HI and HI Again

SeaBKsteakAnother long overdue post! So overdue in fact, that we have visited twice now, and I will in fact be heavily referencing the original visit, since I wasn’t able to get to all of the things that I wanted to revisit on round 2. And where is this place that I speak of? Aruba of course, and the Holiday Inn Resort more specifically.

Originally, we did some recon last March/April to check out the “updated” Holiday Inn, and to give an all inclusive a try, with the hopes of maybe bringing all the kiddos with us in the fall. It went so well, that we booked a trip for the seven of us for the fall, right from the hotel room via Skype.

Since this is a food blog, I’ll leave the long hotel description to our TripAdvisor post, and focus on the food/beverage situation.

Where to start! Well, drinks were plentiful, as creative as could be if requested, and more than strong enough.  Banana daquiris and sangria were always great treats, and they always had plenty of Pino Grigio on hand for me, vodka and sodas for L. I was particularly fond of their sangria recipe, as it had lots of bits of fruit, a nice taste of cinnamon, and not too sweet.

The food was more than satisfactory, delicious on the whole in fact, but lets be honest, not gourmet, nor did we need or expect it to be.

Here’s the 411:

Corals Buffet Breakfast: Plentiful, lots of variety, with the highlight being little arepas, as well as shredded beef, which made appearances at most of our AM adventures.

Corals Buffet Dinner: Standard fare, good for families and kids, and they had Bitterballen! Dutch treat of scalding lava meat/gravy balls. *for goodness sakes wait till the damn things cool down before biting!*

Oceanside Bar: Spent quite a few afternoons there, delicious Greek salad with sooooft pita and tasty dressing (this was not on the menu on our fall trip), overly heavy, greasy fish and chips, wings, which I liked, but L wasn’t as keen on, they remind me of the Fried Chicken TV Dinner! Giant chocolate chip cookies, that were okay, but not quite worth the calories/sugar coma, hot dogs and quesadillas also very delicious. Gyro which we tried in the fall: Superb!

Seabreeze Restaurant: Great for lunch or dinner, wonderful open wall restaurant, fantastic service, enjoyed the salmon, steaks, fried chicken, the Aruban Cuban sandwich and many other dishes, all presented beautifully and no real gongs on anything… oops except the tuna tartare, which just had a little too much sesame oil on it. And the desserts! Wow, we don’t usually indulge, but… coconut creme brulee, cheesecake, pineapple carpaccio with ice cream, and who could forget the key lime pie.  Just amazing, and don’t forget to add a delicious espresso to round out the flavours. Special mention to Eddy, he goes above and beyond and we were grateful for his extra assistance when we needed it.

And now the unexpected best for last: Pizza Now! A service at the Seabreeze and Oceanside Bar where you can get a million pizzas (okay, not that many, but L did try to hit that number) brought to you whenever you wanted! Oh the joy of the thin, crispy, hot crust, topped with either a standard assembly from the menu, or design your own. I cannot do the taste of these things justice here. The brilliant bonus for us was the fact that they have big bowls of chili flakes on request, and the spicy deliciousness of this was almost too much to bear. They haunted us from spring until our recent revisit weeks ago, where L recreated the million pizza munch.

So, although the food scene outside the resorts in Aruba is delicious and exciting as we have detailed in a previous post, the Holiday Inn with the all inclusive option proved to be quite rewarding too, and doesn’t stop you from venturing out to your favourite offsite treats for a couple of nights.

Those pizzas aren’t going to eat themselves (though they would if they could!), get to the HI Aruba as soon as you can!

K&L 😀

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kb / no KB!

kb FoodWhat a cryptic little post title! Turns out we went to kb Food in Whitby right after Little K(B)’s graduation ceremony, so while we were at kb, there was no KB, since she was at the subsequent dinner/party with her classmates.

Off we convoyed, into Whitby, after figuring out where to go, as it was a late weeknight. kb to the rescue! Had been wanting to try it, as recommended by my youngest kiddo, and tonight was the night.

Quaint, small, but easily accommodated our group. Table set up quickly, menus handed out and drinks on the way. Drinks arrived, and toasts to the (absent) newly graduated, the recently graduated, and the whenever graduated, took place :D. The studying of the food choices continued in earnest. The menu changes regularly, and had lots of interesting and varied choices, all fresh and local ingredients. So many people, so many preferences. We had burgers (with and without bun) soup, meat topped mac and cheese, flank steak, pork belly, ravioli, again, all fresh made, locally sourced. You can imagine the quality of the dishes, and the presentation was an equal compliment to the experience.

Now, I had the pork belly, and it was a thick (1″) layer of crispy, and super crunchy, but beautifully melting, inside layer… of fat, with an afterthought thin base of solid meat. I am not doing it justice, and alot of you are screaming “eeeeeeew!”, and I get it.  It sure isn’t for everyone, but it sure was for me. All of the accompaniments were well executed, except for giving potato instead of polenta on one dish, which was really missed. And then we were done.

Wait! Were we really though?? Of course not. Who can resist a fresh, well constructed dessert!? Flourless chocolate torte, that tasted so deeply chocolate, fresh raspberry sorbet made in house, a jar of liquid banana bread??? Yes, get the dessert. If you only treat yourself when it is a quality, worthwhile expenditure of your caloric currency… get the dessert. Any dessert there.

So another awesome superfoodie discovery, as recommended by one kiddo, while celebrating the achievement another kiddo, who we still need to take there. Please visit and enjoy the menu roulette for yourself… always a different mix up of dishes, but as I check online periodically to see what they have come up with now,  I am intrigued, and then disappointed, when I miss any of the many, tasty sounding concoctions.

The menu is here all week folks, try the veal… or duck… or pork belly… and tip your waitress.

K&L 😀
KB Food on Urbanspoon

 

 

It’s allll Greek to us

Chef Tommy'sHad to go with the tried and true phrase to name this post.  This outing was a combination of birthday celebration of one kiddo, and also somewhere interesting and new to celebrate hitting 15000 clicks for this very blog.  We were marking every thousand clicks, but as interest ramps up, we have now settled on every 5000 for now.  So here we are, trying a local Greek restaurant that has been open some time now, but we hadn’t made it to quite yet. It comes with the unlikely name of “Chef Tommy’s“, and resides in a defunct Taco Bell believe it or not.

Atmosphere/decor was in the spirit of what I would expect in a Greek restaurant. Staff very welcoming, helpful with the menu, even with a bit of a language barrier, but no real issue communicating ultimately. This ain’t no cookie cutter chain establishment.

We had to have Saganaki (flame included at this place, which was cool!) and one of my faves, Dolmades, both delicious as they should be. Then we all ordered from the Specialties menu, 2 Shrimp Saganakis, a Papoutsaki and I rounded out the choices with a Lamb Kleftiko.  We were mostly full from the appetizers, which included endless and tasty servings of pita triangles, and salads, etc. and everyone made a solid effort on the entrees, which looked and tasted fantastic, but I have to say, my Lamb Kleftiko, with its gorgeous, rich flavour, and thin, crunchy envelope of filo was the highlight of all of the dishes, and I would highly recommend you try it.

Dessert was still attempted, despite my previous paragraph outlining our already straining appetites and waistbands. Have to always try the baklava, which was okay, but again, not my favourite as far as my tastes in baklava go, a little too gooey, fruit cakey, but others did enjoy it. We also asked about their Greek coffee. Is it the cup of dark, richness with the puddle of mud at the bottom? Yes! So of course we had one, it really has a different flavour than any other coffee I’ve had. Our waiter said that people read the mud (grounds) when the drink is finished, so he came by and flipped the cup upside down and then returned a short while later.  You know, I don’t remember what the reading was, but if it involved money or fame or great, spontaneous muscle growth with no effort at all, welllllll, none of those things happened, but it was a fun end to the dinner none the less.

So there it is, another food fest for hitting another click milestone, and of course the birthday thing in there too 🙂 Ahhh now I remember what the reading was… it predicted that we will visit Chef Tommy’s again!

K&L 😀

Chef Tommy's Greek Restaurant on Urbanspoon