Thursday, July 26, 2012

What I Ate -- The BAHAMAS!

And here we are! The Bahamas Post!

I look rather sleepy and messy here... because I was sleepy and very sun-burnt
under that suit, but I LOVED hanging with the dolphins :)

I really, REALLY enjoyed my family vacation to The Bahamas! It was just the most gorgeous place. I have visions of winning the lottery now so I can go live in that paradise all year round. We stayed at the Atlantis Resort, which felt awfully fancy. We were a bit disappointed with how expensive everything was, considering how expensive it is to stay there, but with some good budgeting and lots of time just laying on the beach, we made it work with the budget we gave ourselves. Also, the nice thing about the heat is that it kind of curbs your appetite--we found we could get by just fine with a light breakfast, a few snacks, and a larger meal later in the day, plus gallons and gallons of water (so so necessary in the heat!). Not sure if this works for everyone, but it worked for us.

And, of course, because I consider myself a budding foodie, I took pictures of nearly every single thing I ate. We didn't get too much "authentic" Bahamian food, but everything was fantastic and as we all know, calories on vacation don't count!

Here's my little review of what was consumed over the 6 days we were there :)

After finally arriving at the resort, we were tired and starving. We just wanted something as quickly as possible, so we headed to the Johnny Rockets on the resort. I've only ever been to Johnny Rockets as a part of a resort or amusement park, so I'm not sure how the experience compares to the usual place. Honestly, I think I prefer Red Robin. These burgers were nothing special, but the staff was amazingly friendly and the little ketchup designs were adorable. Johnny Rockets is one of the cheaper places to grab a bite at the Atlantis Resort, so definitely keep this in mind if you ever go!

My younger brother, 20, was able to legally have a drink with me.
(The drinking age in the Bahamas is 18!)

 For starters, we arrived on a Sunday. Now, I don't know about you, but vacation just doesn't seem like vacation to me without a few cocktails! Unfortunately, we weren't quite ready to start throwing down $15 for mixed drinks at the resort (EVERYTHING on-site was sooo pricey!) so we scrambled to find a liquor store. However, the Bahamas are pretty religious, and NOTHING is open on a Sunday, especially not liquor stores. The one place that was open was a tiny little quickie-mart type place, and we luckily found these Daily's Frozen Cocktails. They were very silly, but contained a bit of alcohol--and the frozen-ness was a refreshing treat in the crazy heat. They do have these here, but they weren't amazing enough that I'd seek them out regularly. We all sipped some from each other's packs, and my favorite was the peach.

The Athena Cafe & Bar ended up being my second favorite place we ate at during the trip. The food was so fresh and delicious! I don't often have Greek food, and I never have even tried a gyro, but everything was just so fantastic. This gyro was my first experience sampling lamb. Though, ethically, I am not a fan of eating baby animals (the process for slaughter is way too heartbreaking...though it is for adult animals too... this is my dilemma that makes me try to go veg every two years or so, oy.) this lamb gyro was so so good. I probably won't make lamb a regular part of my diet, but I was glad I tried it so that I finally know what it's like. The yogurt sauce was the real star of the dish though, my stepdad was smart enough to get extra and slathered it on every bite. I felt wonderfully full and satisfied after the meal. We also got Conch fritters as an appetizer, and they were FANTASTIC. Conch is one of the staples of a Bahamian diet. The fritters tasted like a slightly fishy fried dough, and the sauce was like a creamy cocktail sauce. If you find yourself on Bay Street in Nassau (it's across the bridge from Atlantis) and you want a light and reasonable lunch, do yourself a favor and check out this place!

The most reasonably priced restaurant at the Atlantis resort, aside from the fast food options, is Murray's Deli. Don't let the name fool you--it's not a Deli, it's a diner. We all had a great time with this meal. The food is certainly not gourmet, but when you're paying $50 a plate at other restaurants on site, it's a welcome, budget-friendly dinner. I got the French Dip, a diner favorite of mine, and was pleased that the gravy they served it with was more like a traditional au jus. The pickles they served as an appetizer were fantastic too! Again, it's nothing fancy, but it's a good dinner if you're hungry.

My mom and I found a pirate and took a picture with him while shopping in downtown Nassau.

Pina Colada in a "yard cup"--half-yard is more accurate, but I'm not picky.

My absolute favorite place we ate at was Senor Frogs. And no, it wasn't just because they served their drinks in these crazy souvenir cups!

These nachos probably had something to do with it...

Or these chimichangas...

Or these crazy-awesome fajitas that words cannot even describe how good they are. The flavors in the meat--woah. Juicy, marinated, amazing. I have never even made HOMEMADE fajitas with this kind of care, and when I took a bite I was expecting nothing more than a run-of-the-mill, chili's-esque experience. Hells to the no. These were legit, amazing fajitas.

Senior Frogs definitely has a reputation for being a college-kid party spot, and it certainly is. Mid-day on a Wednesday and the drinking was going strong. But the food was out of this world amazing. They are a chain restaurant that operates almost exclusively in the tropical vacation destinations. There is a full list on their website, check them out if your next vacation coincides with a Senor Frogs location!

I was craving conch fritters one evening when our lunch was our "big meal" of the day, so I ventured out and about in the resort and picked up these from Bimini Road, a casual-dining restaurant at the resort. I was also intrigued by the crab spring rolls, but I kind of wish I'd just gone with the fritters. The crab rolls were way too fishy, mushy, and the chili sauce was the only redeeming quality. I slathered those suckers with the stuff before deciding I'd had enough. The conch fritters were fantastic, like the ones I'd had at Athena's. And the pina coladas they served at every Atlantis bar, though pricey, were perfection. Bimini Road's prices were pretty steep for dinner, but for a quick snack it was perfect!

My family and me outside of the hotel pool

For our last night, we shelled out the big bucks and dressed up all fancy to go to Carmine's at the resort. Because it was a family-style restaurant, the portion sizes were HUGE. The hardest part was deciding on a dish the whole family would like. For an appetizer, we got the stuffed mushrooms. They were SPICY, but so delicious. Stuffed with what tasted like sausage, peppers, and breadcrumbs. They were great. Even the bread they served with the meal was fantastic: white, wheat, and even pizza bread with some garlic olive oil for dipping. For our main course we got the chicken marsala and it was out of this world! My only suggestion is that they have at least a FEW options for those who don't wish to dive in "family style"--what if you go alone? Or with just one person? The four of us couldn't even finish this thing! But I suppose that's the point ;)

Anyways, it was a wonderful vacation, full of great food, and I will never forget it!


  1. Looks like you had so much fun!! My grandma has a condo in the Bahamas (a super tiny island with little/no tourism, though) and I adore it there. It's gorgeous

    1. It's the most beautiful water I've ever seen! The beaches are so so gorgeous.

  2. It looks like your vacation was tons of fun! I'm loving all the food you ate! Yum!

  3. Looks like so much fun. I love your hat.

  4. Great pictures!!! Every time my husband and I see a commercial for Atlantis on tv, we mention how cool it would be to take the kiddos there someday. Did you go on that awesome waterslide I always see pictured?

    1. Kind of! I went on the one next to it... See, I cannot swim, so the basic waterslides you have to do bare are not my thing. But the ones on tubes are usually okay. So I did the "serpent" which ended with a leisurely float through the same shark tank that the big slide went through. It was very cool :)

  5. What a fun place to go on vacation! Gorgeous too! Everything looks delicious - I always wondered what conch tastes like.

    1. Basically, a clam! Haha. I feel like I cheated a bit because the fritters are kind of like clam-flavored-fried dough. But they were so good I ate them at every opportunity. I guess I'll just have to return so I can try legit conch, huh?

  6. You looks great! The food is delicious!

  7. looks like it was a great vacation!!!

  8. Thanks for sharing your vacation pictures! It seems like you had a great time. Water looks soooo beautiful! I wanna hang out with dolphins too! :-)

  9. i'm so jealous. looks like you had a great time! i've always wanted to go to Atlantis. my cousin and her family go like every year and they rave about it. glad to see that you really like it there too!