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Friday, May 3, 2013



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.


  1. ha ha ha - you should be glad atleast they killed it and served it .. in some parts of the world, the customer has to kill it and then eat it!!

  2. Well, it served a purpose, anyway... it gave you funny fodder for a blog post. The five-star places with stellar food and impeccable pomp make for great dining enjoyment, but a joint like the "Buccaneer" provides an element of laughter that no money can buy. Good thing you and your bride have a sense of humor.

  3. As long as you felt okay after the meal I guess you can just chalk it up to experience. I would have wanted someone to do something about the trapped fish though.

  4. Oh good God, that song.

    Made me cry at 4. I've never forgotten it...


  5. Funny how sometimes the best promo yields the worst results. I've learned to ask the locals where they eat, that will tell you more. It is so disappointing to anticipate something good and end up with this, I've had it happen. Nowdays I'd speak up and complain though, especially about the trapped fish, and the crap on the plate! I pay for it, I want it edible. Glad the other nights of your stay were better!

  6. The meal you've described sounds truly dreadful. Aruba is not one of my favorite places.

  7. "Schlocky" was spelled correctly & it sounds like it was the perfect word to use!!

  8. Will we be treated to some history of the relative? Feel free to change the name.

  9. I'm not even sure about references from locals. There's a place down the road from me, ALWAYS PACKED! Often a group gathered outside waiting to be seated and you would think- It must be good. Right?

    Oh how Wrong you are.... Unless Bland is your taste of choice. Everything on the menu is the same. Bland and flavorless as eating a piece of cardboard.

    At least you guys didn't get sick and had a good laugh over the bad music. That's the highlight of the evening.

  10. That is a shame. Vacations should at least have good food involved somewhere. I was in Aruba years ago, and that place was not even there. It sounds like if I go back, it still won't be there.

  11. I am sorely disappointed. I was sure this was going to be some kind of raucous restaurant experience like a Medieval Times or Dixie Stampede. Your sad little fish only makes me say, "Arrr!"

  12. Your Yiddish is fine, my dear, but I can't let you get away scot free.....if you couldn't make a scene on your own behalf, WHY didn't you demand that someone save the poor trapped fish?

    The whole thing was obviously doomed from the start, but it made a great blog.

  13. Sounds like real authentic pirate chow. Don't know what you're upset about. Now the awful song should have caused a mutiny.