Reviews of the Caribbean

Review: Soggy Dollar Bar!

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Soggy Dollar Bar
White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
N 18° 26.46′ W 64° 45.84′
http://www.soggydollar.com/

Made semi-famous because of its version of the Pina Colada, aptly called the Painkiller, the Soggy Dollar Bar recently became one of the world’s choice destinations, thanks to the Travel Channel, which named it one of the Top 10 Places to get a Drink. And I couldn’t agree more. The Soggy is truly a must visit for anyone sailing through the British Virgin Islands.

For starters, the name fits perfectly. Soggy dollars are traditionally a result of sailors swimming from their moored boats to the beach for some fracas, but even if you play smart and put your money in a dry bag, it will be wet before long. From constant dips into the turquoise waters to your friends dumping Painkillers on your shorts to the ‘house dog’ licking your pockets/ass, your dollars will get wet.

 ring game soggy view soggy hammock

Once you are good and numb, try the ring game! Crew rules involved taking 10 spins before each turn, and a drink of Painkiller for each miss. You are free to draft your own rules, like we did, or play by Soggy’s house rules, which I think I remember involving some sort of topless, over the shoulder shot.

At the point where you and your crew start saying uncle from the sun and painkillers, take extraordinary care in getting back to your boat safely. Falling out of a dingy is dangerous.

The next morning greet your hangover with a bloody marie, and a yummy breakfast at Soggy’s. Pick up a t-shirt!

There’s not much more to say that the pictures and video don’t capture. The Travel Channel was spot on. Get there, and get hammered in pure paradise. You’ll be a bit more pirate than when you arrived.

soggy view soggy-dog soggy sign 

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Review: Corsair’s Bar and Restaurant, Jost Van Dyke

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Corsair’s Bar and Restaurant
18.43° N and 64.71° W
Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Just a few yards down the beach from the famous Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke island, sits little-known Corsair’s Restaurant and Bar. Unmistakable because of its pink exterior, Corsairs serves up an eclectic menu featuring the exotic, local catch of the day for the adventurous eater, and Italian dishes and pizzas that look, smell and taste like the chef lifted some recipes from his grandmother in Sicily.

Bellisimo!!

Corsair’s proprietor, Vinny, is a tough-looking biker, ex-pat from Evergreen, Colo., who spends half of his year in the Rocky Mountains running a Harley Davidson store, and the other half here, in Great Harbor, running this beachside bar and restaurant. Part of our crew was also from Colorado, so we made a natural connection with Vinny and talked at length about the mountains while throwing back painkillers.  

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Our host informed us that a table had been reserved for our crew for dinner. At the time – it was like 4:00 in the afternoon — we had laughed at the thought, but by dinnertime Corsair’s was packed.

Reggae music thumped from the speakers and the cooks danced in the visible kitchen, as more and more tourists arrived for dinner, all of them armed with reservations. Our table was situated near the front of the lively restaurant with a prime view of Great Harbor.

It took awhile to get our food, but the drinks were stiff and kept us busy, and once our food did arrive, my Neapolitan, wood-fired pizza exceeded expectations. Considering the limited ingredients available in the islands, Vinny’s pie was astonishing really, simply because it rivaled some of the ‘good’ pizza I had eaten in the US.

Soon, it was time to head back to our sailboat in White Harbor. Captain Brian, being the smart captain, had skipped our hike from White Bay that afternoon, and had instead skippered our dingy around the peninsula to Great Harbor and parked it on the beach.

sailboat-in-white-bay

While the other tourists waited for the island’s only taxi to drive back and forth over the steep and scary road to White Bay, our crew instead jumped in the dingy, fired up the motor and slipped our way around the bend towards our sailboat in calm waters, and under a late sunset.

The next time you decide to visit Jost Van Dyke, plan to spend an extra day in Great Harbor. After a morning of snorkeling and diving, or hiking, Foxy’s Bar is the perfect remedy for lunch and an afternoon party, while Corsair’s Bar and Restaurant caps off the day with a fantastic dinner.

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Review: Foxy’s Bar, Jost Van Dyke

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Foxy’s Bar
18.43° N and 64.71° W
Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
www.foxysbar.com

For those seeking the ultimate cheeseburger in paradise all roads and GPS coordinates end at Foxy’s Bar, a beach hideaway chilling under the palms in Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke Island, one of the jewels of the British Virgin Island (BVI) chain. Located just ‘over the hill’ from the famously wild Soggy Dollar Bar, Foxy’s too throws its share of signature parties, but stands out from the BVI bar crawl because of its awesome food and home-brewed beers.

Our crew decided to hike from White Bay to Great Harbor on the island’s only ‘road’, a steep and curvy golf-cart path that the locals drove as if it were a rollercoaster ride, rather than take the dingy to Foxy’s from our sailboat. At the top of our climb we realized the payoff, killer views of the turquoise bay we were moored in below, plus dramatic vistas of the Caribbean and Great Harbor.

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Minutes later we were strolling through main street in Great Harbor, past Corsair’s Beachside Restaurant and Bar, a couple of lemonade style beachside bars, a beachside graveyard and bunch of lazy, leaning palm trees. Foxy’s was tucked away in the shade at the far end of the beach.

My nose drew me in, and I floated ala Barny Rubble towards Foxy’s bar. It smelled like burgers, and jerk spices, and beer. Reggae, not Jimmy Buffett, played over the loudspeakers.

A few days prior, some Brits on Norman Island had urged us to go to Foxy’s for burgers, and we had doubted them, simply because they were Brits.

Ever had a cheeseburger in London?” we had asked each other, collectively. “As if.”

Oh, but those Brits were right on the money. After a couple of weeks of sampling pretenders in the BVIs, Foxy’s finally delivered that ‘cheeseburger in paradise’ moment amidst a crazy atmosphere dominated by dirty lingerie hanging from the ceiling, a well-hung monkey near the bar and some eye candy.

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Foxy’s greasy cheeseburger was home-made, thick and juicy and cooked to perfection, slapped on a warm bun with some mayo and ketchup, and some fries on the side. No frills, and just perfect that plain ol’ burger way. The home-made amber brew that came with lunch washed down the delightfully greasy burger with notes of banana and coconut, the tastes of the islands.

My wife’s jerk chicken sandwich looked just as tasty. After lunch our crew dove into the hard stuff, sampling Foxy’s rum-filled drink menu. I settled in with a Dread Fox, a limey and cranberry rum fizz bomb, and our crew spent the rest of afternoon dancing and playing on the beach outside Foxy’s.

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Review: Chzburger in Paradise

Captain Brian (left) and first mate Doug

Captain Brian (left) and first mate Doug looking hungry and thirsty.

Top of the Baths Restaurant & Lounge
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
http://www.topofthebaths.com/

The sweet painkiller went down like a tiny pill and I wanted more, my thirst and hunger almost unquenchable from a hot and sweaty morning filled with sailing six-foot carribean swells, and then hiking up to this gorgeous restaurant for our crew’s first cheeseburger in paradise. My mouth was perma-salted from our morning workout and the painkillers, one by one, not only balanced my palate, but shifted the island buzz into defcon 2. Happy dappy.

The Top of the Baths Restaurant & Lounge offers guests a most spectacular view, one overlooking a beach on Virgin Gorda Island known as The Baths; a stunning beach full of massive stones and boulders, crazy caves, crystal clear waters and white sands. The cheeseburgers? Not so spectacular, but worth ordering if for the view only.

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Our crew had been considering cheeseburgers in paradise , ala Jimmy Buffet, since our sailing trip had begun. Buffett’s music, which plays twenty-four-seven in the restaurants and bars dotting the British Virgin Isles (BVIs),  finally took a toll on our crew during that morning’s battle with with seas. There was a breaking point.

As Virgin Gorda came into view, co-captain Erica said something about being hungry, and then it happened. Over the sailboat’s shifty speakers slipped this familiar intro:

Tried to amend my carnivorous habits
Made it nearly 70 days!
Losing weight without speed-eatin’ sunflower seeds
Drinking lots of carrot juice and soakin’ up rays,
But at night I’d have these wonderful dreams
Some kind of sensuous treat
Not zucchini, fettucini, or bulgar wheat
But a big warm bun and a huge hunk of meat,

Cheeseburger in paradise!

It was rum and cheeseburger time, for once and for the rest of the trip!  And it was rum and cheeseburgers we found at the Top of the Baths Restaurant & Lounge.  

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The cheeseburgers were a little disappointing, as mentioned, but the rum and the views special. The presentation, of burger and fries, seemed too “country club, by the pool”, to qualify as a serious player in burger-land. You know the kind of burger I’m talking about.-those previously frozen, thin, tasteless patties combined with some pre-sliced cheddar, served with string French fries. All served poolside, just like a cookout!

The burger and fries fit the situation though. They were gone in 30-seconds, with the help of some ketchup and another pain killer. And within seconds of finishing we were soaking in the pool, ordering more rounds of painkillers, none too concerned with the taste, presentation, or originality of our first cheeseburger in paradise.  

The beautiful Baths

The beautiful Baths

Get there and you’ll soon understand why.

*This restaurant’s menu is pretty expansive, so this review might be a little unfair considering we ordered the lamest items on that  menu.

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