StX Restaurant Ratings
I'd like to hear about your two or three favorite places to eat on StX, and why.
If you want to include STT, feel free.
Would also be interested in your 'critiques' of certain places.
My wife and I have come up with something of a rating system for the places we eat at:
1. Food Quality
3. Price and Service
For example, we like Ft. Christian Brew Pub because it has decent food at a decent price and has a great atmosphere noon and night. And we like to occasionally eat lunch at Paradise Cafe because it's all good, very reasonably priced, and the interior is interesting.
Whereas we give a much lower ranking to the Pickled Greek -which some have raved about, because its facility and location are sub-par, and the food is merely average and not under-priced. Feel the same about Cheeseburgers and Chicken Charlies locations, -their food is 'ok' but servers we've had there tend to be harried, which isn't pleasant. Whereas we love going to Off the Wall because of it's location and friendly atmosphere.
Still looking for more choices that have great atmosphere as well as food, and don't leave you feeling like you overpaid.
Note to restauranteurs:
One of the disappointing things about eating out on the island is NOT knowing what's going on at your restaurant on any given night. Many of your schedule some interesting bands, theme nights and food specials. But few of you have flyers we can take with us to put on the frig, or have websites we can check.
My favorite is Salud! It's small and intimate, but still has a fun feel, particularly at the bar. We always run into people we know, and for us, it's right in the neighborhood. The food is outstanding. We have our favorites, but we are never disappointed when we try something new. Good service too. It's considered upscale, so I wouldn't call it inexpensive, but there is a bar menu with lower priced choices.
Recently visited the new restaurant on the north shore, Rowdy Joe's. Can't wait to go back. It's a neighborhood bar feel, with tables inside and out on a porch. I had the fish tacos ($12) and my husband had the Asian ribs ($22). Both were excellent. Service was good too. Oh, almost forgot.....The Espresso Chocolate Chip homemade ice cream is about the best ice cream I have ever had!!!
I don't have the web address handy, but SCUBA publishes a page on their site with a lot of the STX restaurants. It's not advertisements. The restaurants don't have a thing to do with what is posted there, so it's all honest. I go to it often, if we want to go somewhere new , or I'm just having a senior moment and can't think of anywhere to go for lunch or dinner.
In NYC, the Zagat guide to restaurants is based totally on customers' reviews. I think they use the same three categories (food, atmosphere, service) and then each reviewer estimates the cost of an entree and a drink. The Zagat guide takes the average of all the estimated prices, and an average of each category and prints it. It is so useful! And the rating scale for the categories is just 1, 2, or 3 (or 0 I guess), so it is pretty easy to do.
If there is anyone here who loves to compile figures (AllMashUp?) it would be awesome to have so many opinions. Or someone could contact zagat.com and see if they want to add St. Croix to their list...? You never know!
we like tutu benes ( did i spell it wrong?) it is a bit noisy in there the later it gets. price is ok location could be better as it has no view, the service is great.
the galleon is a wonderful celebration spot, pricy, great service on the water i think, its always been dark when ive been there.
for lunch i like cafe fresco, the owner is so nice, she has great soup she is only open for lunch. food is wonderful location i love ( wonderful courtyard) price is average.
I found your reviews interesting because our experience has been completely the opposite to some of yours.
We do love the brewpub for the reasons you mention (the location is great, we love craft beers, and the food is decent and reaonably priced). One thing we have noticed, though, is that the place has a split personality. During the day, it's all happy and bouncy with a nice blend of reggae and rock. At night, though, it gets a bit stranger and its much much harder-edged. I still like it, but it's interesting how it changes.
We also like Paradise because the food is reasonable and it has an interesting interior. However, after about 30 minutes in there, I start getting claustrophobic.
On the three places you don't like--Pickled Greek, Cheeseburgers and Chicken Charlie's--here's where we disagree. We actually love the Greek: the atmosphere is fun, the staff (while admittedly harried) are nice and friendly, and we've found the food to be some of the most flavorful on the island. It's not cheap, but it's not way overpriced for what you get (can anyone say "Zebo's"?). And the other two we've found to have good food--not gourmet, but certainly good enough and reasonably priced so you can eat there regularly. And the staff at Charlie's we've also found to be really friendly.
I can't argue about Off the Wall for it's location and ambience. However, their menu is pretty limited, their bartenders can be a bit surly and unfriendly, and the service can be interminable. We still love the place; we just don't go there to eat.
I do have to expand on my Zebo's crack earlier. We've eaten there three times, and each time the experience got progressively worse. The servers are really obnoxious--they try way too hard to bet witty and sophisticated and end up looking like a caricature of a NY waiter. The food, while decent, is beyond overpriced. One day, we got the gourmet cheese plate appetizer: five small hunks of cheese (all of them very standard, by the way, and something you could pick up at Schooner) and some pieces of bread: $27. We love the wine list there, and the interior is nice (the "living room" in the front corner is really cool), but we won't be going back for dinner.
We have had a couple good dining experiences at Angry Nate's. We've found the food to be consistently good and the service generally efficient. And you can't beat the location. Luncheria, if you're into Mexican, is also good. Another spot we really enjoy is the Columbus Cove Marina bar. Service there is really good, and the Sunday brunch is varied and very tasty. We've also had dinner there and enjoyed it a lot. And if you want to save your innards, do not eat at Spratnet on Cane Bay. I had one of the THE worst breakfasts there of all time. The food was cheap--and for good reason. Ugh.
The rotis at the Domino Club on Friday afternoons are really tasty.
My all-around thumbs up, however, has to go to the La Reine Chicken Shack. I have not had better roast chicken on island anywhere, and am hard-pressed to think of where I've had better off island. It's amazing, as are the conch salad and stew conch. Yes, the atmosphere is a bit underwhelming, but the people who own the place are friendly and the prices simply can't be beat. Oh yeah--and they make the best johnnycakes on island.
If money is not a problem...I say Bacchus....They nail it on service, food and atmosphere.
I really like Salud for service, food, atmosphere and price
Quick chines take-out - Beijing House, they still don't have the fully understanding of "spicy" yet but I like their combo plates.
Pizza- East End Pizza...(OK so I'm biased....but I think Mel does a really good job)
La Reine Chicken shack to me is the best local plate of food you will find for the money.
El Flamboyant, Cool-out, Junie's, Paquito's, and El Sol are excellent places if you just want to stop and pick-up a plate of food to take home...10-12 dollars...you can even call them ahead of time.
Early morning food (3-4am)....Panchie's in Gallow's bay...the conch soup is out of this world...the boil fish and fungi is awesome too....for more early morning food...there is Rebound where u can pick up wings and so on.
We have been off island a little while. Is No Bones and Case Place still there? They were two of our favorites along with Tuttu Bene, Salud, Chicken Charlies and last, but certainly not least...Villa Morales. I almost forgot Spratnet. Used to love spending Sunday's with Calven and the crew.
I might be the only one but I do not like Brew Pub for food. It's a great location, a lot of fun for drinks and music but they loose me with the food. It takes forever to get served and frequently comes out cold or at least luke warm and tastes marginal.
I still think that Cheeseburgers is one of the most consistent and reasonable places on island - it's not fancy and the ambiance leaves a bit to be desired but you always get a great burger for a decent price.
El Sol is great for steak at a reasonable price but again the ambiance is a miss.
Villa Morales is great and affordable.
IMO Chicken Charlie's has gone way down hill in the past few months. The last 3 times we were there the food was awful (not just bad) and it took forever even though it was not crowded. They do still have good music though.
I have never tried Zebo's because I looked at the menu and would never pay those prices to sit on the street and eat.
I can't get past the rude owner at Salud and rarely go there unless someone else suggests it.
My favorite restaurant is Kendricks. I love the atmosphere, the food is wonderful and the service is always first rate. People say it is expensive but for what you get I think it's a great value. (I love the Parmesan encrusted chicken and it is around $20).
I can't wait to go out and try Rowdy Joe's as I've heard good things about it.
I also want to try Ono's (above Turtles in F'sted) - heard rave reviews about that place.
Finally, my husband's favorite is Luncheria...always good and pretty cheap but for those of you from the south...it's not "real" mexican but it's the best we got!!!
I agree with divingirl about Brew Pub and Chicken Charlie's. Don't care for the food at either place. We do have another choice for Mexican, Cohiba, just east of C'sted on the way to Gallows Bay. Much pricier than Luncheria, but way better food, IMO, (if you don't mind sitting practically in the street, with the sound of the car wash for ambiance).
I always get the local older guy for a server yearasta. I have to agree with you. I don't get out much but the times I to go out I am apalled at the food I get. My vote is for Normas best jonny cakes and chicken. The chicken shack for good food and price. Miss Kims for the best local food I have ever eaten on island. The conch and rice is heavenly and the curried chicken. Only a few things on the menu and a long wait but well worth it. Golden Rail, best breakfast. Best soup is the little place at Gallows Bay that has soup and sandwhiches. Cohiba pretty good. Rumrunners good cobb salad. Off the Wall for rubens and atmosphere. Chicken Charlies, the pizza is ok. Food quality has been down lately. Sorry to all my friends that work there. I love every one at Cheeseburgers but the food is hit or miss. Easy and relaxing for the folks that have little ones. You can relax while they play. Deep end, food is horrible but on crab races night a salad is ok and the kids are playing so you can relax and enjoy conversation with other adults. Angry Nates, have only had appetizers, ok, good service.
I'm gonna chime in on the lunch choices... Christines and Cafe Fresco are both first rate in C-town. The owners really care about the food and the service and I think the prices are excellent. Christines vegetarian platter is hard to pass up on and her desserts are first rate. Jill always has consistent , yummy and interesting lunch choices. For the best sandwich on island - Quality Grocer - their cubano is beyond compare (sorry Victor Mencho). And... I agree with all on the chicken shack .. it doesn't get better than that!
My favorite mid-range restaurants for dinner are No Bones, El Sol, Cheesburgers and Chenay Bay!. I avoid having dinner at Parrots Cove, Brew Pub, Rum Runners or Chicken Charlies... . Luncheria will do if I am craving something close to Mexican, but really their food is a pretty poor example of good mexican. I do love their frozen drinks and Sangria though. Cohiba to me is more Cuban than mexican and I really hate their location. I have to sadly agree that Off the Wall service sucks. More often than not those people are in bad bad moods... but.. the food is good, I love their pizza.
High end... Bacchus has to be the top on the island. I've never had a meal there that wasn't an outstanding experience. I'm thrilled with Galangal Thai , Dashi Sushi, and Savant... I love ethnic foods! I really miss the Lebanese Restaurant. 🙂 I wish wish wish we had an Indian restaurant. Cultured Pelican is my favorite italian... always a great meal and great service too. Kendricks is excellent, but I forget about them too...and I love their setting. I don't like Salud at all... the food is just not to my taste. I like Zebo's as a bar, I don't eat there... but , like Salud... I guess its cause that's not the kind of food I like.
Pizza should be a category all of its own. I love Lost Dog pizza and Off the Wall's by the Slice... but, since I live East I also really enjoy Pizza Mare's.
West should be a category all of its own too!
Of course... all of this is just an opinion. Everyone looks for different things in restaurants.
Funny how tastes and perceptions differ. I don't think Cultured Pelican is worth the time or money - food simply ok and expensive. We do spend a lot of time at Off the Wall. When they are busy, which is often, I agree the wait staff don't do much chatting. But I go over once or twice a week for lunch and enjoy talking with both the staff and the owner. I think the pizza and calzones are the best on STX. It's also a great place to catch up on North Shore gossip!!
Anybody know what's happening with Full Moon?
Pizza is best at Smugglers Cove. Good place on a sports night. They serve Corona and with 3 beers each and pizza we spend $50
Pizza at Off the Wall is where hubby likes and we are regulars there so I know the servers and we never are in a hurry. Just keep the beers coming. They have just built up their reputation of good food and the best sounds of the ocean with the music she gets out there, so we just people watch while we wait for our food. The don't serve Corona so I get Carib... with 3 beer and pizza we spend $60
Pizza at East end Divi....SUCKS! We waited for 1 and a half hour for our pizza. The waitress told us it was taking that long before we sat down so we were ok with that. Just keep the beer coming....but after we finished our first beer she was nowhere to be found. We finally got up after 15 minutes to go up to the bar. The bartender said he would bring them to our table.....after another 15 minutes I finally got up and asked someone sitting at the bar if they had any pull.....and we got our next beer. When our appetizer bread came, it was hard and dry....the pizza was the same. They serve Corona but don't ask me the price....I was hell bent on getting out of there and can't remember what we paid.
Love the Brew Pub during the day more than at night. I agree with Bathiel about the way the bartenders change the music at night. We walk up sometimes and it is so blaring with music that does not fit the clientel that are sitting at the tables....can't understand why they don't see this happening when everyone on this board are seeing it. Food is not what I go for, it is the view of the harbour but we do meet great people there 🙂 You know who you are!!! We love people watching and try to place whether people walking by are tourists or islanders.
Have eaten at the Gratto at Sevant. Great atmosphere and food was the best. The bar in there is made of stone. Glass of good wine is $10. Pricey.
Duggans is a good place to go when you want to drop over $200 for 4 people. We didn't have the highest price menu item but for 4 people with one appetizer shared, a bottle of wine, and 2 dessert shared, our tab was $250.
No Bones at lunch is good for specials of the day. I sit at the bar so can't attest to service since they are there right in front of you. Atmosphere isn't anything to note, but the prices are reasonable.
SpratNet at Cane Bay has a great burger! The bees are always terrible while you try to eat. They serve Corona and since I love people watching this is a great place to do it. We don't spend too much money for a burger and beer.