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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Turtle's Nest Restaurant at the Costa Linda Beach Resort in Aruba

During our spring vacation split between Florida and Aruba, we enjoyed a wide variety of great foods.  Dining in Aruba was quite delightful affording us opportunities to try Caribbean cuisine.  Caribbean cuisine has a distinctive Netherlands Antillean flavour, a mingling of diverse cultures and dishes of the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Latin America, Indonesia, and West Africa.  Some dishes distinguished by their Papiamento names are exclusive to the islands.  Some of the ingredients like prickly pear, mawby bark, plantains, concomber (a light green spiny cucumber), piccalily, and aromatic herbs just tantalize the tastebuds!  Seafood in one for or another is available at every restaurant on the island.  Dining in Aruba is an experience it itself.   Tourism is the island's largest industry and they certainly do treat tourists like royalty!

all you can eat bar-b-que- at the Turtle's Nest Restaurant in Aruba
Executive Chef John van Hoven completed the menu for the Turtle's Nest Restaurant at the Costa Linda Beach Resort in Aurba that includes two seafood signature dishes daily, one highlighting shrimp, the other fresh fish.  The restaurant offers a very popular breakfast and lunch menu as well theme night dinners.  My husband and I enjoy grilled foods year round so it isn't surprising that we were excited to find The Turtle's Nest  offered a Tuesday Night Caribbean All You Can Eat Bar-b-Que.  It immediately went onto our agenda as a must eat at restaurant which wasn't difficult as we were staying at the Costa Linda Beach Resort.

The Tuesday night Caribbean all you can eat bar-b-que ($19.95) consists of southern style glazed bbq ribs or grilled bbq chicken legs or grouper fritters or a combination of all three served with French fries, cole slaw, baked beans and fresh baked corn bread.  We each ordered the combination to try both meats and fish.  All were delicious!  The grouper fritters had a light, tangy lemon sauce that was quite tasty.  Both the beans and cole slaw came in small serving bowls.  The ribs were fall off the bone tender with a nice flavour as was the chicken.  The seasons were definitely Antillian, richly aromatic with just a hint of heat, yet pleasant on the palate.  The cornbread was scrumptious!  I didn't care for the fries as they weren't fresh cut which is the only negative I can say about the meal.  True to their word they refilled our plates when requested making this an excellent deal.

This BBQ menu is very much like what we would offer for a larger get together during the summer months except grill baked or camp style scallop potatoes would be substituted for the fries.  I really would like to duplicate the grouper fritters.  Grouper is a wide-mouth fish similar to wide-mouth bass (here in Ontario, Canada).  It is rather popular in Florida so we can get it when at our vacation home but so far I have not been able to find grouper here.  Both small and large mouth bass are popular fresh-caught fish here but not available in the frozen food section.  Unlike grouper that is usually breaded in Florida, it is usually pan fried with no or little coating.  Large mouth bass would likely be a good substitute fish for the fritters.

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