I came here for lunch on my first day on Los Roques. I was given a menu but couldn’t find what the two other people in the restaurant were eating, so I pointed at the plates the other costumers had and got the same. The portion was big and on the plate there were meat, rice, French fries and potato mixed with beetroot. It was a good and filling meal for 25 Bs (June 2008). A Pepsi cola was 4 Bs.
The italian turist like to take the aperitive in the bar-restaurant near the new little church on the beach....it's a nice place but it's not cheap...so if u want to have the same scenary, same atmosphere for less...go to a littel shop in the narrow road behind, buy a cold bear and sit onthe piar near the pelican....it's not so up to date, more 'backpacker' but same sunset!
There are many lobster cages in Cayo Pirata, the fishermen place at Los Roques National Park.
The one in the picture was deeper inside the water, completely convered by it.
What you see around is not sea weed... there are million of tiny fishes.
In this picture, in the horizon, the green plants belong to Madrisquí, the key attached to Cayo Pirata by a thin long path of white sand. Maybe you can see this path, also in the horizon of this picture, from the center to the left. Is way too thin, but absolutely safe for walking.
Favorite Dish: After lunch, after eating an 800 grams (less than 2 lbs) lobster, my sister Mariangel came to this spot, laid back, and -floating- took a nap. Seriously, she took a nap.
I asked 3 fishermen that were right there on the shore: "If by any chance the current takes her away, please call me, that I will go get her. She is my only sister, she knows how to float, but she doesnt know how to swim".
Here they are. Alive and ready to be eaten. You just have to choose one of them. Never pick up one that weights more than a kilo (2.2 lbs). Stick to the young, tender, small ones. Those are the ones that connoseurs and venezuelans eat.
Here they are but only in lobster season...
Favorite Dish: Since years people have been lobbying to get an "appelation controlée" trade mark for our venezuelan lobsters.
In this cage -half inside of the clear water- there were at least 8 lobsters. But there was this humongous very heavy horrible looking one. No venezuelan is going to eat that. I assure you.
Neither my sister Mariangel nor I chosed the ones we ate. Our friend and boat-driver, Toñito, went earlier and chosed the best ones: 800 grams ones. Less than one kilo, less than 2 Lbs.
While Toñito was choosing our lunch, Mariángel was sleeping under the shade at the beach and I was swimming with energy. 3 hours... wonderfull vacations.
I just wanted you to see "El Rancho de la Lagosta" from the inside.
Some wooden tables, some plastic chairs, sand floor... oh, and two "fight" roosters saying "kiquiriquí" (kee-kee-ree-kee) and not "kackedoreldoo" (or however you spell that in English) all the time.
Beautifull and simple the detail of the strings with sea shells as decoration.
Favorite Dish: LOBSTER!!!!
The cages with live lobsters are in the water, behind the boats you see in the picture.
Comming up next: the pictures of the cages with the lobsters.
Rancho in Spanish doent means "ranch". It means shack.
The lobster shack is located in Cayo Pirata, at the archipielago of Los Roques. You need to rent a boat (with his owner inside) ooooorrrrrr... When the people from the posada take you to the island of Madrisquí, which is the closest one (and leaves you there for the day), you walk around the island heading south and then east, a through a little-thin passage of sand, Madrisquí conects with Cayo Pirata (Pirate Key).
There are the local fishermen shacks. Their boats, their fishing apparels aaand... the cages, in the water, full of live lobsters: caught on the day, probably eaten on the very first day.
Remember, this is only on lobster season which starts in November. Right now Jan-Feb is WONDERFULL!!!
And I rather eat my lobster here, right on the spot. Is way way more fun and more delicious.
Favorite Dish: LOBSTER!!! Venezuelan 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) loster. Small, tender and rather "sweet". Waiting to get an "appelation controlée", a trade mark.
Go to Cayo Pirata, choose a live lobster (never choose a huge one, because those are old), and they will cook it for you right there. (Ive gone walking from Madrisquí and directly in a local boat, both ways are really great and fun).
"El Rancho de la Langosta" is a shak. Is not a restaurant. No restrooms. No soap. After eating with my bare hands, I always grab a lemon, go to the beach (right there), and wash my hands and mouth with lemon and salt water.
In "El Rancho de la Langosta" they have fresh drinking water and pepsi... I dont know if they are allowed to sell beer. I couldent care less. I was appasionate eating my superb lobster.
In the twisted picture there is Antonio "Toñito", the owner of the boat and friend since many years ago. My sister and I invited him for lunch and he said: "No way, Im tired of eating that thing, and Ive never liked it".
We managed to get fried fish for him. Barracuda. And it smelled and looked wonderfull. But lobster, there, was the most precious and exquisite thing to eat.
Back to the picture... I dont know why is twisted. My sister took it from the water, next to the cages full of live lobters. Maybe she was keeping an eye on them, because there was this humongous one. The greatgrandmother of all lobsters. No venezuelan will eat that. Too big... Too many kilos.
Specialists in lobsters and gastronomy are still fighting and lobbying in order to get an "Appelation Controlée", trade mark, for our venezuelan langostas, lobters.
They are smaller, more tender and more "sweeter".
Since November until now we are in lobster season.
When you go to Los Roques, you can ask in your "posada" for a a lobster for dinner. Or you can order it in a local restaurant and pay for it in advanced. You have to do this in the morning. The people from isla El Gran Roque, will get a live lobster for you. When you come back from the beach, they will show it to you and, when you are ready, they will kill it and cook it. Is very simply cooked. Forgett any chic and complicated sauces (either with butter or whisky). This is natural and simple, with lemon or not. And it tastes exquisite.
But to show this people of Los Roques YOU KNOW, tell them not to give you a lobster bigger and heavier than one kilo = 2.2 lbs. They give the HUGE ones to turists who never have eaten a lobster before. Those are old lobsters and the meat is hard, chewy. Tastes great, but that is not it. We, venezuelans, will refuse a big lobster. The one we eat cant be heavier that a kilo. The one in the picture was 800 grams and it was SUPERB.
Favorite Dish: But I never eat lobsters in the island of El Gran Roque. Im taken directly to Cayo Pirata (Pirate key) where the fishermen keep their boats over night (no one lives nor sleeps there), and where are the cages full live of lobsters caught during the day all over the archipiélago.
There, a cooked in front of your eyes lobster cost a half or a third of the price they charge you at isla El Gran Roque. But, of course, everything evens up, because you have to pay for the trip in the boat to get there.
Is much much much exciting and fun to eat your own lobster at Cayo Pirata with the fishermen.
Please check my "Rancho de la langosta" tip...
In the picture: my langosta, half and half, with mashed potatoes on its head and a purple cabbage leaf as a bowl for a white cabbage and carrot salad.
After 3 hours of heavy swimming I ate everything. Including the purple cabbage leaf bowl.
Even though breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, in Los Roques I have just the usual, common stuff: cereal and yogourt, coffee, maybe eggs, etc. I dont get picky about it. I just have enough to eat for the next 4 or 5 hours at the beach.
Favorite Dish: Oh boy!!! But wait until lunch time and supper time!!! You will eat the most fabulous fish you can imagine. Fish just caught. Almost alive. Almost jumping in your plate. That sure tastes different than what you get, awfully frozen, in the grocery store.
If you talk to local fishermen, and if you pay them, they will take you out to fish for a couple of hours. Latter you will be able to eat what you caught.
This restaurant belongs to a posada, the Posada Caracoles... it's wonderfully painted and decorated... very cheerful and friendly - as well as large. It's great for breakfast - but I'm not sure I can recommend it for dinner: the owner swears that he does a la carte menu - but when we tried we were told by the staff that we could only have the set menu.
Favorite Dish: We went for the continental breakfast. Homemade bread to die for and delicious jams. It made up for the watered-down fruit juice. There's no price on the menu - again the staff told us 5 dollars - the owner 3. Be Aware.
We had our first lunch there and immediately it became our favourite... it is the simplest place to eat on Gran Roque, it's the cheapest, and it's delicious. No fancy food - just the basics... pizzas, pastas and burgers... but the atmosphere is really friendly and the food very filling.
Favorite Dish: Pizza was good - really good - nearly as good as the pizza you would find in italy. And pasta... they have some pasta dishes with seafood (mero mainly): just as good as any real italian pasta dish. Thumbs up!
The lobster seasons starts on November 1rst. About a hundred of local fishermen collect TONS of lobsters that are eaten by tourists at Los Roques, are sold to fancy restaurants in the mainland of Venezuela, and are exported as well.
To be more precise, last year 55,400.oo kilos we fished. Multiply that by 2.2 and you will get the number of lbs. That is a lot of lobsters for a 100 local fishermen, fishing in an old traditional way.
Favorite Dish: Specialists, chefs and gourmets assure that our lobster is more sweet and tender than others, because of the temperature and pureness of the water at Los Roques. Clear, blueish, beautiful water...
These people say thay our Los Roques lobster is so unique, that it shoud have its "apelación de origen", I dont know how to translate that precisely, but it means our "trade mark". Our lobster should have an offical-exportation sign.
The lobsters are fished and are placed in wire cages and kept in the water. (see the picture).
If you come to Los Roques during the season you must be sure they will cook for you an alive one for you and not a frozen one. I was very upset to eat a frozen one, and the explanation I was given was: "we had too many lobsters, so we started cooking them and freezing them". Forget it. During lobster season dont accept any excuses. Go to a restaurant or an inn, see them running around or inside water tanks, choose the happiest one of them all, wait until they cook it for you, drink a beer on the meantime, then eat try to eat this sweet, tender, delicious lobster without any remorse.