10 Must-eat Vincy Foods

If you plan to visit good ol’ Vincy, as soon as you land at E.T. Joshua Airport, ask a local where to find one (or all) of these victuals for sustenance before starting your adventure.  If you’re a Vincy, well, you already know.

  1. Roasted Breadfruit and Fried Jackfish:  You just can’t say no. It’s the National Dish…and it is delicious!
  2. Callaloo Soup:  Different callaloo from the Jamaican variety (and to die for in a soup. There are as many variations as there are cooks who prepare it. It’s delicious with crab, conch, beef, chicken and with a plethora of local vegetables.
  3. Patties:  Again, different from the Jamaican variety that’s garnered international fame. Vincentian Patties are essentially little, delicate pies filled with ground meat. One of my absolute favourites!
  4. Souse:  Now, souse is traditionally made with pig’s feet but I have also had a delicious version with conch. Yum! Souse is the chosen meat in a spicy, limey sauce. It can be served hot or chilled or anywhere in between with roasted breadfruit.
  5. Blackfish:  I’ve been all over the Caribbean and I’ve not seen this anywhere else. It’s very unique to St. Vincent. Blackfish is actually pilot whale and in St. Vincent it’s prepared in a similar fashion to saltfish (traditionally salted cod). It’s torn into small pieces and sautéed with tomatoes, onions, garlic, pepper and other spices.
  6. Shark and Bakes:  Shark seasoned and fried to a wonderful crisp and served with proper Vincy bakes (fried bits of yeasty dough), crispy on the outside and moist and fluffy on the inside.
  7. Peleau:  This is like the Vincentian version of paella – a delectable one-pot dish with rice, meat (could be beef, could be chicken), and sometimes peas. It seems basic enough but the addition of browned sugar makes this dish’s flavor one-of-a-kind.
  8. Tri tri cakes:  Little fritters made with tri tri, teeny tiny little river fish seasoned to exquisite gastronomic perfection.
  9. Goat water:  Yes. It sounds a bit manky, but it is delicious. It’s not just water with bits of goat in it (Ew!) as the name might suggest. Instead expect a super flavourful, spicy soup with ground provisions, green bananas and of course goat.
  10. Bread!:  Yes, a shocker. But Vincentians have a special relationship with bread. They’re like bread wizards, bread aficionados. Try any type. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much better it is than the stale one that sits on the supermarket shelf for days that you normally buy.

Kingstown – After Dark

Ok, so that sounds kind of sinister but believe me it’s not. Kingstown isn’t the kind of town where the freaks come out at night. In fact, it’s pretty much fast asleep at that hour. But the night owls and all around good-time seekers know exactly where to go once the sun has bid us adieu for the night.

FLOW

Flow is a lounge and wine bar which is the perfect place for bridging that weird, don’t-know-what-to-do time gap between work ending and club hours. The space is tastefully and elegantly decorated and holds true to the word “lounge”. The room is scattered with the most (maybe too) comfy, plush chairs imaginable, just begging you to curl up with a glass of wine and some friends to chat. The ambiance is perfectly in sync, with gentle jazz a-wafting and warm ochre light a-shining. The menus aren’t bad either with a cornucopia of wines, ales and brews from all over the world.

 

HERITAGE SQUARE

Ok. Yes. We’ve mentioned Heritage Square before in our post, “Kingstown – A Day Trip”. I know. But what holds true for the day time holds even better in the night time. Heritage Square is normally so “ram jam” on a Friday evening, there’s barely space to walk. This is THE after-work lyme. The food trucks become mini bars and many a Friday night, you could find enormous sound systems set up to blast the sweetest soca and most “sell-off” dancehall music. This is the best bet for people who enjoy more down-to-earth, “rootsy” fun, out in the open and under the stars.

 

CLUB 28

Now, Club 28 (formerly Rush) is an excellent lyme and I’ll tell you why.  Like most clubs, it has a lounge downstairs. However, unlike most lounges, Club 28’s can get as wild as (and on occasion wilder than) the club upstairs.

So, right after work, hit 28’s lounge. It is amazing and my personal fave spot. The lounge is like a mix of, well, a lounge, and a hip, cool, energetic bar.  Confused? Let me explain. Early in the evening, it’s definitely more chill and laid-back. You come in after work, you kick back, you sip a glass of wine (or an Amaretto Sour *wink wink*), have a chat with your friends  and have some yummy snacks from the menu. Then, as the night progresses, the energy picks up and, well, makes you not want to bother to head upstairs…yeah…that fun.

If you must get on a dance floor and dance all night in a sweaty, heady frenzy, then just head up the flight of stairs and there in all its laser-light glory is the dance floor complete with hot DJ. Get down Saturday night!

 

SHARK BAR

Shark bar is the proper sports bar in SVG, complete with pool tables and flat screens for whichever game is must-see at the time.  What’s interesting about Shark too is the addition of a “dance” space. Yes, the clientele can shake a leg there but, frankly, that’s not what comes to my mind…poles and a stage. That’s all I’m saying.

Poles and stage aside, Shark Bar is usually a good time. In fact, I’m heading there tonight…in a few actually…have to get ready. Hasta!

Kingstown – A Day Trip!

A walk through Kingstown (or just “town” as locals refer to it) during the day can be terribly difficult sometimes.  For a person in town on a mission, Kingstown can provide many a distraction.
The first and most obvious distraction is the many stores in Kingstown. While there may not be any H&M, Marks and Spencer, or Gap outlets, if one knows where to look, one can end up leaving town with a few hundreds of dollars less. A little boutique called, Amnejaa is the one store I know I can get the perfect dress for an event in a pinch and Elegance and Fragrances are other staple stores for any Vincentian woman. For makeup and beauty products, there is no store better than Acute Cosmetics. I know I’ve clearly excluded our readers of the more masculine persuasion, but the Trend provides top-notch boy and girl-friendly shopping. A trip there can get you a great pair of designer (as in Prada, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana) sunglasses, or makeup from their exclusive L’Oreal counter.
The second distraction is the vendors along every major walkway in Kingstown.  From handmade jewelry using indigenous materials to traditional Vincentian snacks and sweets, the offerings make it very hard to focus on why you came into town in the first place.  The quality of many of the products easily rival that of the craft boutiques but for half the price!
Distraction number three: Heritage Square. From morning until night, Heritage Square is full of energy.  With several food-vending trucks, including the famous Richie’s and Mac’s Snack Shack, I don’t think there is ever a time that a throng of people aren’t milling about.  Whether it’s a weekday or a Saturday night, there is always a group of good-vibed Vincentians chilling and having a drink (yeah, even on weekdays) at Heritage Square. Let the good times roll!
Other places to check out: Kingstown Market (for fresh fruit and veggies and excellent quality organic coconut oil – great for hair and skin), The Bounty Restaurant (delicious Vincentian patties and local juices and the sweetest café-style ambiance) and the Cruise-Ship Terminal (boutiques and restaurants catering specially to tourists visiting our beautiful island).
Now get off your butt and go for a walk through town! There’s loads more to see than I could fit into this one post. Happy Trekking!

A Glimpse at Good Ol’ Vincy

In a teeny tiny corner of the Caribbean Sea is a little island called St. Vincent and its little brother and sister islands collectively known as the Grenadines. Many people reading this may never even have heard of such a place, but for many that have, there is a magic about the islands that makes St. Vincent and the Grenadines hard to forget.

This post seeks to explore St. Vincent and the Grenadines from a view that is not that of the traditional travel blog, i.e. from a tourist’s point of view, but from the point of view of locals who even after living here for years can’t seem to help falling under the spell of the place again and again.

St. Vincent at a Glance

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines  was colonized by both the British and the
    French and is as a result influenced somewhat by both cultures.
  • It gained political independence from Britain on October 27, 1979.
  • It has a population of over 120,000 people.
  • The nation is made up of the main island, St. Vincent and a chain of smaller islands and islets known as the Grenadines.
  • The Capital of St. Vincent is Kingstown or “the City of Arches” and is found on
    the southern coast of the main island.

The Capital

Kingstown resides on the sea like many Caribbean capitals, which were also founded around sea ports, and were the trade centres and main money-makers from days past.

Kingstown is different in that unlike many other Caribbean capitals which have developed into mini metropolises, it still maintains a hint of the Old World. The walkways are of the most charming cobblestone and here and there interlaced between the more modern buildings one can catch glimpses of gingerbread fretwork from the wooden houses that have been cleverly converted into business places.

You won’t find a Starbucks on every corner here (or any for that matter) or a Barnes and Noble down the block. Most of the businesses in Kingstown are unique to St. Vincent. The only familiar sign in Kingstown may be a KFC, which has become a staple of the Vincentian fast food industry.  So be prepared to say adios to McDonald’s and
hola to some proper Vincentian callaloo soup. Yum!

We’ll wrap it up here for now but, believe me, we haven’t even started on Kingstown yet…

‘Til next time!

~MD