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Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

These are the restaurants I still visit when I go to STX:

The Galleon
Breezez (but stay away from the owner)
Blues Backyard
Savant
Rumrunners
East End Pizza
Off the Wall (I like it better when Diane is there)
Tutto Bene

Each time I visit, I try to go to a new place... So far, not much luck...

Rumrunners almost got dropped off the list because my long time server, Christine, retired, so the service I got a couple of times was so-so... On my last trip in October I decided to give them another try and it all went well...

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Posted : December 30, 2013 1:59 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

My other complaint is the number of restuarants here that will not accept a Discover card.
This is supposed to be a tourist location, yet most places accept only Visa/MC.
I tend to frequent the ones that want my money in the form that I am willing to pay.

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Posted : December 30, 2013 2:06 pm
SCLawGuy12
(@SCLawGuy12)
Advanced Member

Saw this thread and figured i'd chime in. I generally have come to expect that service on STX will not be to the same standard that one finds back in the mainland. PR (at least in San Juan) usually is a bit better, but if I get something bordering on acceptable I can be content. However, in the past week or so i've had three greatly contrasting experiences.

On Christmas Eve I decided to ride out east, was thinking of eating at Cheeseburgers (which i've usually had decent service at). However, since I go there a lot, I figured i'd do something different. I ended up dropping by Deep End. Rolled up to the bar, looked directly at the server (can't remember her name, but she's not the owner, older lady with very short, closely cropped hair and glasses) and said hello. The bartender looked right back at me and didn't do anything for a good 15-20 minutes. Didn't ask what I wanted to drink, didn't ask if I wanted food or a menu. Completely ignored me and went to other people as they came up to the bar. Even when she wasn't serving the other customers, she basically ignored me until I guess she decided she wanted to serve me. Her tone with me bordered on obnoxious (I had never even met her before), and she didn't even know what was on the menu (had to explain to her that the sandwich I ordered came with cheese). More parties came to the bar and were served much quicker, while I was being completely ignored, including some Danes and a few other STX residents I see around. I had to flag her down to get another drink or any sort of service whatsoever. I try to tip well, esp. since it's a small island and I realize the challenges F&B face down here, but her level of service, esp. at a resort, was atrocious. The owner of Deep End has given me solid service in the past, but that experience has definitely made it so I won't be patronizing Deep End when I have a choice.

On the Sunday before last I went to the Palms for brunch. I have generally had decent service when i've been there, at least by island standards. There's a couple of servers in particular who are really good. However, last Sunday a waitress made up her own prices and "added" up the bill $6 more than the menu reflected. Her lack of courtesy when I pointed out her "math" was wrong definitely got under my skin. She looked at me like I was the idiot, when I was having to explain basic addition and subtraction. I will tip well, and I definitely believe in rewarding good service, but I do like being charged what the menu reflects without someone trying to pull one over on me. I'll still go to the Palms for brunch, but I would think twice about staying if that waitress is serving me.

On the bright side, I was fortunate enough to be invited to go to the Pirate's Buffet at Carambola last Friday. Great service and great food from a local crew. It is possible to have good service on the island. Crucians are definitely capable of putting on a great dining experience. I really do feel for the restaurants that are struggling, but dishing out poor service and poorer attitudes isn't going to help things. As I have said, most of the time I think service on STX is acceptable, if not up to what it is stateside. I do think that the point of a gratuity is to reward good service, though. If one gets good service then a generous tip makes sense. Having to pay a gratuity if the service is lousy or borderline belligerent (as in the case of my last Deep End experience), however, is truly unacceptable, and I have little empathy for struggling restaurants who pull that kind of deal.

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Posted : December 30, 2013 2:48 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

We ate at Maria's twice last month, and sadly both times were a huge disappointment. When she first opened the food was wonderful! But our last visits were not…I love cheese enchiladas, and the last times I've had them the cheese was cold inside (not melted) and the sauce was gritty and had a significant burnt flavor - like a mole but not a good mole, a burnt and gritty mole. And the tortillas used to be corn - I think she even made them (?) but now they are thick gummy flour tortillas out of a package. The steak for the nachos and tacos was tough and flavorless. And I have never really liked the beans and rice, very bland for my taste, but then that's my taste, other people may like them. We were really disappointed as this was one of our last meals on island before we left too.

On an upside, the breakfast bagels at the Bistro were very good both times we had them before we left!

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Posted : December 30, 2013 4:54 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

Hey does anyone have the name/number of the new ital vegetarian restaurant in Christiansted? It's near where the handmade soap place used to be.

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:02 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Ital in Paradise
340-713-4825

if you're on Facebook.

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:07 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

thanks JulieKay!!!

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:14 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

You're welcome! Enjoy! 🙂

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:28 pm
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

I like Maria's. We go there at least once or twice a week. It is the only authentic Mexican food on island. I really like Maria, she is from Veracruz, MX.

If you want authentic Mexican tacos with handmade tortillas then try the Mexican Street Tacos. Carnitas is my favorite. The $2 tacos on Taco Tuesday are American tacos with lettuce and tomato and factory made taco shells.

My only real complaint is the whole Sports Bar noisy atmosphere. I would prefer a quieter Mexican restaurant atmosphere with mariachi music and such instead of 10 big screen TVs.

My favorite is the Carnitas Burrito smothered in green sauce.

I am a fan and will continue going there, I like the people who work there and I like their food.

Maria's and El Sol are my "go to" places when no one feels like cooking at home.

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:41 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

i think both cheeseburgers and deep end are sub par places for service and food.

most places really take their time letting you pay the bill-sometimes as long as 20 minutes. that is just a complete lack of respect for other people. this is one of my biggest complaints.

i have heard good and bad about marias. the bistro, always good reviews

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Posted : December 30, 2013 5:57 pm
watruw8ing4
(@watruw8ing4)
Trusted Member

I've never had a bad meal at Maria's. Their Tex-mex type offerings are OK, but nothing to write home about. But their street tacos are exactly what we used to get from the Yucatan street vendors decades ago. About as authentic as you can get. Tonight's carnitas were perfect. Drinks are comparitively pricey. But not out of line.

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Posted : December 31, 2013 3:03 am
bathiel
(@bathiel)
Trusted Member

Had dinner last night at Salud. So glad the rumors of their closing had been just that. Sat at the bar and had a few tapas and shared an entree, all of which were part of their new menu. The duck wings, duck salami, and zucchini "pasta" (no real pasta, just sliced zucchini and other veggies) with marinara were delicious. And to top it off, Mondays are $5 mojitos night (which Jewels made up wonderfully).

It's far from a cheap place, so not a regular stop for us. But we've never had a bad meal or experience at Salud (which, by the way, was just named by Caribbean Journal as one of the top 50 restaurants in the Caribbean).

Bernie

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Posted : December 31, 2013 11:49 am
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Chef Digby Stridiron is going to be the new executive chef at the Galleon. He just moved back from the states. That should be incredible!

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Posted : December 31, 2013 1:15 pm
maryb
(@maryb)
Advanced Member

Recently some friends and I went to Joe's Bar and Grille in Sunny Isle. It used to the Flat Iron Grill. We were all very pleasantly surprised at the service and food. Between the 3 of us, we had the baked chicken, lasagna, garlic knots, and Greek salad. Everything was fresh, hot and delicious. Our food took a while but that is too be expected. The only complaint I have is that a couple of larger parties that ordered after us, got their food and appetizers before us. I will definitely be going back.

I enjoy Maria's food and the taco tuesday specials. I do not enjoy the sport's bar atmosphere.

Had breakfast at the Deep End once and that was enough. I ordered the corned beef hash and it was out of can. I felt like I was eating a plate of dog food.

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Posted : December 31, 2013 1:51 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

"Our food took a while but that is too be expected."

I've read this in other comments. I'm sorry, but I don't expect my food to take a while.
I consider a moderate to fast service time as a standard from the people that I am paying.

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Posted : December 31, 2013 2:17 pm
maryb
(@maryb)
Advanced Member

I expect quality, fresh food to take a while. It definitely wasn't a cost-u-more special. If I wanted fast food, I would go to McDonalds. hahahaha, thats a good one. Last time I went to McDonald's here on island it took an hour (I clocked it). That was about 2 years ago.think

I also think that "it takes awhile" is subjective. Our food at Joe's took about 30 minutes after ordering. The place was moderately busy.

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Posted : December 31, 2013 2:46 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

Chef Digby Stridiron is going to be the new executive chef at the Galleon. He just moved back from the states. That should be incredible!

That is good information... I will be there next week...

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Posted : December 31, 2013 2:58 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Chef Digby Stridiron is going to be the new executive chef at the Galleon. He just moved back from the states. That should be incredible!

That is good information... I will be there next week...

I'm not exactly sure when he starts - I would call before you go. On his Facebook it sounds like he will be on island later this week and starting very soon!

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Posted : December 31, 2013 3:04 pm
Rowdy802
(@Rowdy802)
Trusted Member

Chef Digby Stridiron is going to be the new executive chef at the Galleon. He just moved back from the states. That should be incredible!

That is good information... I will be there next week...

I'm not exactly sure when he starts - I would call before you go. On his Facebook it sounds like he will be on island later this week and starting very soon!

K

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Posted : December 31, 2013 3:54 pm
JE
 JE
(@je)
Advanced Member

I went to Maria's Cantina a few months ago and thought the food was fantastic. I went again about a month ago and the food was much less than fantastic (I think I ordered the same thing as before) and the service was pitiful. The first time I went the service was poor but I gave the service a pass because it appeared that the waitress was new and in training. This last time the service was still poor and the waitress was not a trainee, based on her interactions with other patrons. I don't think my expectations are too high regarding service, just bring me a drink within 5 minutes or so of ordering it and check back now and then to see if I want something else. So based on the overall experience I will probably not go back to Maria's and will go to Pirates Tavern when in the mood for Mexican food. It might not be authentic but it is consistent and suits my taste buds just fine. The food is a bit pricey but the drinks are big and cheap.

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Posted : December 31, 2013 9:21 pm
wwfarm
(@wwfarm)
New Member

thanx all, on health, there are worse things and I've been able to help a lot of folks feel better when they realize the trigger foods that make them feel crappy.....
the hardest part will be not eating the chicken legs at carnival.....

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Posted : January 1, 2014 5:43 pm
bathiel
(@bathiel)
Trusted Member

Back to the automatic tip topic for a second: Ate at Cheesburger's last night and encountered the auto 18% added. Yes, it was noted on the menu. But it still grates on me. Then I saw the bit below in the Wall Street Journal:

"One of the great unifiers in life is that we all love to eat, and this was reflected in the year's most popular stories. 'IRS Rule Leads Restaurants to Rethink Automatic Tips' showed how an updated rule from the Internal Revenue Service means restaurants must treat tips added automatically to a customer's check as regular wages, and subject to the same tax rules. The extra paperwork and costs associated with the change has restaurant chains planning to stop the now-common practice of adding an automatic tip to the tabs of big groups."

I wonder if the STX restaurants know about this?

Bernie

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Posted : January 2, 2014 12:36 pm
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Here's an article explaining the new IRS rule on auto-tips: http://www.calrest.org/newsroom/articles/irs-rules-automatic-gratuities-are-wages-not-tips/

bathiel said: "I wonder if the STX restaurants know about this?"

I also wonder if the IRB (VIBIR) knows about this, or if they have the resources or competence to deal with it.

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Posted : January 2, 2014 1:38 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Here's an article explaining the new IRS rule on auto-tips: http://www.calrest.org/newsroom/articles/irs-rules-automatic-gratuities-are-wages-not-tips/

bathiel said: "I wonder if the STX restaurants know about this?"

I also wonder if the IRB (VIBIR) knows about this, or if they have the resources or competence to deal with it.

Exactly. I've seen this discussed a few places this morning - I sense that it will be mostly ignored.

Edited to add: But if it isn't, it really wouldn't be that hard for restaurants on St. Croix to comply with the new law - we're not talking large volumes here. It's just adding a line item to track for servers.

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Posted : January 2, 2014 1:40 pm
gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
Advanced Member

Have tried all the restaurants on STX many times and our go to place for price, service, selection and quality remains Bombay.

Our recent tries have been back to Tavern 1844 and for the first time El Sol. The good thing about Tavern 1844 is that it was packed and when we go out to eat, we like to have other around us. The bad thing is that you get a $20 burger that is not much better than Mickey 'D' quarter pounder and the draught beer is $10 a glass. We call it the $100 burger night! Wish they would bring back Cheney Bays Wednesday $5 burger night!

As for El Sol, we always heard about it so tried it with friends a few weeks ago for the first and sadly the last time. We were NOT impressed!We all had what 'they' call Filet Mignon and it came to all of us as 2 thin pieces of tough sirloin with a baked potato and salad in a Styrofoam bowl. As I recall, it was around $140 for 4 of us for a $5 steak. Oh well, we tried.

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Posted : January 2, 2014 2:01 pm
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