Jamaica Trip: The food July 6, 2008
At Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, you are treated to a number of different restaurants with different specialties. They are open at slightly different times for all those important meals of the day. The food, with a few notable exceptions from people who didn't like their FREE desserts, was exceptional. (Technically it's not free, but you know what I mean).
My roommate and I were early risers, waking up most days by 7. I woke up for an hour usually at around 4am every day. I would wake up, look at the clock, and it was 4am. It was odd, but really the only time I could connect to the internet with no problems. Breakfast wouldn't start until 7:30, so of course by this point we're starving, because to get a timely dinner in on the previous night, you'd have get there 15 minutes before the restaurant you wanted to go to opened. Breakfast at 7:30 was less of an issue. We'd get there and there'd be maybe 10-20 people total, and it's a buffet, so you just grab a plate and in about 5 minutes you have a delicious meal, coffee, and water sitting in front of you.
The buffet breakfast was pretty amazing. While Ryan, my roommate, would get lots of fruit and two omelettes, I would just get everything that interested me. Chicken for breakfast? Why not. They always had bacon, sausage, some form of potato (hash browns, home fries, etc), and two domes at the buffet would be different every day. I always got pineapple and another fruit. The water there was delicious and ice cold. And the first day I asked the waiter if the coffee they were serving us was "Blue Mountain" and he said "Yeah Mon!" I think they just cater to your wishes and tell you what you want to hear. It was delicious though. We'd then go back to the room for an hour or so then meet up with everyone at the pool or beach for another hour or two. Then came lunch.
Lunch was pretty good most times. We would still mostly go to the buffet since it was quick and pretty good. I forget if we tried a non-buffet lunch. I'm sure we did, but I forget at this point. Lunch is when the buffet had a ton of different salads, like tuna salad, chicken Caesar, different pasta salads. One day they had Jerk Chicken which is a specialty dish of Jamaica. I was talking to Casper, the wedding photographer, and I just said "This jerk chicken and pork that they have in the resort is bullshit, huh?" He was like "Yah Mon". You could pick up real jerk at the various jerk centres and stores that they have along the highway between the airport and the resort. I didn't try any real jerk. That's a shame. After lunch we'd go to the pool again and start drinking usually. The pool is where it's at.
Thankfully for the casual dress code at the resort, you would just have to pack a pair of shorts if you didn't want to go back to your room to change for dinner. And it was amazing. Amazingly slow. If you went to a sit down and served dinner there, you could expect to just sit there for two hours and talk to everyone. Courses would come out every 30 minutes or so, and you'd eat it in about 2 minutes. This is what the appetizers looked like. Although delicious, you can tell they're very very small. Which is fine, because 3 - 4 small courses add up to a decent meal. The place that picture was taken was called the Reef Terrace or Terrace Reef. Something like that. I got Jerk Beef. It was delicious and the plate was square. They are all artistic about their meals, something you would see in places where a single meal is like $30 and up. And you're sitting there in your shorts, sandals and a t-shirt most times. It's really relaxing.
One time, we ate so early and were drinking so much that we were starved. We swam in the pool and hot tub all night, and at 9:30 or so, a stand near the pool opened up. It had nachos, pizza, and other delicious hand foods. I got nachos with sour cream, guacamole, jalapeno peppers, and salsa. Two plates. I was hungry.
The one place we ate it was required to dress up. And by dress up, I mean no shorts. Of course, I didn't pack anything in terms of nice clothes except my one red golf shirt, so I would have been SOL if it weren't for the tuxedo rentals! I used the white pants, my red golf shirt, and my sneakers, and passed the excruciating judgment that was placed on me as I walked in the place. It was a 100% improvisation and it worked pretty damn well. When Zatko gets back, he'll put up some decent pictures of it. He had also not packed any pants and was forced down the same road I was. Apparently Amanda had him pack half a suitcase of towels and towels were provided at every pool and in your shower, it turned out. That was one thing that I forgot and it turned out OK.
That about does it for the food. Obviously, there's not a lot of adjectives to use when describing food. I forget what I ate specifically but can tell you I was never disappointed. It was good. That's about all I can say, you have to go there yourselves :)