“THE BUCCANEER,” A DINING EXPERIENCE
The Cranky’s are back from Aruba “One Happy Island.” Four days of sun, water, relaxation, slot machines and three nights of great dining.
“Three?” you ask, when you were away for four days?
“Yes,” three nights of great dining, and one night at “The Buccaneer.”
“The Buccaneer” was recommended by a relative. It looked great on the internet, and the prices seemed reasonable. Each table is surrounded by a huge and spectacular aquarium filled with the ocean life typical to Aruba including a large Leatherback Turtle. We made reservations for 8:00, grabbed a cab and were prepared for some fine dining and delightful ambience.
The outside of the restaurant resembled a big pirate ship. My first thought was if the food sucks, have a gimmick. The inside of the restaurant was just as schlocky (sorry Lo, my Yiddish is not so good) complete with pirate like goblets and the general level of grime that you would expect on a real pirate ship.
After being seated for about ten minutes, we were finally greeted by a grunt and two menus tossed in our direction. Fifteen minutes later (the restaurant was far from packed) and our waiter took our orders. The waiter at least was friendly. We then waited for our entre to arrive…and waited…and waited.
During this wait we were treated to our own personal aquarium which was nothing like the picture offered on the internet. It was a small aquarium with about ten different tropical fish including one which was trapped between the glass and a plastic filter*. Watching fish for a few minutes gets a bit boring. Watching one fish slowly dying while struggling to get free from being entrapped was not appetizing.
When the entrees finally showed up, they were not worth the wait. Mrs. C’s shrimp looked odd, and except for some off-green broccoli the rest of the food on the plate was a mystery. My NY sirloin (I could not order fish with their kin swimming right by me) was NY fat and gristle covered with canned mushrooms and a disturbingly dark thick gooey gravy. Apparently at this establishment medium rare meant kill it and serve it.
We both suffered through this glop they called food while some really bad music from the seventies played, and a dying fish struggled.
All during dinner Mrs. C and I could only picture the kitchen as right out of Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmare” TV show.
“Come on…this is RAW! You can’t serve this, you’ll KILL someone. Stop everything; we are shutting this kitchen DOWN!!”
When we were done, we asked for a check, lied to the waiter that everything was fine and prepared to leave. When the check was signed and we stood up, the piped in music turned to Bobby Goldsboro’s “Honey,” possibly the sappiest and worst music hit of the seventies.
“She was always young at heart
Kinda dumb and kinda smart and I loved her so
And I surprised her with a puppy
Kept me up all Christmas Eve two years ago”
As Bobby began to warble “And Honey I miss you…” we both turned to each other and simultaneously commented, “Perfect!”
*In fairness, another dining room had the large aquarium that was displayed on the internet, but only three tables had a direct view of this tank.