FOOD: Blue Ridge Restaurant, Blue Mountains

One of the downsides of being married to a doctor is that sometimes, usually for months at a time, there are periods where you don’t spend nearly enough time together. Hello March! If my husband does manage to be at home, he is more or less sleeping or in a zombie-like state. So I decided we needed to do something on Easter Sunday and it was the perfect opportunity to go up the Blue Mountains to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to since I first heard about it on my trip to The Gap Cafe, Blue Ridge.

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View from the restaurant

It’s quite the trip up, it took us a little less than an hour to get there from Papine, and my husband joked that the road was the gift that keeps on giving. Every time we thought we were close, there was more road. The view though is worth the trip!

The rustic vibe restaurant with random items much like artefacts had a nice mellow vibe. It’s bordered by large glass windows to maximize the surrounding view. It wasn’t packed but there were enough people to suggest folks go looking for it, just like we did. The staff was very friendly and helpful and the wait time not bad at all.

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Chicken Quesadillas with Cilantro Cream Sauce… half eaten! Haha
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Tortilla soup with tomatoes, black beans, corn, carrot, Chipotle seasoning topped with crunchy tortillas and cheese.

I had Chicken Quesadillas with Cilantro Cream Sauce for an appetizer. Now I didn’t order it, my husband did (bless his heart). I’m rarely able to mulch a three-course meal and I wanted to have an empty stomach for the entree. But the Quesadilla’s smelled good and I ended up eating most of it. It’s a good thing he’d ordered soup, too!  I think that might have been deliberate but who knows, I’m just glad. Turns out I still had a lot more belly space to go around.

 

A few minutes later our main course arrived. I forgot to mention the cute little props on the serving trays that ranged from world globes to Eiffel towers and large butterflies. They were an interesting addition, to add curiosity and maybe a conversation if nothing else.

 

For the entree, I chose the Smoked Pork in Guava Glaze and a side of Garlic Mashed Green Bananas. It was served perched on steamed vegetables and accompanied by a glass of fruit punch which came with a complimentary refill Now, I admit when I ordered the green bananas, they sounded a lot better than they really were, but as a green banana lover, they definitely improved when eaten with the guava sauce from the pork. The pork was tender and lovely and the sauce sweet and very flavorful. I regret not having the opportunity to eat my bone like I truly wanted.

 

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Smoked Pork in Guava Glaze and a side of Garlic Mashed Green Bananas.

 

Hubby ordered Linguini with vegetables and chicken in creamy cilantro sauce. In true wife/girlfriend fashion, I had some. Hehe.  I was pretty good and he was the one not able to finish his meal this time.

 

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Linguini with Vegetables and Chicken in Creamy Cilantro Sauce

 

Then, for dessert and one of the main reasons I went there, the restaurant’s signature drink, the rich blue hot chocolate. My first tip is, the drink is HOT, though the whipped cream on top will inveigle you to let your guard down. That is to say, I scorched my whole tongue on the first sip. Next, even though I was prepared for my tongue to be blue, I wasn’t prepared for blue lips and teeth too!

 

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Blue Hot Chocolate

Have you ever tried to flirt with blue lips? Cz I have and my husband laughed at me. Anyone lost a blue mouthed Becky? Sigh!

All in all, it’s a serene experience in a cool oasis. You should try it!

 

FOOD: Tamarind Continental 

It’s weird, I have been to the Tamarind Indian Cuisine restaurant in Liguanea a number of times, possibly the China Max Chinese restaurant beside it as well but somehow managed to not have noticed the extension Tamarind Continental. How I missed that there is a third restaurant in that tiny space is beyond me. We visited on Mother’s Day and the service is pretty good, the same as Tamarind Indian Cuisine since the two restaurants seemed to share staff.

Un-appetizing Appetizer? 

The meal started off with us ordering Cream of Chicken with Fresh Herbs soup.  I admit that I could hardly contain my face when the plate arrived, and the waitress burst out laughing as she tried to reassure me by saying:

It tastes better than it looks. Just try it, you’ll see.”

I looked at it some more. It was green. I don’t profess to be any kind of health nut, and any attempts I have ever made at green juice was made with staunch opposition from my tastebuds and stomach. I couldn’t pawn it off on my husband because he’d ordered the same thing. Tentatively, I tried it.

The waitress was right. It had a creamy kick to it that wakes tastebuds and was very good. Though at first glance it looked to be just thick liquid, at the bottom of the dish layed chunks and crumbs of tender, white chicken as an unexpected  surprise, much like extra fries at the bottom of the bag. It was delightful, however, by the time I finished my soup I knew I was in trouble for the rest of the meal. My old appetite is slowly making its way back to normal, recovering from pregnancy, and it’s very rare if ever that I can finish a three course meal. I was almost full by the time I finished with my appetizer.

Main Course 

Like I mentioned, I figured I would be unable to eat much of the main course when it arrived and that was exactly the case, though the serving wasn’t large. I had ordered Smoked Pork Chops in Apple Mustard Sauce served with a side of mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables along with Garlic Bread with Cheese.


I had a half a pork chop, some mashed potatoes, vegetables, and one slice of vread before I caved.When I moved to tell my husband that I had in fact ‘buss’ ( reached my limit), he replied with “Oh, I know.“, shaking his head.

It was a delicious meal, the pork tender and flavorful, masjed potatoes light, herby and fuffy and the vegetables light, crunchy and fresh.

Atmosphere

 Though small, it didn’t feel like neighbors were too close. Even with conversation at several tables, we wete still able to hear each other ocross the table.
It’s a nice little date spot in the middle of the town. I recommend it.

5 Red Wines For Beginners

I love wine. That is all. While I do have a preference for sweet reds,  and I’d say my least favorite red would be Cabernet Sauvignon as I don’t much care for dry wines. But I thought I’d share my favorite reds with you that were particularly easy as a beginner to like and ultimately fueled my preference for red wine to any other. I still like Whites (excluding Chardonnays) and others but, red wine is Bae (I can’t believe I used that word in public, haha!)

5. Carlo Rossi California Red

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Definitely the most economic of the five listed here, Carlo Rossi’s California Red is a medium sweet, medium dry. This is a good wine to try if you are stuck on Sweet Red’s and want to try others and fit’s great as a go between-er for say, Sweet Red’s to Merlots.

4. Barefoot Merlot

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Barefoot is known for great tastes and being inexpensive. It’s Merlot is no exception. It’s a touch dry but not overbearingly so. That makes it a good choice for introduction to Merlots.

3. Barefoot Sweet Red

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I believe my first taste of red wine as an ‘adult’ buying my own wine was Barefoot Sweet Red. It was the first time I realized red wine could be taste that good. Not hard on the pocket and easy on the palette. It’s so good.

2. Lamothe Parrot Mellow Reserve

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Lamothe Parrot is BAE #2. Beautifully rich, fruity and great tasting. If you haven’t tried this one yet, you’re missing out and this would be ideal if you have never tried red wine before.

1. Yellow Tail Sweet Red Roo

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This baby is BAE #1. Everything that fuels my love for red wine is right here in this one. It’s sweet. fruity, vibrant and smooth. Let’s be honest, if you are planning a sexy night with your significant other, or seducing someone, THIS!

There you have it folks! A list of recommended reds for beginners.

FOOD: The GAP Cafe, Blue Mountains

Several months ago, on a whim, a friend of mine and another friend of his decided to bust out into the mountains. The Blue Mountains, Jamaica to be exact. We made a few stops chittering, chattering and taking the view in. Fresh air for days!

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On the way, we stopped at a lovely cafe for lunch and let me tell you, the food and experience are not things my I will soon forget. They have the amenties for both an indoor and an outdoor dining experience, but who could pass up that breeze and view?

The scenery is entirely too beautiful and refreshing, lush green landscape d in the middle of the mountains and nature visited us in the form of the National Bird of Jamaica, the humming bird.

Quiet, peaceful time and space outside of the hustle and bustle of nearby city, Kingston.

Oxtail, yellow rice and tossed salad

Finally, the meal. As a born Jamaican, a favorite is Oxtail. The food was amazing. It just doesn’t get any better than this. I’ll definitely be going back. You don’t just have food like that once!
Before we left, we viewed the historical secrets the building had to offer and were invited to sign the guest book.