Monday, December 31, 2007

Horse Eyed Jack's

The Horse Eyed Jack is a common fish around here. It is also the name of one of the newer restaurants on Providenciales. We had stopped by there sometimes last winter to try it out for dinner, and it was relatively new then so it is probably about a year old now.

The restaurant is in Blue Hills, very close to where the road turns to run along the beach. Near the entrance to Blue Hills. It's easy to find, and they have plenty of off-road parking in a lot.

They have some cleaned up conch shells sitting on posts in the parking lot;

Of course there is absolutely no shortage of conch shells in the TCI, they are everywhere. In fact, in some places there are piles of them. They tend to get all chalky white looking if left in the sun, but they do look kinda pretty cleaned up.

The restaurant's logo is displayed on a vintage pickup truck by the main entrance nearest Blue Hills Road:

I am thinking that whoever decorated this place was not from the TCI. A truck left stationary this close to the ocean here won't last three years before it starts falling apart. Its true, you know.....rust never sleeps.

La Gringa, Curley and I had stopped here once before when we were on a quest for the best cheeseburger on Provo. The one we got at Horse Eyed Jack's was definitely in the top three contenders. Unfortunately, we got here right at dark that one time. All the seating is outside here, and while it would feel balmy in the winter for someone from up north, for people acclimated to this climate a nighttime temperature in the high 60's is downright freezing. We scarfed our burgers while we were shivering and got out of there. We had not been back since, although we drive by it all the time when we go to Blue Hills. Yesterday we decided to go during the middle of the day when it was sunny and comfortable.

Here is another entrance to the dining deck from the parking lot:

It's a pretty good walk along the beach, which I think must go all the way to the Turtle Cove entrance. We noticed a fair number of people walking up for lunch.

Yesterday we tried four different selections from the lunch menu. The two boys with us had cajun grouper sandwiches and chicken fingers, La Gringa had cracked lobster, and two rum punches to go with her pain killers, and I had curried conch. This is part of my ongoing attempt to conquer my curry demons as part of an overall self improvement campaign that keeps running out of steam. I ate curried chicken for dinner every night for three months in Pakistan, and then several times a week for another two and a half months in Guyana a few years ago. I swore I would never let curry anywhere near me for the rest of my life. I couldn't even stand the smell of it for something like ten or fifteen years. Well, then when I came down here to the TCI I decided to give it another try. I think the curry here is different. It's sweeter, and I am starting to like it again.

Everything we ate at this restaurant was absolutely delicious. The sandwiches came with fries, and the lobster and conch dishes came with "peas and rice" (which is actually beans and rice and I have no clue why they call them peas) and cole slaw. Horse Eyed Jack's is obviously targeting the vacation crowd, and I wouldn't expect that many locals to eat here when there are so many other good native-owned restaurants nearby, but the food here was definitely good by American tastes. The lunch specials were on a blackboard next to a display area where they have some souvenirs:

There is a large, protected outdoor bar under a tiki-hut style thatched roof. When we looked at the bar closely, we immediately recognized the handiwork of someone we know pretty well here:

Yep, the bar is the conch-slice polished concrete that Marty Mason custom makes here in Provo. Same guy who poured the pavers used in our new patio.

The outside dining area (and it's really all outside, just some is more sheltered) is right on the beach, with a great view all the way out to the reef.

(thats a pano of two photos stuck together. The ocean really doesnt dip like that on the horizon)
The area under the hut is completely shaded, and set up to block wind and rain if a squall comes by while you are eating. You can get out of the weather.

And pay no attention to that 'shady' character in the near corner...he's not right in the head.

So, if you find yourself vacationing on Provo in the TCI and looking for a nice place for lunch on a beautiful beach away from the Grace Bay Hotel crowd, we recommend you check this place out. The staff was friendly and efficient, the food was great, and the prices were not that bad all things considered. I think we averaged about $ 20 a head for plenty of good food with drinks.

If you need directions, email us. By the way, La Gringa added an email function to the blog down in the right hand column somewhere.

I also wanted to mention another of our favorite restaurants here, called Pizza Pizza. We became friends with the owner, Robin, not long after we first moved here. The way that happened, was La Gringa unintentionally bounced a check for $ 60 worth of pizzas one night. Clerical error. Anyhow, when she found out, she went down to straighten it out, and a pizza from Pizza Pizza has been a Friday night tradition ever since. This past spring, Robin opened another, larger version of his original restaurant in Grace Bay at the site of the old Carter's Cafe. That's close to where we are living, so we usually call ahead and just pick up our pizza about 30 minutes later.

Saturday night we ordered three pizzas. Robin told me, on the phone, that it would be about 45 minutes, cause they were really busy. Knowing his penchant for optimism...I gave it an extra fifteen minutes before driving over. The pizza wasn't ready! He was all apologetic, and was carrying on conversations in three languages, while explaining whatever it was he was explaining. So, just to up the pressure a bit, I pulled out the camera and told him I was gonna complain on the blog...

That's Robin, the owner of the Restaurant getting ready to apologize again while Olga is in the background tending the oven. In our opinion, Olga makes the best pizzas on Provo. Certainly the best we have had, consistently. She is from the DR.

Well, anyhow, I asked him why he was only using the top oven to cook everything, since he was so busy on a Saturday night, and he fessed up....he had an employee party planned and the lower oven was completely taken up with...


Okay, that explained it. He did send me on my way a few minutes later with three pizzas and a Cosmopolitan for La Gringa in a "go-cup". There's no open container law here.


Deb and Jay said...

Happy Old Years Night to you and yours.
Deb and Jay

La Gringa said...

That pig has a scary grin like somehow he will have the last laugh!!!