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beezy
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Hey everyone -

Mr. Beezy and I are headed off for a few days in the golf and spa season of Bermuda. We don't know much about it, but the package was cheap, it's sunny, it's only three hours away, and there's an underwater cave at our hotel.

From what I read, food in Bermuda is extremely expensive and not in the least tasty. Does anyone have any recommendations for food that we should eat? Food that's not a fortune (could be a pipe dream)? Things we should stay the hell away from?

Stuff about us:

- We don't want to eat American food [otherwise, we would have stayed in America]

- We're of the Anthony Bourdain school of travel eating: we'll eat off a truck, and get a little sick, as long as its tasty and I can't eat it here.

- We don't have any dietary restrictions, but we're both partial to seafood

I hear that Bermudans love their salt cod, and that tea on a lovely island is a necessity. We're staying right outside of St George, but we're good with buses if it's worth the trip.

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If you plan on traveling into Hamilton, i can definitely provide you with some recommendations, though I don't know how inexpensive they may be... I need a few hours to put together a list but there are definitely options and one or two places to stay the hell away from (though they may look like "Bourdain" type joints, they just suck). And yes, tea is a MUST- oh the scones!- as is the famous Bermudan chowder with sherry.... and dark and stormy's!

ETA: Some quick thoughts...

Stay away from The Lobster Pot in Hamilton. It looks like it could be a hidden gem. It's not. The seafood is not-so-fresh and it is not-so-cheap.

Little Venice, however, which is just down the street, was the best meal we ate in Bermuda this past summer- possibly one of the best ever (I have been there 10 times, my parents about 20). It is Italian, yes, but it is sooooooo so good, so fresh, amazing service. Worth every penny, though I don't recall it being very expensive.

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Nashman - where are you?? He can probably help you out.

I am very similar to Brett (been there about 10 times) and parents since the mid 80's. As I am at work I can't post right now. Can you PM me and I can give you some thoughts, especially as a lot of it is contingent on where you are staying and your transport mode (I can then post my thoughts later on DR.com)

Also, since the island is pretty small, Brett's and my list will probably be similar. I also have the books that you get at the airport from my last trip in October 2007.

Please give me a holler.

Thanks

Nashman

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I am intrested in this information as well. Will be down in April for a birthday party.

I sent a note to Beezy letting her know that I'll have a more extensive list after this weekend, when my parents return from vacation, so keep your eyes open

Tom Moore's Tavern is classic Bermuda but on the high-end; Barracuda Grill in Hamilton was good fish and fun drinks; Avoid Bolero in Hamilton- it took about an hour or so to get wine, which arrived after our appetizers (no exaggeration).

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Here are my stream of thoughts (probably edit later when I get home)-these are all places I go/have been

Expensive

Tom Moore's Tavern (concur with Brett--high end but Bermuda--went in Oct, very romantic and great food)

Elbow Beach Hotel (Mandarin Oriental joint with a 5-6 course dinner that they just started that I had this past October, eat out on the balcony with the moon-trez romantic-granted I was by myself but I can imagine)

The Waterlot (steak joint that is high end and also romantic-not necessarily Bermudian so up to you)

Tea

Gibbs Hill Lighthouse (yes, a lighthouse. Does a mean afternoon tea and has tea sandwiches and scones--also fabulous view of the whole island)

Hamilton places (the capital)

Hog Penny (always eat there my first day. British pub style. Always Shepherd's pie for me)

Little Venice (as described, pretty good italian-next door Portofino's is not bad checkercloth italian)

Ten (little place for breakfast or lunch, kind of one of these trendy tapas places--not bad though for morning)

Brunch

Southampton Princess (used to be others at Waterlot and Newstead but they all stopped)

Odd

Hospital (yes, the hospital, I sometimes go after the botanical garden tour and have a meat pie and gingerbread)

Other places

Ariel Sands [closed January 1, 2008] (cottage rentals-high end-owned by Michael Douglas and Catherine ZJ. Great food and great view from restaurant that I usually do for lunch...restaurant is called Aqua)

There are other places I've been but I always hit the above ones. I will do a bit more research and add to this.

Thanks

Nashman

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House of India - we ate there twice on a 5 day trip. It is in Hamilton, but you have to take a cab up from the water. A bit to far to walk. Best Indian I have ever had. Maybe we hit them on a good week, but I would consider going back to Bermuda just to eat there again.

L'Oriental - sushi and such. Not so bad, not fantastic. But the italian place below it serves up HUGE glasses of wine, so go there first and it might not matter so much.

Pickled Onion - mixed fare. Right on the main drag, so if you sit on the balcony expect to stare at a big freaking cruise ship.

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Thanks to everyone who gave me their suggestions!

First, eating cheap in Bermuda is a relative term - you will pay $10+ for a sandwich, and expect to pay $30 for dinner. A candy bar is a $1.50; coke can be $2. It's just a fact of life on a place where EVERYTHING is imported.

However, you can eat not too bad for dirt cheap at convenience stores and gas stations. Every grocery and gas station has some kind of hot bar, featuring Jamacian food, fried chicken, seafood and some soup. We got a great selection of goat curry, fried chicken, bbq pork ribs, plus rice and peas and veg for $8/pound in a grocery store in St. George. Bermuda also has a great bakery somewhere on the island that distributes scones, muffins, apple cake, fruit cake and other goodies for $1-3.50 apiece.

We did eat out twice:

Jamaican Grill, Duck Puddle Road - this is a teensy bungalow tucked behind a limestone quarry off of the South Road. It seems to be run by a family of Jamacians, and the only restaurant that every single Bermudian dines in. $8 for a small (a 6X8 carton of food), $13 for a large gets you a great big box of chicken (bbq, curry, jerk, brown sauce), lamb chops, oxtail, or fish plus rice (rice and peas, rice with callalou, rice with saffron) drowned in your choice of gravy, and veg (a mix of cabbage, broccoli and carrot). We had oxtail, which is braised in a thick gravy, jerk pork with peppers and onions, curry chicken (some kind of curry fricasse), and jerk chicken (oh so spicy and succulent, chopped into little bitty pieces). They had a full case of pies and cakes, but we were too full to sample them.

Tea at the Fairmont. We were seated on a huge plush settee, overlooking the ocean, surrounded by moneyed British. The tea comes out on a three-tiered rack - we were advised to start at the bottom and eat upward. So, we started with sandwiches (salmon, egg salad, ham, cucumber, cheese, goat cheese), continued onto pastries (eclair, fruit tart, chocolate strawberry) and finished with sweet bread - scones and fruit breads smothered in clotted cream. We went through 3 pots of tea, lingered for three hours, and were treated kindly, even in our sloppy clothes. I highly recommend it.

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As it turned out, we never got out of the Royal Navy Dockyard (where our cruise-ship - Norwegian Star - was moored). We had lunch at the Frog and Onion, a British pub that served some pretty decent fish and chips but not so exciting Bermuda Style Mussel Pie. I just don't know if mussels and pie is a good combination. We also ate at Freeport Seafood Restaurant & Bar (for dinner). I had their special of the day, Oxtail stew, cooked with carrots and sweet potatoes and served with rice. This was one of the best Caribbean style oxtail dishes! I recall their Bermuda fish chowder being nothing exciting - more like a vegetable tomato soup (IIRC). My wife had a steak. The next day we had lunch at the local beach, Snorkel Park's Hammerhead Bar & Grill. The fried sampler platter was a big platter of fried calamari, fish, chicken wings, onion rings, fries, and chicken fingers. It was okay. I wish we had ventured out a bit more but hurricane Leslie and nap time for the kids made exploration all but impossible.

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