Monday, July 13, 2015

A Caribbean Treat

   I mentioned before that Bill was able to secure a few contracting jobs for some of our neighbors here in the marina.  I also mentioned that I was supposed to be starting at West Marine in a few weeks.  However, I didn't mention (because I didn't know at the time) that, in the mean time, I'd be heading to work with Bill to one of the apartments he's working on.  Now, I don't know much about plumbing, electricity, or carpentry (or science books or the French I took . . . ) but, I do know how to paint.  So, that's what I'm doing.

   When Bill came home one day last week and mentioned that he still had a lot of painting to do, I made a passing suggestion about my being able to do the job.  He later ran the idea by the owner of the apartment (the guy paying Bill for the work).  The next day, I donned some old clothes and boarded the bus headed for the apartment with Bill.  Since then, I have been regularly heading over there to help paint.   I come home needing a shower to scrub off all the paint spots and speckles but, hey, it's good money towards our engine repairs.     

   Since we haven't been able to install the microwave in the apartment yet, we can't bring anything to heat up for lunch.  So, sometimes, we take a short walk to the main road and get a bite to eat at one of a few eateries there.  It was on one of these lunch excursions that Bill and I discovered an interesting and affordable (Woohoo!) spot to grab some grub.

My Chicken Roti with a Menu
   Hot Peppers Kitchen is now our favorite restaurant in Hollywood.  Apparently, the owners have been running the restaurant in a different location for a while.  However, they recently decided (thanks to the rent being too high) to move to their current location.  Lucky for us, this means that a unique Caribbean meal is a short walk away.

   While sailing around the Bahamas, Bill and I discovered that we really enjoyed authentic Bahamian food but, finding  it was harder than you might think.  Since many of the places we dined in were in tourist hubs, much of the food, while good, what definitely "Americanized".  While this was understandable, it was a bit disappointing.  Hot Peppers Kitchen is certainly not "Americanized" and did not disappoint; delicious, authentic food from Trinidad and Tobago is all you'll find here.

Bill's Bake and Shark and Our Rum Punches
   We have been to Hot Peppers for lunch and dinner.  Everything we've had has been wonderful.  I have found that Doubles (a street snack made with a kind of fry bread and chickpeas) and Roti (the Caribbean answer to a burrito but, MUCH better) are my favorites so far.  Bill's favorite is the Bake and Shark.  This is a deep-fried shark sandwich (you'd think it'd be baked because of the name) that looks just like a fried fish sandwich you could find anywhere but, apparently this is not true for the taste.  They even have  . . . Chinese food. Huh? We had to ask about this one . . . apparently, due to the location of the islands, Trinidad and Tobago have become a sort of melting pot for cultures.  One of these cultures is Chinese.  Native "Trinis" have taken some of the more typical Chinese dishes and given them an extra kick. Therefore, Trini Chinese food has earned its own place on the menu. Just in case you are wondering,  we did order two items that showcased this unique food fusion.  The consensus? . . . Yum!

Crispy Shrimp Wontons, Very Good
   The service has been wonderful.  The lady in the front of the house is from Trinidad and loves to talk about the food and all things Caribbean.  Since Bill and I are planning on heading to Trinidad and Tobago after our next trip to the Bahamas, she has proved to be a wealth of information.  She makes sure to suggest things she thinks we ought to try (even bringing out samples, mmmm) and, the last time we were there, told us when some of her family would be coming into the restaurant so that we could meet more "Trini" people.

   At one point we got on the subject of weather.  Bill asked her about hurricanes.  She said that in all the years that she lived there she had seen one hurricane that she could remember.  Even when it came, she told us, it wasn't bad and just sort of blew over.  When asked why she thought this was, (after all, the islands are in the middle of the ocean) she said with a smile, "God is a Trinidadian."  


   We were wowed by this restaurant (frankly, I wouldn't be writing about it if we weren't) and will certainly be frequenting it while we are here.  So if you're in the area or are planning a trip, make the effort to check these guys out; you won't regret it.

   By the way, I just launched my new galley page!  Right now, I have my introduction and my fist recipe (a tasty shrimp bisque) up. I plan on updating this page just as I update the regular blog, adding more recipes and kitchen tips as I go.  If you have any comments or questions regarding anything I post there, just let me know in the comments on the main page.  I hope you enjoy the page and try the recipes and tips as you learn a little more about our life afloat.            
   Please let us know what you think. Feel free to ask questions and leave nice comments. (If no one has commented yet, there will be a "No Comments" link near the bottom of the post. If someone has already commented, there will be a number and the word "comments" beside it. Just click whichever of these is there, click, "add comment" when the window opens, and type away.)

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