Bermuda – The Food

11 Aug

Hello my lovely readers! Did you miss me? I really wasn’t doing much, just relaxing on a beach on some remote island in the Atlantic.

Horseshoe Bay Beach

The husband and I spent 4 glorious (albeit VERY muggy) days in the beautiful island of Bermuda. Our main reason for running off to Bermuda was for a close friend’s wedding (post to come later!) but we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the deal.

View of the water from our cottage

Now you may assume that all we did on that island was lounge on the beach and soak up the rays and attended a wedding, but we managed to actually visit most of the island during our trip. You see, Bermuda is incredibly small, with a population of just over 65,000 and it’s about half the size of Nantucket. You can pretty much get to one side of the island (the main island) to the other in about an hour and a half by road.

During our stay, we stayed in the Parish of Paget, which is a great starting point. Literally a one minute walk from the Salt Kettle Ferry, we were easily able to get to Hamilton and beyond during our trip. While we did have a take a few taxi rides here and there, we were able to take public transportation most of the time.
We stayed at the lovely Greenbank Cottages, in a small room which included a bed, bathroom and even a small refrigerator. There was a small patio table, and just a brief walk to the dock and bam, you’re at the ocean. We took advantage of the dock and went swimming one night, and it certainly isn’t Cape Cod water! Included with our room was a continental breakfast, and while it was heavy on the carbs, it was still delicious.
One specialty in Bermuda is Bermuda Fish Chowder. Forget the white creaminess of traditional New England Chowder, Bermudian Fish Chowder is a lighter and more flavorful version. We tasted many a fish chowder while in Bermuda, the first being at the Hog Penny.  Another fun little trivia bit for you, did you know the Hog Penny was the inspiration for the restaurant Cheers? Betcha didn’t know that.
Surprisingly enough, many of the pubs we went to had Sam Adams on tap! We didn’t try it though, even though I was quite tempted to see if it tasted any different.
Besides using white fish in the chowder and the many spices, what truly makes Bermuda Fish Chowder different is the additional of Goslings Black Rum and Outerbridges Sherry Pepper Sauce. The fish chowder is made with the rum and sherry pepper sauce in it, but almost all restaurants will give you a bottle of each to add more. If you like an extra kick to your chowder, I would suggest adding more sherry pepper sauce. We ended up buying some of the sherry pepper sauce but not the black rum and as soon as I get my hands on some, you bet your butt I’m making some fish chowder. The chowder above was from the White Horse Tavern (not to be confused with the one in Allston, this one is much better) which is located in St. George’s.
Some other Bermudian specialties are other fish such as wahoo and rockfish, and even conch. We got to sample all the local dishes while we were in Bermuda, and they were quite delicious.
At the White Horse Tavern we sampled the fish bites, which were battered and fried local Wahoo served with a tartar sauce. These were one of my favorite dishes, it reminded me of a slightly moister cod cake.
We also tried the conch fritters. As I was happily munching away my fritters my husband mentioned to me that conch is actually a type of snail. ::pause:: I have to admit, it was a little tougher to try to eat these but I had to acknowledge that they were quite delicious. They are definitely on the meaty side.
Back over at the Hog Penny we sampled the crab cakes which was served with a roasted red pepper and corn relish.
I really enjoyed these. They had a nice crunch to them and the relish was amazing.
We also sampled some Bermuda Onion Soup. Bermuda Onions are on the sweeter side, and this was some of the best onion soup I’ve had. It’s probably spiked with rum, and I’m ok with that.
SPEAKING of rum, we definitely had our fair share of rum drinks while on the island. The two most popular drinks are the Rum Swizzle and the Dark and Stormy. After sampling a few of each, I’ve decided that I prefer the Dark and Stormy over the Swizzle. The Rum Swizzle is made with Goslings rum, citrus juice and a sweetener, generally grenadine. If you like sweet drinks, this is your girl. A Dark & Stormy, on the other hand, is fairly straightforward. Black Rum (Dark) and Ginger Beer (Stormy), it’s the perfect combination of sweet and tart. If you prefer more rum flavor, you can ask for a Darker and Stormy. If you like more Ginger, then a Dark and Stormier is your drink. The favored rum of choice is Goslings, however you’ll be surprised to know that the corporate headquarters of Bacardi is in Hamilton. I’m just full of trivia today.
On the day we went to the Dockyards, we had lunch at the Frog & Onion Pub, which is housed in the cooperage.
The Frog & Onion is home to the ONLY brewery in ALL of Bermuda, the Dockyard Brewery Company. Bermuda is obviously not known for it’s beer selection.
Dockyard Brewing offers 5 different beers; A Whale of a Wheat, St. David’s Light, Somer’s Amber Ale, Trunk Island Pale Ale, & Black Anchor Porter. Hubby got the flight of beers which was 6oz of each beer. (That’s 30oz if you’re keeping count).
After sampling each one to see which I liked the most, I went with a traditional English pint (that’s 20oz, try to keep up here) of the Whale of a Wheat. It’s a traditional German Hefeweizenand it was very tasty. H & I agreed that all of the flavors were rather muted, but they certainly did the job.
Joe went with the special of the day, which was the Curried Mussel Pie. Also something that is done frequently in Bermuda, it incorporated the British side as well as the Caribbean side. This pie was chock full of curried mussels, and the side of mashed potatoes went extremely well with the mussels. Very nice job.
Feeling a little peckish myself, I went with the Ploughman’s Platter, and I was VERY happy I did this. A warm French baguette, sliced of apple, tomato, carrots, and some of the best pickled onions I’ve ever had in my life. Also included was some amazing Stilton and Cheddar Cheese, gala pie (a pork and chicken concoction with a hard boiled egg in the center, brilliant), and finally, some Branston pickle (basically a bunch of veggies that were pickled in something amazing) on the side. I made a pretty impressive sandwich out of my offerings, and it was clearly amazing. I see myself making Gala Pie in the near future.
When it came down to dessert, we didn’t even need the menu. I knew they had sticky toffee pudding and when our waiter came around we said “One sticky toffee pudding please!” and when it arrived at the table, I may have shed a tear or two. It brought back fond memories of the most delicious sticky toffee pudding I had while in London and let-me-tell-you, THIS sticky toffee pudding may be my new favorite. Wonderfully moist, with an amazing ginger like sauce, I was in HEAVEN.
Basically, if you ever find yourself in Bermuda, GO TO the Frog & Onion. It’s a little touristy (the Dockyards is where most cruise ships dock. Bet that was hard to figure out) but the food is great.
We did go to a couple of other places that I failed or chose not to take photos of.  I’ll briefly list them in bullet form since this post is already terribly long. I hope you are still reading at this point.
  • We went to Cafe Acoreano which I was really excited about because it’s an Azorean bakery/cafe. Should have had the pastries but instead we had lunch. Disappointing
  • Before heading to St. George’s we stopped at Common Ground in Hamilton and I had an amazing concoction of Coconut milk, chai, and espresso which was frappeed into amazingness. I hesitated about getting it, but was not disappointed
  • At the Hamilton ferry terminal I had one of the best mocha frappochinos of my life at Diangelinis. It was creamy and chocolately with a good coffee boost. Amazing
  • Our last night in Bermuda we went out with some friends at the  Somerset Country Squire Pub. It was an interesting experience to say the least. The best thing its got going for it is the view. The service is spotty, the food is good, the drinks could be stronger (some of us MAY have added some extra rum to our drinks from the bottle we got for our chowder). But the Sox/Yankees game was playing at the time, so extra points in my book.
  • La Trattoria in Hamilton is home to the only wood burning pizza oven in Bermuda. We went for an early dinner and split a delicious pizza
  • At the Jasmine Lounge at the Fairmont Southampton Hotel, we splurged on some Afternoon Tea. I wish I could have taken pictures but I failed to bring my camera. It was a great deal for the amount of food you got ($24 per person). It included a pot of tea, 4 tea sandwiches, a couple of pastries, cake and scones. With jam and sweet butter. It was absolutely delicious and I HIGHLY recommend it! Worth every penny!
One additional note about dining in Bermuda. IT IS EXPENSIVE! A relatively cheap meal in Bermuda will cost about $15.00 for lunch, and around $20.00 for dinner. Additionally, many restaurants in Bermuda require reservations for dinner and the dress code can be pretty formal. Many restaurants require the men to wear a jacket. We lucked out on our trip and didn’t need to make any reservations and didn’t have to dress extra fancy, but that was mostly because we ate early. Also, if you are considering sharing an entree, most restaurants will charge a sharing fee. We almost only shared 1 set of afternoon tea, but they were going to charge an additional $12!!! so we ended up getting one set each.
So there you have it, the food of Bermuda in a nutshell. The next post I’ll be showing you all the OTHER stuff we did besides EAT in Bermuda.

6 Responses to “Bermuda – The Food”

  1. Emily @ A Cambridge Story August 11, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    Looks like a great trip. D & S are one of my favorite summer drinks – just bought supplies to have some in Maine this weekend!

  2. Daisy August 11, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    Looks like so much fun. I want to be on that beach!! Hope you find Goslings Rum, DnS’s are a fave drink of mine and I love conch fritters!!!

  3. Megan August 11, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I’m drooling over all of that food. And incredibly jealous of your fab mini vacation!

  4. Taryn August 11, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Oh MY, everything looks to die for! Not to mention those ocean views… I think I’m gonna keep Bermuda in mind for a future vaca.

  5. Elizabeth August 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Gorgeous scenery! I also LOVE sticky toffee pudding.

  6. Meesh August 15, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    cool post, i would have never known what type of food is native to Bermuda. everything looks delicious!

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