Just as soon as I’ve decided on a holiday spot (And sometimes before choosing a holiday destination), I take to researching restaurants serving local fare. TripAdvisor tends to be my starting off point and from there, I use my canny googling powers to get realistic reviews from far and wide – blogs, magazines, newspapers and so on.
Grenada proved to be a bit of a tricky one – it was really hard to get an accurate portrait of the foodie scene and by the time we had arrived, I still had only one firm restaurant contender in mind: BB’s Crab Back.
There were some others, Gary Rhodes has a restaurant at the Calabash Hotel, but husband doesn’t always appreciate taking along formal wear on a beach/ cricket holiday and I’m inclined to agree, sometimes you just want a relaxed place to kick back and enjoy.
The BB of BB’s Crab Back is Brian Benjamin, Grenadian born but lived and trained in London for many years before deciding to take his family back with him to Grenada and set up shop there. Oprah’s been there, Lonely Planet raves about it and so I booked, just to be sure we could get a place.
I’m so glad we did, a booking meant that we’d secured a waterside table – looking out on this view!
The interior is simple, cafe style tables and chairs with the walls and ceilings all done in graffiti chic – all comments from their adoring fans.
As we arrived early straight after the day’s cricket, we order up cocktails and soak up the view, but despite the empty restaurant, we’re encouraged to order swiftly. It seems a crowd is expected and the kitchen may get busy, so reluctantly we start to peruse the menu. The house speciality is the Crab Back so that needs to be done and being a seafood lover, I can’t get past the sound of the King Prawns.
Bb’s Crab back is a stuffed and baked land crab and it’s richly flavoured with cheese and butter and all things incredibly tasty but not so good for you. Other starters ordered included the devilled saltfish balls, which if I’m honest, didn’t taste of much and so I’m glad I stuck with the signature dish.
The mains were more successful when it comes to pleasing the table. I went for the King prawns cooked in a lobster buttery mango sauce which was a little similar to the sauce from the Crab Backs but still richly delicious. The star was undoubtedly husband’s choice of the Caribbean goat curry, intricately spiced and flavoured, it could knock your socks off.
Much is made of BB’s hospitality, but on our visit it was nowhere to be seen. For the majority of our trip, he remained behind the counter smoking and shouting orders at his sullen son, our waiter, whose prime aim for the evening seemed to be to hustle us out as fast as possible. This despite the fact that we’d turned up to our reservation an hour early to an empty restaurant.
With that kind of unfriendliness, there was no incentive to linger on and relax with our cocktails so we simply ate and ran. Perhaps they were having an off day, but with a business relying on happy tourists, it seemed a shame that it didn’t live up to the hype.
Despite the fame of BB’s, we had a far nicer time at Umbrella’s Beach Bar – the view over Grand Anse beach was spectacular and the food thoroughly decent, although not terribly Caribbean in flavour. Sails restaurant and Nutmeg restaurant, both located on the Carenage, right by BB’s were both very good and far more palatable in service and prices!
How do you choose which restaurants to go to? Which are your reliable sources of review information?