Friday, November 19, 2010

Dinner in Aruba-Uphill but successful battle

I'm in Aruba.  I know, right, cry a river for me.  This could last for 4 more nights.  Or not ... you know the life of a charter pilot.  I could be just as easily be sitting in the middle of the Texas panhandle for 4 nights.  So you learn to appreciate the good because you know one day you WILL be sitting in the middle of the Texas panhandle for a week.

The other pilot I'm with is fluent in Spanish.  It seems as though most of the people working here are from a Spanish speaking homeland.  (Just as an aside, this will make Americans realize how stupidly they treat education and culture, Aruba is a Dutch island where children learn Dutch as their native language, then around 4 years old start to learn English, and then in school are given a choice of French or German.  Most people on this island speak 4 languages.  Most Americans can barely speak ONE.)

We don't have a car so we're sort of "stuck" on this hotel strip area near the Westin.  (Kudos to Westin for having SOY milk for my coffee this morning at breakfast!!!)  We were wandering around last night looking at the restaurants; Hard Rock, Sopranos, and a few other chain restaurants.  Why be 2000 miles from home on a beautiful island and eat McDonalds.  This always baffled me.  (So did the packed Micky D's in the middle of Venice, Italy but that's another story.)

My friend wanted Senor Frogs in the worst way.  Perhaps it's because of sights like this:
Nice barstool.
He made sure to talk to the guy at the front about my foodal needs.  Our waiter also indicated he understood exactly what I wanted and when I said, "I'm a vegan do you know what that means?" he said sure and that he'd take care of it.

This is good because the menu perfectly fits my needs by offering Chips and Salsa.  And french fries.

The fajitas come with either beef or chicken but you can get them mixed.  For around $18.00.  I'd do it but I hate to pay this much for sauteed veggies.  Well, that was the waiters suggestion.  Veggie fajitas, tortillas, couldn't have the beans as they were made with lard, (hey, perhaps this guy really gets what I'm asking for), but the rice was ok.

"Are you sure?"


"The rice isn't cooked in chicken stock?"



Five minutes later:

"The rice is cooked in chicken stock but I can give you french fries instead."


I don't really think that me being a pain in the ass is genetic but it's possible.

Anyway, the salsa and chips come and it's more like a fantastic puree of tomato with spices heavily emphasizing cumin.  That fine.  I chow down on half the basket in like, 2 seconds.  Munch, munch, munch ... is there crack in these.  I can't stop scooping the salsa.

Eventually I hear the sound of sizzle.  It's making my mouth water and placed in front of me is a plate of sizzling veggies, sauteed to a softness just asking to be wrapped in a tortilla and slathered with melted cheese.

OK, my friend speaks out in Spanish and while they're at it they take the chopped lettuce and pico de gallo because there's a big dollop of sour cream on it.

Eventually the food is redone and a plate of fries and onion rings are put down as well.  I ask our now leery waiter if the onion rings are cooked with egg batter.  He makes the walk of shame back into the kitchen and in a few minutes comes back and says no, I'm good to go.

I chow down on the onion rings with only the tiniest of question marks in my head.  I do so love onion rings.

In all honesty this could have been a rather healthy meal were it not for my seemingly unbreakable addiction to fries, onion rings and chips.

Here's what the devastation looked like:

Guide to my table.
Behind the water is the huge plate of fries and onion rings.  Moving clockwise is the basket of chips, the veggie fajita plate, a finished pile of veggies on a tortilla and in the middle the pico de gallo and lettuce 
Jeeze I hope this doesn't end up on Dr. Oz as an example of terrible vegan food!
And the fajitas were only $9.99.


Chef Amber Shea said...

Wow, what a feast! That cumin-y salsa sounds especially wonderful to me.

Marty said...

That definitely was a high point. Totally took me by surprise.