The only day that we really found weather to be an obstacle was when we visited St. George. We spent much of the day wandering in and out of stores, picking them as much for their rain refuge as for their wares. And of course, we kept thinking of reasons to stop in for coffee or tea or a snack to escape the precipitation.
One of the better choices was Temptations, a nice little ice cream parlor over on York Street in St. George's. Other than having their restroom temporarily on the fritz (bad timing...), it was a nice visit.
Temptations also is a little cafe, not just an ice cream shoppe.
Favorite Dish: Well, let's just say it was
I C E C R E A M
Good stuff indeed. I had one of my favorites, pistachio creme. Sara chose a coconut that was very good as well. Bonnie went for hot chocolate instead of ice cream, also a perfect choice on a wet day.
If you're looking at their non-ice cream menu, Temptations features such items as a house special chicken curry pie, along with lots of sandwich choices.
If you happen to get the munchies before or after your trip to Crystal Cave/Fantasy Caverns, the little Cafe Ole onsite is a decent place for a lunch-snack.
Friendly folks, pretty decent fast food and fairly inexpensive. Let me say friendly folks again, SUPER nice staff working there.
Now, if you want to eat a larger meal, it's only about 0.5 km from this area on over to the Swizzle Inn, so keep that in mind.
Favorite Dish: This will be silly, but this was one of the first places that advetised plain old iced tea on the menu. Not "sweet tea", but just iced tea. I was missing it and lapped my large tea up quickly.
Hot dogs, burgers, fries and such. Grilled cheese sandwiches, too. I think they also had a fish sandwich of some kind.
We didn't eat here either, but I've been told by several folks that it was very good. It's one of the newer places out at the Dockyards. And BTW, I know there is a chain of restaurants in America called "The Bonefish Grill"...I think it's part of the same bunch that does Carrabbas Italian, etc. I don't think THIS establishment is associated with the American chain.
Basically, they have a restaurant and bar combo, and for the dining, you can either eat outside (under an awning or umbrellas) or indoors, depending on the winds and temperature.
Favorite Dish: Again, didn't eat here. But, they advertise themselves as serving "reasonably priced seafood, top-grade meat, and pasta dishes.
The separate bar looked like a nice place to wet your whistle out on the Dockyards as well.
The Lobster Pot is a long-time Hamilton eatery, featuring the best seafood offerings. As you'd guess from the name, they do feature lobster dishes, which seems a bit different given that they bring most of them in from Maine. But, I'm told their lobster is fresh and perfectly prepared.
The Pot has quite a few other nautical offerings, and if I remember, they had steaks as well. So if you're looking for anything from mussels to swordfish, and about everything in between, the Lobster Pot is a tried and true Bermuda Classic.
Favorite Dish: Everything is good at the Lobster Pot, and the reason is that "only the best goes into the pot", per their slogan. They use the freshest ingredients and have been doing this seafood gig for a long, long time.
Among the better appetizers are "Fritz's Famous Fish Chowder" and the lobster bisque. On the chowder, I recommend adding just a bit of the sherry pepper sauce (HOT enough to garner Al Gore's attention re the climate...) and maybe a teaspoon and a half of the Gosling's Black Seal Rum. Umm Ummm.
For a main course, fresh fish is a great choice. You can choose the fish of the day, or several other offerings, and can have it prepared a variety of ways. I chose the Wahoo Steak (my dad caught a huge wahoo in Bermuda when we lived here, and we still have that photo on my parents' wall, so I ordered wahoo in honor of dear old dad), and I had it done "island style", pan fried and topped with bananas and almonds. Bonnie did the local rockfish, and went with the simple "broiled with lemon butter" prep.
Among the other great items on the menu were:
THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE, a combination of shrimps, scallops and fish, broiled or deep-fried and served with tartar sauce or lemon butter
THE SEAFOOD LOVER'S FEAST, ½ Maine lobster, mussels, crab claws, clams and shell on
shrimps, simmered in a saffron stock with vegetables
THE ARGUS TOWER CONNECTION, broiled wahoo, tuna & dolphin all in one boat, topped with tomato and glazed with hollandaise sauce
I also remember that the Lobster Pot had a very nice and tempting dessert menu. Sara went with the chocolate mousse...excellent.
Beethoven's is actually two different restaurants housed in the exact same space. For breakfast and lunch, it's pretty informal with a menu geared towards casual dining...maybe not casual pricing of course, this IS Bermuda...but casual dining. But at night, they apparently add candles to the tables, lower the lighting and turn into what Lonely Planet's Bermuda Guide actually called "perhaps the most romantic dining spot on the West End". Hmmm, I'll have to think about it I guess, we were there for lunch, and had burgers and salads, along with drinks. More drinks you say? This IS Bermuda. ;)
OK, let's also have a little chat about lunch versus breakfast. I suppose the same issue applies at lunch versus dinner. These cats are pretty set in their ways (not just at Beethoven, but in Bermuda proper) about strict times. Case in point, we wanted to get a quick lunch out at dockyards, so we walk in and seat ourselves (per the sign out front...remember, it doesn't turn into maitre'd-land until after dark). It's perhaps 11:50 am. They bring me the breakfast menu, and when we ask the waitress if we can't get the lunch menu, she points out that it's "not noon yet". So, we got up and left for about fifteen minutes, did a spot of shopping in the Dockyards shopping "mall" area, and then returned to Beethoven. We walked in, sat at exactly the same table that we had some 15 minutes earlier, and presto... it's lunchtime. Just like magic. They weren't nasty or anything, just quite adamant about 11:50 am being breakfast and 12:05 pm being lunch.
But, the food at Beethoven is very good, as is the service. So, synchronize your watches to be sure of your exact Atlantic Standard or Daylight time moment, and head over to Beethoven.
In the "STEREOTYPES EXIST BECAUSE THEY'RE TRUE" department, I found out later that Beethoven is owned and operated by two Swiss gentlemen. Switzerland = clocks = caring intensely about exactly what time it is. Now it all makes sense...kind of.
Favorite Dish: The breakfast menu (see above) looked pretty good, but we weren't in the mood for brekkie. They had all sorts of omelets, fresh fruit, breads/scones, etc. Also, there was a nice list of Belgian waffles and other pastries.
For lunch, it was much like a "classy pub" menu, with a few upgrades. I did see some steaks and chops available, along with some higher-end seafood items. We were eating light, so I had one of their ostrich burgers, medium well, with all the trimmings. Good good good, and although I'm not one to stick my head in the sand, I hear it's better for your heart that good old beefsteak. ;) As for my wife and daughter, they were on "soup and caesar salad mode". All nice and fresh, and well-prepared.
For dinner, they add the top-quality angus steaks, duck a l'orange and such.
Hey, going back to the lunchtime burgers, Beethoven had quite a "collection" of choices. They had the standard beefsteak, they had ostrich, they had a fish burger, and they also had a "Portuguese burger". When asked about the Portuguese burger, they said that it was made primarily of the classic Portuguese sausage (whose name is presently escaping me), ground and cooked with spices and filler to produce the "burger". Sounded great, but I didn't have my Prilosec in hand, so I went with the Big Bird Burger instead.
We spent a morning and early afternoon out at Horseshoe Bay Beach, on Bermuda's south coast. When it came time for lunch, we went up to the little Horseshoe Beach "cafe", which was really just a fast food stand. We'd picked an EXCELLENT day to come to Horseshoe. Based on the advice our our b&b hosts, we came on a day when there were ZERO cruise ships docked anywhere in Bermuda. Boat people tend to flock to Horseshoe and the other Bermuda beaches, inundating them with humanity. So, being at Horseshoe on a down day was great. We had a chance to chat with the guys and gals running the cafe, and they were so friendly and charming. They seemed to really like us because we WEREN'T cruisers.
Nothing special about the food here, it's simple and well prepared. Price is higher than you'd ever pay back home, but not bad for Bermuda. And, this is the kind of place where you go sit out back on a patio while they're fixing your food. And when it's ready, the cashier lady walks out and says "Hey Pete, your lunch is ready". :)
Favorite Dish: Just a hamburger stand....
They had hot dogs, burgers, chicken strips and I think I saw fish and chips. Pretty sure they had their version of fish chowder on the menu, too. My girls did burgers and I had a hot dog with fries. Hot and tasty, a nice little lunch before heading back out for a few more rays.
ONE OTHER NOTE... the Horseshoe Cafe is attached to a public shower facility for Horseshoe, so besides a place to get a coke or a hog dog, you can go in and shower the salt water from yourself. Well maintained and clean, too...especially for a public beach.
They also rent beach equipment from a stand next to the cafe. Umbrellas, boogie boards, etc.
Didn't actually eat here, but a family staying at our bed and breakfast said it was a good choice. Harry and Marlie Powell, owners of the b&b, also recommend the Onion.
Checking its menu and prices, it seems to have a lot in common with the Hog Penny, food-wise. However, it does turn more into a rock and roll joint in the evenings. So, if pub food is what you want, and then you want to cut loose a bit, maybe you should try the Pickled Onion instead of the Hog Penny. Both have been part of the Hamilton scene for a while.
The Hog Penny is one of Hamilton's historic pubs. They've been serving happy customers for about fifty years, which means that they were here and cooking back when I lived in Bermuda. Being a little kid, I didn't hang out in pubs much, though.
The Hog Penny name comes from original coins used in Bermuda that were called Hogges or Hog Pennies. They had a picture of a hog on them, hence "The Hog Penny". Sometime I wish America would go back to putting buffalos or hogs or whatever on OUR money. I'm kind of tired of politicians. :)
The Penny has a nice beer menu and serves up tall schooners of Brit beer, along with quite a few of the local rum specialities. Their food is quintessential British pub food, and it's "smashing", to borrow a phrase from the Poms. :)
Unlike some of the other pubs, the Hog Penny is less raucous and more reserved. On some evenings, they'll have a guitar duo adding music, but it's no disco. You'll like the Hog... we did.
Favorite Dish: I decided to go full-scale Brit pub, and had the bangers and mash. Local pork sausages with mashed potatoes and gravy. Darn good, quite filling, and just what I wanted that night.
Continuing the "lets be Brits" theme, Bonnie and Sara shared a plate of English fish and chips, also perfect.
Located in downtown Hamilton, in a second story abode at 69 Front Street, Flanagan's advertises itself as Bermuda's only IRISH pub. I can't vouch for the complete truth of that statement, and I'm not totally sure Flanagan's is a genuine IRISH pub. Sure, it's got plenty of shamrocks and Irish-themed food and drinks. But, then again, so does the Bennigan's chain in America. :) But...
Flanagan's is pretty good for a quick bit or a light meal. Drinks are decent as well, along with a good selection of beers. The BEST thing about Flanagans is that it has more extended hours, even on Sunday, than do some other establishments in Hamilton. If you're in the mood for a food snack at 2:30 pm, Flanagan's is your ticket.
For some reason, the folks who owned the B&B we stayed at did NOT care for Flanagans. I think they felt that it was less of a pub and more of a thumping music club. That could be true later in the evening, we weren't there at 10 pm or anything. I was also warned that the service wasn't so good, and I can happily report that such warnings were not confirmed. During our stay in Bermuda, we visited Flanagans twice...once for a late Sunday lunch, and once for just a drink... and the service was great. Friendly waiters, and they took the time to talk abit with us about Cricket, which was on the big screen TVs. They had me almost wishing we'd be in town next week for the big Somerset vs St. Georges match.
Flanagans also advertises an all-day English breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, black pudding and fries). Some say it's great for a hangover, but I have to say... me + black pudding wouldn't be a good mix if I was hung over. :^/
Favorite Dish: Some of the items are pub grub... burgers, fish and chips, etc. Others could fit more into the American fern bar genre... chicken wings, deep fried mushrooms (they had some silly name like Leprechauns Gold). You get the idea, not grand cuisine. Not really even charming pub food. But, it was well prepared, reasonably (for Bermuda) inexpensive. And it was OPEN when we wanted to eat or drink. Going back to the food, I saw someone at another table checking out the Steak and Guinness Pie.
Gotta admit that the pint of Bass Ale one afternoon really hit the spot. Oh, that brings us to one other thing... aside from the eatery, there is an honest to goodness bar back closer to the staircase. Quite a few local types seem to hang out there, watching TV, chatting up the barmaid and downing beer. They were friendly when we passed by going into and out of the eating part of Flanagans.
I'll go ahead and label Bouchee as "French" because that's what THEY say in the Free "Key to Bermuda Restaurants" guide. And, I guess Bouchee does SOUND French.
But, I'd say it's more a local place, as they include a lot of local seafood options for dinner. Perhaps they do add a bit of continental flair to presentation, but in reality, it's quite understated. And, I'd say that Bouchee also has a little Caribbean flair to their recipes as well. It's just a good place to eat. They are especially proud to state that Bouchee is "100% Bermudian owned and operated".
Dress at Bouchee is "Smart Casual", meaning that you don't wear shorts at dinner time, or jeans at any time. Thankfully, like MOST Bermuda places now, ::I:: didn't have to wear a jacket.
NOTE... this restaurant used to be called Monty's and THAT was a long-time Hamilton eatery. Based on past and present information I've checked online, Bouchee is a different place than Monty's, so comparing old Monty reviews to Bouchee now doesn't give you a good feel for the place.
Favorite Dish: The soups were quite good... my daughter had a variation on crab bisque that was very tasty, and Bonnie had a "Cream of White Mushroom" that she said was the best she'd ever had. I opted for my first go-round on Bermuda Fish Chowder, and I discovered an instant attraction to this spicy concoction.
My daughter and wife then followed up soup with salad as their main course, both choosing a pear-walnut salad that was excellent.
I chose one of the evening specials, a local rockfish dish. Rockfish is basically what we Floridians would call grouper. Excellent, well-prepared and fresh fresh fresh.
Hands down one of the most popular eating establishments locals love to go to.The staff and owners are very laid back and friendly. Some might say a little too friendly but that is why most people make this a gathering place. - Sorry as of April 2008 this fav local haunt closed its doors for ever.. I'll be updating more so keep a look out for some new places to visit.
Favorite Dish: Seafood,especially the losbter therminador. A tad pricey but way better than at most of Bermuda's more upscaled and well-known restaurants.
In St.George, visit White Horse Tavern, conventiently on the square. You can stop for lunch or dinner, after visiting the model of the Deliverance that started the population and popularity of Bermuda.
Favorite Dish: Fish is excellent here.
'Bermuda's oldest pub and restaurant and home of the rum swizzle'.
Outdoor patios on two levels.
Non smoking / kids welcome.
Live entertainment all summer.
'Swizzle Inn, Swagger Out'
The 'wallpaper' in this restaurant is actually the hand-written scribblings of generations of past patrons. I wouldn't say there's any room left on the walls but you may also record your thoughts in the guestbooks (or look in past ones for evidence of the earlier YOU).
Favorite Dish: I've only eaten there twice and for lunch - but do try their fish chowder with a shot of Black Seal rum.
The Hog Penny Restaurant and Pub in downtown Hamilton claims to be the original inspiration of for the "Cheers" pub of TV fame in Boston Massachusetts.
It opened in 1957 and is Hamilton's oldest licensed establishment and part of the dark and stormy trail.
It is open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and dinner is 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sample menu items and prices include:
Appetizers $7.00 to $14.00 (warm crab dip is $13.00)
Salads $7.50 to 9.00 (Caesar salad $ 7.50)
Burgers $13.00 to $16.00 (Hog Penny burger $13.50)
Indian $15.00 to 21.00 (Lamb is $21.00)
Specialities $20.00 to market price) (chicken is $24.00)
Favorite Dish: English style fish and chips were made with grouper and are served just right.
The Pickled Onion, open since 1999, is considered a "casual upscale" restaurant with waterfront views and a balcony along with a covered patio for a wide variety of seating.
They consider the high season as May through October and during this time there is live entertainment 7 days a week.
The P.O. is open for lunch (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) & dinner ( 5:30 p.m. to 10 or 11 p.m.)
Happy hour is 5 pm to 7 pm daily
Any martini is $8.00
pizzas from $13.00
salads from $7.50
burger from $ 11.00
wine by the glass from $5.00
Favorite Dish: The personal pizzas come with a variety of toppings.