SXM: The food

I’ll (try to) wind up my St Maarten/St Martin postings here with a post on the island’s food. Really, eight nights was not nearly enough time to explore all of the island’s culinary offerings. For example, it felt as though shawarma was advertised on every corner, but did we ever try any? In a word, no. In three words, no we didn’t. In five words, we ran out of time. The island seems to boast just about any type of food you could want — Chinese, Indian, Jamaican, German, Middle Eastern, Italian, French, American, Moroccan, etc. Again, there was just not enough time! Or enough room in our stomachs. But, we did what we could and here’s a few pics from the highlights of our epicurean adventures.

Aaron's lunch at Talk of the Town

This first pic is from Talk of the Town, which is a lolo in Grand Case, a town on the French side of the island. A lolo is a restaurant that is housed around a big grill on which tons and tons of barbecue is prepared. Here, Aaron had barbecue ribs with rice and beans, green salad and macaroni and cheese for $8.

Aaron's lunch at Yellow Beach

This pic is of Aaron’s lunch at Yellow Beach, which is one of three restaurants on Pinel Island. Pinel Island is a teeny tiny island, also on the French side, and a short ferry boat ride from Cul de Sac (around $7 round trip). This was our most expensive meal, but the trigger fish — shown here — was on special and was unbelievably tasty.

Shrimp pizza at Orange Fever

I love good Italian-style pizza and, while it is really hard to find in MSN, there is tons of it in SXM! This is a picture of the shrimp pizza we shared at Orange Fever, which is a little beach bar on Orient Bay Beach (one of maybe two dozen such bars — they all rent chairs and umbrellas for the day, serve drinks and food). I had never considered shrimp on pizza before, but we had had it the day before at Rancho del Sol. We had stopped at Rancho del Sol while we were out exploring and were desperate for food. Once we got there, though, we weren’t really feeling the menu, but we decided to split the shrimp and scallop pizza. Maybe it was just because we were ravenous, but holy cow was it super good. The pizza was divine and the shrimp were just perfectly grilled and scrumptious (the scallops were really not much to write about). Anyway, so we went for it again at Orange Fever and while it wasn’t as tasty, it was pretty yumsville.

Aaron's dinner at The Rib Shack

On Tuesday nights in Grand Case, the main street shuts down to car traffic (why it doesn’t prohibit car traffic every day on this incredibly narrow, one-way street with no sidewalks and a billion restaurants is a mystery) and has a sort of general party. There’s music and vendors in the street and people are everywhere. After returning from Anguilla, we stopped in the town and circled the one known parking lot for a spot to no avail. It was early yet, so we were able to find one just outside of town at not too great a distance (distances should be measured in whether you are wearing flip flops or not — had I been wearing tennis shoes, it would have been no distance at all). We walked into town and found a spot at another lolo (it seems there are at least four clustered together on the northeastern side of the main street), The Rib Shack. I ordered a $3 rum punch and Aaron ordered a $2 Carib and we watched the sunset. For dinner, Aaron tried to order the goat, which was a Tuesday night special. No goat. Instead, oxtail, which is what you see in the above picture. I had the curried chicken, another special, shown below. Yum.

Curried chicken

For our last St Martin meal (besides airport food), we ate at the esteemed Poulet d’Orleans. Apparently, Anthony Bourdain has declared a person who has the opportunity to eat at Poulet d’Orleans and passes on it, “too dumb to live.” I think this is a bit harsh, especially because the restaurant’s location is a bit enigmatic. We spent almost the first week of our vacation thinking the restaurant was an unrelated bar that sits next to the restaurant. And I don’t think we are the only ones who have made that mistake. When we dined at Poulet, we chatted with another American couple who didn’t actually admit that they had trouble figuring out what was where, but stated that the previous year they had had dinner at the bar (this also seemed weird as we had had drinks at the bar and there didn’t seem to be any food. Or a bathroom — we peed in the woods in the back of the bar). Anyway, we ordered the rib plate — beef, lamb and pork — and the signature poulet. I cannot describe how good this food was. The meat was amazing, of course, but I really noticed the unbelievable deliciousness when I bit into my small piece of corn-on-the-cob. The corn had soaked up all of the amazing juices and sauces that had been on the plate and the flavors exploded in my mouth. When I tasted that corn, I am pretty sure my eyes rolled to the back of my head. Heaven.

Poulet d'Orleans: ribs, far plate; chicken, near plate

It was a bit hard to get a good pic because I was using my not-as-good-camera-that-really-does-poorly-at-night. Sorry about that. Not that a picture could do it justice anyway.


As you can see, I really liked that corn. So, we had the two plates of food — plus, there was a trio of sides to share: potatoes, rice and beans — and a two-glass bottle of wine for $40. I won’t be as harsh as Anthony Bourdain in my review, but I do suggest a trip to this restaurant if you get the chance.


7 Responses to “SXM: The food”

  1. 1 gwendolyngarden March 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I’m starving and this looks delish. SXM 2012!

  2. 2 Mary Lloyd March 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    yummy. Would love to go there. Glad you did.

  3. 3 kateandgracie March 19, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks for the comments, guys. I was feeling a little lonely out here.

  4. 4 Jane Roe March 26, 2011 at 9:55 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve had time to visit your site. The food and the trip look superb. I’m glad that you had such a good time. Gee Mary, maybe you and I should plan a trip there. Of course with food like this I am afraid they’d need a cargo plane to get me home.

  5. 5 Mary Lloyd March 28, 2011 at 10:12 am

    More blogging please.

  6. 6 Raoser March 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I’m SO so behind! How mortifying.

    It’s hard for me to keep from getting on a plane after reading this. It doesn’t help that I’m starving and have little more than tortilla chips, eggs and wine on hand. I realize, A could probably turn that into a feast, I am less capable.

    You see why the plane taking me to food as pictured above is hard to resist.

  7. 7 and culinary February 21, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Thanks for finally writing about >SXM: The food | life and puppies <Liked it!

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March 2011

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