good time here people watching, enjoying our drinks and chatting with the bartender. I would definitely suggest that anyone in the area stop here for a drink or two. I wish we were hungry though; the food looked awesome.
My wife and I recently returned here in 2013 for one of their tasty rum punches; still as good as the first time.
Mario's: Good Italian Food
Mario's is the Italian Restaurant on the grounds of Sandals Grande Antigua Resort. My wife and I dined here twice during our 2012 trip. We usually don't go out of our way to eat at an Italian restaurant while on vacation because frankly my wife cooks it better than most restaurants we have visited. What brought us here was word of their antipasto bar. This intrigued us enough to search it out for dinner.
As we entered the restaurant we were greated by the Manager who offered us a glass of champagne. From there we were escorted to our table and handed menus. The menu had a large selection of pasta, fish, meat and chicken dishes; some with a Caribbean twist on the original. For our entree I chose the Osso Bucco and my wife chose the Seafood Risotto. Our waitress informed us to go ahead and help ourselves to the antipasto bar.
Wow, was this an incredible display of food. They had every sort of hot and cold Italian appetizer you could want; olives, cheeses, breads, salads, cold pastas, mussels, fried calamari, seafood salad, stuffed mushrooms, meat balls, cold cuts, roasted peppers and more. My wife and I filled a small plate of our favorites to take back to the table. Everything was excellent; I in particular loved the mushrooms and calamari. We had to leave some room for dinner so we left half of our antipasto untouched unfortunately.
Our entrees arrived shortly after we were done with the antipasto. My Osso Bucco was very good and I enjoyed the whipped potato that came with it. My wife nejoyed her Seafood Risotto and said it was a nice mix of Lobster, Shrimp and scallops.
After our meal we were just too full to enjoy their signature dessert; chocolate lava cake. We tried to remeber this when we ate here again but we barely finished our entrees that times as well.
Barefoot on the Beach: Dinner on the Beach
Barefoot on the Beach is one of Sandal's Beachside restaurants. The restaurant itself is in the "sand". Tables and chairs are configured under a shack-like roof to give it a beach shack sort of feel. We ate here only once for dinner on our arrival night with our friends Bob and Cindy in the midst of Tropical Storm Raphael. Despite it being an outdoor restaurant we were virtually dry thanks to the roof over our heads.
We arrived on time and were seated at a table for four as we were expecting our two friends to arrive. They did arrive put with two other people in tow, so we had to change our table to a larger one. We were handed menus and our drink order was taken. By this time we realized that our friends brought some people they met at the resort with them who were horrible. The husband was fall over drunk, rude and obnoxious; yelling out profanities and just being a jerk. His wife seemed fine but was obviously embarrased by his behavior. We endured a meal with this bad behavior and then hightailed it out of there as soon as possible before I decked the guy or my wife stabbed him with a fork.
Food here is American with some local items and flavors. Amazingly the service here was excellent despite the Tropical Storm that was pounding us with rain, thunder, lightening and wind and a particular table mates bad behavior. My favorite dish of the meal was the Lamb shank which was quite a large portion and very tender. Appetizers were good with some Asianstyle beef and a crab cake. Liz found her steak and shrimp to be just okay, nothing to rave about.
We didn't have dessert since we were anxious to escape the rude man at our table.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Mario's: Breakfast Buffet
Mario's serves a daily breakfast buffet. This was the closest restaurant to our suite and also the only buffet with air conditioning so we often ate here for breakfast.
The service here is very attentive. From the moment we passed through the doors we were offered a Mimosa and then escorted to our table. When on vacation, we love starting our morning with a nice Mimosa or Bellini. The buffet here has a large selection of items: pancakes, french toast, breads, cereals, oatmeal, plantains, assorted juices, bacon, sausage, eggs, ham, cold cuts, cheeses, fruit and pastries.
I found some of my favorite items to be the french toast, bacon, potatoes, plantains and their apple danish. Everything was very fresh and well made. My wife's only complaint was that they served imitation maple syrup; which she cannot abide by. Fortunately there was plenty of cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on the french toast to make it nice and sweet.
Good service and nice food made this a good breakfast choice; plus the nice cool air conditioned air.
Bella Napoli: Good Pizza
Bella Napoli is the pizza joint at Sandals Grande Antigua. They serve a variety of pizzas and sandwiches not too far from the main pool area.
My wife and I enjoy a good pizza snack and found ourselves here a few times to split a small pie. Their pizzas are personal sized so they are perfect to share for a snake or a whole one if you want it as your meal. We both preferred the Margherita pizza and it was less greasy than the pepperoni. The place can get a bit crowded and orders seem to take a bit of time so we usually had our Butlers deliver the pizzas to us at poolside.
Cafe de Paris: Great Pastry, Smoothies and Cappucino
Cafe de Paris is a bakery/cafe on the property of Sandals Grande Antigua. The Cafe serves coffee, tea, cappucino, specialty coffees and smoothies throughout the day and evening. They also serve pastry, cookies, crepes, belgian waffles, ice cream and cakes.
My wife and I usually made this place a stop after breakfast for a smoothie for me and a cappucino for her. The smoothies were quite good and came in different flavors daily. My wife loved their cappucinos especially their frozen caramel cappucino. I thouroughly enjoyed their banana bread and chocolate chip cookies; very good indeed.
At night when we felt like a sweet treat before bed; this was our place to stop for one of their delicious desserts.
Service here was always friendly and with a smile. The staff here really are exceptional.
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