The spicy side of Barbados -- from flying fish to conga lines
In Barbados, the best way to get revved up for a night on the town is to do as the locals do: eat spicy native dishes and drink lime squashes, a refreshing, non-alcoholic libation.
The cuisine of Barbados is built around fresh seafood, especially the plentiful flying fish. This local specialty is a staple of the Barbadian diet and is served in some version in almost every restaurant. With an empty stomach and a craving for adventure, CNN TravelGuide hit the town to find some of the best cuisine and nightlife.
For a taste of flying fish and other Bajan fare, check out the Waterfront Cafe in Bridgetown. Located on the Careenage (or mini harbor), the restaurant overlooks the boats tied up on the water's edge. Popular dishes include: smoked flying fish; cou-cou, a mixture of corn meal and okra with onions, peppers and a spicy sauce; fried stuffed plantains, which are like bananas; garlic shrimp; and deep fried fish cakes, spiced with hot peppers. The pepper sauces are hot, hot, hot, but the Waterfront's soothing view and atmosphere will keep your spirits calm.
Bonito Bar & Restaurant
The Bonito Bar & Restaurant is on the eastern coast in the parish of St. Joseph. The menu varies from day to day at this family-run restaurant which is renowned for its extensive lunch buffet. Midday samplings include rice and pigeon peas, baked plantains, and flying fish -- fried or in a Creole sauce. The restaurant also offers a locally-grown, starchy vegetable called breadfruit, which looks like a potato souffle. After the meal, guests can savor the Bonita's fabulous view of picturesque Bathsheba Beach. The sand is only a few feet from the front door.
After the sun goes down, Plantation Restaurant offers an all-inclusive evening for about 105 Barbados dollars, or $53 U.S. Located near Bridgetown in the parish Christ Church, the prix fixe includes a dinner buffet, unlimited drinks, a dazzling stage review and round-trip hotel transportation.
The restaurant's native Bajan cuisine includes steamed Christophine vegetables with carrots, potato salad, candied sweet potatoes, codfish cakes, rice, baked chicken, flying fish, and beef stew, one of its most popular dishes. A dessert table piled with pastries awaits those who want a sweet finish to the meal.
After dinner, the "Tropical Spectacular" revue begins with a dynamic presentation of the history of Barbados and the story of its native Arawak Indians. The island's African heritage is spotlighted with the Yoruba tribe dancers from West Africa and a colorful scene depicting Bridgetown's lively market. The second half of the show takes the audience on a journey through the festivals of the Caribbean, including Trinidad's Carnaval and Barbados' own Crop Over Festival, which celebrates the annual sugar harvest.
Once the show ends, it's the audience's turn to perform. Conga lines let guests burn up those calories to the tropical sounds of calypso music. This "night cap" often takes visitors into morning!
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