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Restaurant review – Chez MoMo

10 Aug

We’ve driven by this place loads of times. The name makes me laugh, I have no idea why…Chez Momo. I want mo mo mo of this place!

Restaurant: Chez Momo
Where: Sainte Anne, at the rotary of Bois Jolan, direction St. Franccois, on the left.
5/5 ti-punch

Let me start by saying that rotisserie chicken and fries is a staple here in Guadeloupe. It’s THE fast food in my opinion. You can get it from a truck, in a high end restaurant, at the beach, already prepared in the supermarket to bring home and reheat. If you don’t take the fries every time (which is like taking the peanut butter without the jelly, the fish without the chips…)it’s not the worst thing you could eat!
Chez Momo, the first impression is that this place is CLEAN. Spotless. You’ve got your small kitchen/service window where you place your order. In front of that is a large covered area, tile floor, well ventilated but protected enough that you could easily eat here during one of Gwada’s sideways rainfalls. A large screen tv in the dining area was showing the daily news. It’s well lit inside.

When we approached the counter we were greeted with Mo’s super high energy level and kind welcome and explanation of how the place works. (I don’t know if he’s named Mo, but for this review I’ll call him Mo.) This greeting and explanation is a rare find and I was instantly happy to be there.
The food is reasonably priced, clearly listed on the menu at the service counter. We sat ourselves and in seconds our cold beers were delivered, followed soon after by our orders. Mo came by to see that everything was ok – he was at every table in the place chatting with people. Mo is like the MC of his own restaurant and he likes to keep it lively, cool, friendly.
The food was good – the fries are homemade, not previously frozen and mushy and super greasy. Fantastic.
I only had the poulet roti avec des frites fait maison…next time I think I’ll try the gratin christophine with an entrecote (10 euros for the entrecote only).
Go Mo! It was a pleasure dining chez vous

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Farm to plate in Guadeloupe

2 May

Les 3 Fermiers had been tempting me since I came across their blog months ago.  I rallied some pals who also dig the idea of farm to plate dining and off we went to the country of Hans Bertrand. Long roads and sugarcane fields, cows and lolos, the stuff surf trip films are full of when they show this part of the Caribbean. In a hangar-type structure which was perfectly ventilated as well as decorated, we were served a delicious meal including aperitif of rhum fait maison in your choice of at least ten different flavors, appetizers – one warm and one cold, main dish, dessert, and a bottle of wine for the four of us. The verdict in brief: YUM and YES! Coffee is not included, and if not for the fact that I had to drive back home alone and thought it would be best to stay awake, I would not even have had the space for that teeny tiny coffee. The price was 30 euros each. A fair price considering they grow it, harvest it, prepare it, serve it.

Clotilde and her mom were running the place that day (as they do, I assume most days!) and I have honestly NEVER had better service in a restaurant in Guadeloupe. What sweet gracious women. It’s clear they love what they do, and it sets the mood for the whole experience. It’s calm but efficient, relaxed and lively. We made nice with the folks at the table next to us during the meal, don’t ya love that?!

After eating we did a tour of the farm where Clotilde told us which plants and vegetables were which. They work a lot of land over there, complete with papaya, banana, madere, giraumon,manioc and an herb garden, plus so much more. So much food, so few chemicals. Yay!

If you take good look at a map before you go and bring it with you, and pay close attention to a couple of worn out signs on the way, it’s relatively easy to find.  If I’m saying that, really truly it must be because I do still suffer from neon sign syndrome. Can’t find a thing without them, and for the most part, they don’t really exist here for direction’s sake. So, when you make it to Gwada, hit the beach in Hans Bertrand on Sunday morning – there’s a great surf spot with a great non-surfer spot at the same beach. Then, when you’re good and hungry, head over to see Clotilde and her mom. Make a reservation though!!! That’s a great day.

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Below, cotton in front of sugarcane field on the way in…

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Above, cold appetizer, fish, mushrooms (I think – I should have taken notes!), giraumon, and I think christophine which is a root vegetable lighter than a potato when cooked.

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Above, the mother load. So good. Pork which tasted slow roasted and seasoned, and fell off the bone, with seasoned rice and a sweet banana gratin…ooooohhhhhhh….

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Above, the many tastes of local made rhum chez Les 3 Fermiers, plus fresh made juice sans alcohol. Certainly some flavors I’d never even heard of! Wow.

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Bungalows for rent on the farm! Right behind the restaurant. I bet the stars at night are incredible in this country setting. Who knows, maybe they’d trade for farmhand work for a weekend or something? I didn’t ask, but super enthusiastic agri-tourism folks might…

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Above, papaya tree!

Food Obsession

21 Apr

Je suis gourmande”

My esthetician said this to me the other day as we discussed the trials and tribulations of ‘peau d’orange’ aka cellulite.  It’s one of those things where I’m relatively certain that I know what it means, but not entirely. I think it translates to, “I really enjoy food a lot and in fact if left to my own devices I would eat non stop but since I would like to put on a bathing suit from time to time I try my best not to but it’s an uphill battle.”

At least, that’s what it means to me. So yeah, I’m on the horse again with the whole let’s get fit and train the new dog and plant the whole garden and do pushups. I’m also back on the horse with writing my long neglected blog. Poor blog. How will it ever grow up to become a decent website if I don’t love it daily? Not possible.

What better way to draw the two of you who read my blog back in than with some pictures? Everybody likes pictures, right? So much easier than reading. I have a small obsession with food. Je suis gourmande. I take pictures of my food. Then I eat it. All. Pirate knows that if he wants a taste he’d better ask before I inhale my entire plate without even thoughfully offering up a nibble.  If he reaches in without asking he might not get his hand back. Poor Pirate. He’s not gourmand, though, so I don’t feel so bad. He doesn’t suffer anxiety at the question of where and when the next meal will come from even though the fridge is full and restaurants are open. He doesn’t clap with delight as his plate is placed in front of him. Well, I do. And I defend all who do so! I’m going to celebrate les gourmands with photos of food here in Guadeloupe. I hope they tempt you to visit, the place is growing on me, finally.

Below: fantastic meals at the restaurant right on the beach in Bananier. A great black sand beach suitable for beginning surfers. You’ll see the surf camp group if you go! One of my favorite places to go on a Sunday.

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Above: Local fast food called agoulou.  Essentially an enormous sandwich. Note the cd case for size reference. They’re either terrible or great. This one is from the stand at the roundpoint of the old airport in Raizet. Unlikely tourist location. The name of the food stand I love: Cooking Light. HA!

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Above: Cafe Wango serves up fusion. They’re at the marina in St. Francois, a touristy location overall, but frequented by locals alike. Big portions. Delicious. Well presented. Love.

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Above: local lobster. Langouste. Caught by Pirate and friend one afternoon in Le Moule, at the spot called La Buelle (spelling? I don’t know) That was in one, one hour session. We also caught two crabs and about five fish. Prepared and shared with friends – what a life….

ImageAbove: I know it’s blurry. But it was so damn good. Carpacio de poisson, local avocado, and a type of ragout served chilled made with eggplant mostly, oh oh oh. Tendacayou hotel and spa is in Basse-Terre. It’s like roots deluxe if you will. Nature, cabin-like bedrooms, mosquito nets, there is even a tree house with a bed way up high, and a hot tub. Yeah! The meal was delivered to us on our terrace with a bottle of champagne. It was our anniversary. And that’s how we roll.

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The whole shibang.

ImageAbove: The night market in St. Anne has a bread guy who has so many different types of bread it’s incredible. Buy by the slice, they’re enormous loaves of bread. The night markets are excellent, and have absolutely the lowest prices on local food.

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It’s food. The rhum is made from sugar, there’s a piece of sugarcane in it, and a slice of lime. Et voila.  That’s the beach in Bananier.

I don’t understand the egg on the pizza

11 Jan

Pirate could live on pizza alone. I’ve suggested we do a tropical version of the Burrito Eater from San Francisco, and rate all the pizza in Guadeloupe. There is a LOT of pizza. I like how it is often prepared and served roadside from the canteen trucks. I find it impressive that the entire operation doesn’t exist until about 6pm and then there they are, full pizza oven roaring for the evening until it’s all packed away again, including the generator (have you ever eaten roadside beside a generator? Interesting ambiance) and doesn’t reappear until the next evening.  As with all food, the quality of the pizza varies depending on where you get it and I suppose, what your expectations are.

So we went to a great little restaurant last night, Bahia Lounge Cafe in St. Francois. The menu is a big mix of Asian-inspired cuisine, typical local dishes, and of course, pizza. There is always pizza, it seems. So Pirate gets a pizza and I get an awesome salad with chevre toast. When the pizza arrives, I notice something I’ve seen before but chose to ignore because it kind of made me nauseous.  In the center of the pizza, there is a half cooked egg, fried egg style, sunny side up. Just laying there, on top of the pizza, big yellow yolk all runny, with the white of the egg around it, all slimy and undercooked. On a pizza. With ham and cheese and some olives.  Now, food is one of the biggest cultural things to explore when you are Someplace Else. I am open to some things, I eat sushi, I tried beef carpaccio, didn’t like it, tried escargot, wasn’t really a texture I enjoyed, but I’m not criticizing people who eat things I don’t. It just depends what you like. But seriously. An egg on a pizza? I know, I know, I must be ignorant. I don’t get it. Such refined eating habits are above me. (turns green) I admit it, I don’t understand. Was it a mistake someone made one day and just called it the newest thing so they wouldn’t have to throw the pizza away? Was it a college student’s hangover creation when there was nothing but leftover pizza and one egg in the house? Why? Why would you ruin a delicious thing like pizza, cheesy golden goodness on the perfect amount of slightly crispy yet soft dough, with an undercooked egg? (turns more green) Sigh. It ranks right up there with beef tartare, raw ground beef served in a bowl with a raw egg on top, you mix it and eat it. If that’s your thing, go nuts, but I can’t fathom putting one forkful into my mouth without vomiting. Even if I could eat it, I’d be worried about getting seriously ill – may I reference my past post about W for worms…. Yeah yeah I eat raw fish. Maybe it’s the same, I don’t know. Eesh.

In any case, Bahia Lounge Cafe is recommended by moi. The lady (I’m not sure if she’s the owner) who is always working there is so kind. Always smiling. The food is systematically great and presented nicely. (see my salad, I don’t know why I didn’t snap a better picture of the stupid egg-pizza, but you can see it! The yolk…to the right of the frame!) There are a lot of options and great appetizers like nem, samosa, accra.  I’ve never been there for live music but from the looks of their facebook page it seems they’re quite busy, I’d check it out. It’s very spacious and open air.  Easy parking at the marina in St. Francois.  You might want to ask about the egg situation before you order any pizza….

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