Last week Aaron and I went to St. Croix, the largest and least-developed of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was an amazing escape any time of year, but the fact that right before we left the highs in Minnesota were negative temps made it even better. In this post I will discuss the food I ate and two followup posts will discuss activities and our 24-hour layover in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Food. This will be the most difficult of the three posts. Food is my biggest hesitation when travelling places other than large cities in the United States. I don’t let it stop me, but it gives me pause and slows me down. If anyone has seen a vegetarian or vegan write about how to travel easily with dietary restrictions, I would love to read it. I would write the post myself but I have’t figured it out. Other than checking the wonderful resource Happy Cow and mentally preparing myself for disappointment, I don’t have solid answers.
We decided on St. Croix by looking at tropical locations where we could use hotel points that were somewhat secluded yet relatively easy to access by plane. And I don’t regret for one second the location we picked. St. Croix is relatively undeveloped, with two cities. Only one road on the island is more than two lane and faster than 35 mph. It’s a hilly and lush tropical island, and because it’s the U.S., they speak English and its easy to travel there. Ill save details for what we did in our next post, but here are a few views of the island. Never a bad view whatever direction you look!
However, it is an island in the Caribbean who, for much of its history, wasn’t part of the U.S. they even drive on the left side of the road! Therefore I knew seafood would be plentiful, and I wasn’t sure what they might think my diet contains when I mention I’m a vegetarian. Fortunately, their definition of vegetarian is the same as mine. Unfortunately, staying at a resort, the options were limited. When I ate there, the options were salads or pre-made veggie burgers. The two times we took a cab off the resort, the options were much better.
We went to the capital city the evening the art galleries—which I would learn to mean is Crucian gold—are open late. We ate at 40 Strand Eatery known for fresh local food. It’s a small place and, without reservations, we had to sit at the bar, which meant we could talk to the bartender, watch food prep and see a little of it all. My eggplant was great, and since we were on vacation I decided to have dessert, something I don’t normally want. I had to go with the rum cake. I haven’t had any since living in South Florida, and St. Croix is known for its rum. The cake was topped with a caramel sauce that balanced well. It was a great meal at a good price.
Cane Bay is the next bay over from where we stayed and have a local vibe. We went on Sunday and the beach and few waterside restaurants were hopping. We had lunch at Off the Wall, which is run by someone who moved from Wisconsin (can’t blame her!) and features fresh food you would want for a filling yet light meal at the beach. The veggie sandwich was packed with fresh veggies and the loaded nachos hit the spot. They are also known for their pizza, which looked great and smelled even better.
Later we went to Spratnet Beach Bar. The people were nice, the menu extensive (especially for seafood). Locals and tourists kept coming and going, and they have a house-made infused rum shot that was very warming. We had fried cauliflower—I’m a sucker for any fried veggie—and grilled cheese and cole slaw to go, only because I couldn’t eat another veggie burger or salad.
I can’t talk about St. Croix without mentioning rum. It’s all over. Cruzan is named for the island. Not being my go-to drink, I had enough rum to last me a while. But I did have some good drinks that taste better with sun on my face, toes in the sand and the sounds of waves crashing.
All in all I put the food dearth aside for the views, but some good food and drink options are available, especially if you have a car (which we didn’t).
If you have dietary needs, how do you ensure good meals while traveling?