Tag Archives: lobster

Eating Lobsters on the Beach in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

On a recent trip to Runaway Bay, Jamaica, my husband and I had a real hankering for some freshly cooked lobsters. For us, lobster is the ultimate luxury food we like to indulge in on special occasions, and our two-week trip to this tropical island certainly fit the bill! However, the hotel we were staying at (the all-inclusive Royal Decameron Club Caribbean), did not have any lobster on the menu. Sad face. And yet, we were determined…

One of many beaches at our hotel.

One of many beaches at our hotel.

One afternoon, as we were swimming in one of the beautiful resort lagoon’s, my husband struck up a conversation with a local Jamaican fisherman named Bruce who was also hanging out in the balmy water, floating casually on a surf board and intermittently trying to sell impressive sea shells to other tourists. Aside from being a fisherman, Bruce was also a very experienced scuba diver. My husband and him got talking about the variety of sea life in the area, and the most interesting things he had seen on his dives. It was then that Bruce casually mentioned he would often see large lobsters while diving, and he would catch them and cook them for tourists for a fee.

We weren’t really sure if we could trust him or not – after all, it’s hard to judge someone’s credibility when they started off trying to sell you sea shells from a plastic milk crate strapped to an old surf board – but the thought of having our own private lobster feast was just too great to resist. So we paid him $60 US and agreed to meet him later that night at the Jetty Bar in our hotel. He would cook up a bunch of lobsters, sneak them onto the hotel grounds for us, and set up a private, candle light dinner for just the two of us. It sounded almost too good to be true, but why not take a chance?

“Don’t worry about a ting, man,” he said. “Bruce has got ya covered.”

The "Jetty Bar" at our hotel.

The “Jetty Bar” at our hotel.

We walked over to the Jetty Bar at precisely 7:30 pm, as we had agreed, but Bruce was nowhere in sight. No worries, we figured. He’s on Jamaican time. So we ordered some frosty Red Stripe’s from the bar and sat in some lounge chairs along the deck and waited. Sure enough, just a few minutes later we saw him quietly paddling a small tin boat into the resort’s harbour. The boat had no lights on it so he could sneak easily onto the property without the resort staff noticing.

Once he was a few feet from the shoreline Bruce jumped out of the boat and dragged it up onto the beach quietly. He nodded discreetly to the bar tender nearby, as if they knew each other well. Then he pulled out the good stuff: the lobsters we had been waiting all day for. And boy, did he deliver! He had caught and cooked for us, not one, not two, but six decent sized lobsters! And he had even steamed some potatoes for us too. He cooked them at his house nearby, then wrapped them into little tin foil bundles so they wouldn’t get cold while he paddled over. His plan had worked out perfectly. Well, close to perfect, anyway. Turns out he had forgotten the cutlery!

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Steamed lobsters, cooked potatoes and Red Stripe beer. Mmm…

My husband and I are not shy eaters so we didn’t mind digging into those buttery tin foil bundles with our bare hands. We must have been quite a site though… butter and lobster juices dripping from our faces and down our arms. I have to admit, I have never eaten such large mouthfuls of lobster as I did that night. It’s a lot harder to savor your food slowly without a fork and knife to slow you down! But, who cares. We were on vacation and were dead set on enjoying ourselves to the max. Mission accomplished.

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More lobsters by candle light (with a rum bottle as our candle holder).

Of course, we didn’t eat all six lobsters to ourselves. We did give one lobster to the bartender at the Jetty Bar, and another lobster to the security guard who was patrolling the beach, but it was worth it to keep Bruce out of trouble and spread the good karma around.

My husband and Bruce.

My husband and Bruce.

Our decision to trust Bruce had paid off deliciously. If we ever go back to Runaway Bay I will definitely keep my eye out for good old Bruce again!

 

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Valentine’s Day at Cafe de Olla, Puerto Vallarta

This year my husband and I spent our Valentine’s Day in sunny Puerto Vallarta. We didn’t know exactly how we wanted to celebrate, but we hoped it would involve our all time favourite “celebration food”… lobster! My husband’s parents recommended the special platter for two at one of their favourite restaurants, Cafe de Olla, fittingly located in the Romantic Zone of the city. It didn’t look like much when we walked by that afternoon but we decided to make a reservation anyway. Good thing too, because when we returned for dinner at 9:00 pm that night the waiting crowd was so large it nearly obscured the whole front entrance of the restaurant. The place was packed!

The host had warned us earlier in the day saying, “Even though you have a reservation, you’ll still have to wait. Everyone who comes here, they all have to wait. Come and you’ll get a table eventually.” At the time we’d shrugged it off, but when we arrived for dinner his words echoed in our minds. The line-up was at least 15 people long (a couple of groups) then there was a second line-up for people with reservations. It was fairly chaotic and, admittedly, we stood in the wrong line-up for at least 20 minutes, but it wasn’t a big deal.

As we stood there on the sidewalk we had a perfect view of the team chefs working in the kitchen, and they were pounding out the food at an impressive pace. Platter after platter of enchiladas, burritos, fajitas, and surf n’ turf combo’s came through the kitchen window and were carried past us, wafting the most amazing smells out onto the street. We jittered with excitement as we watched a woman halve plump red lobster after lobster, and salivated as the grill master in front of us tended to a patch of filet mignons and New York strip steaks sizzling over the flames. My goodness, we were dying to eat!

We ended up with a fantastic table just inside the front corner by the open-air window and we each immediately ordered a classic fishbowl margarita (one of their specialties). We didn’t even need to look at the menu. We wanted the special platter we’d heard so much about!

The platter, in all it’s glory, included 2 lobsters, 6 garlic prawns, 2 cheesy baked potatoes, 1 large filet mignon, rice, cooked vegetables and a bowl of heavenly and super garlicky melted butter for dipping.

It was 100% fantastic! And the wait was completely worth it.

By the end of it, our endorphins were surging. I joked with my husband that we should order a second platter. He thought I was kidding, but really I was half serious! It was just that good.

If you travel to Puerto Vallarta I would definitely recommend going to Cafe de Olla for dinner. I only regret that we didn’t have time to go back for a second visit since all the dishes that came out of that kitchen looked fantastic.

Cafe de Olla, Basilo Badillo 168, Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Telephone: +52 (322) 223-1626
They accept CASH ONLY.
Click here for a map from Vallarta Online.