Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#214100 - 11/30/06 01:07 PM Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16
cakelee Offline
My hubby, our 3 kids, brother and myself were down at the end of a rain storm, so the roads were terrible. It rained for the first few days, but the weather was beautiful after that. It was rather hot during a couple of days, which we really didn't notice as unusual until some of the locals were saying how it didn't feel like November weather!

Ran into a few boarders while we were there - Amanda, Pedro1, Tim Jeffers, Wonder Woman, Beachboy and his lovely wife and I think Scubalady - did you talk to a couple with 3 young children at the Reef Restaurant? Just missed First Timers, Lovey and Capt Jeff, but maybe we'll catch up to them next time.

We snorkeled with the sharks and rays, took a sunset boat ride north and rode the golf cart north again another day. We swam in the pool, snorkeled off the docks and took walks along the beach. The kids caught frogs, crabs, fish and geckos and collected shells.

The best values when eating out are definitely at lunch. With 6 people to feed, we usually ate out at lunch and either cooked in or got something small for dinner. Restaurants we went to (in no certain order):

The Reef - excellent snapper, chicken burritos, chicken strips for the kids, coconut shrimp and "the second best fish" my husband ever ate! He ordered the whole snapper, fried, and the guys said that a fisherman just sold them the fish at the back door right before he ordered it, so it was FRESH! And the staff is very friendly!

Caramba - very good, as well. Lots of variety and excellent smoothies for both kids and adults! The staff are attentive but don't bother you during the meal.

El Divino at Banana Beach - this was a very good meal, too, and not expensive, for a formal-ish restaurant. We had conch fritters, a steak (New York strip maybe?), lobster fettucine, snapper and fish fingers for the kids, along with some drinks for the adults! The adults meals and 2-for-1 rum drinks were all excellent, but the fish fingers were a little too fishy for the kids. They can be picky eaters (we won't start on the hamburgers again, though smile ), but their fish strips were pretty strong. They had a good variety of pasta, steak, seafood and chicken dishes, as well as appetizers and desserts. The 2 waitresses we had were very helpful and great with the kids!

Lili's - for breakfast - excellent omelets fried in real butter and perfectly cooked fry jacks that my husband and kids now love as much as I do! While we were there, someone said it had closed. Hopefully, just until high season. Anyone have any news?

Sandbar - this was the closest place, so we ate there rather frequently! My son can still recite the daily activities! Their Sunday bbq chicken was great and only $5US! The kids enjoyed bowling, running around the yard/pool/beach and posing in front of the bathroom (they have a pretty beach scene) for pictures. The food was okay, but the pineapple chicken looked fabulous on the people's table next to us! The panty rippers are also excellent!

Estel's - for breakfast. Wide variety of dishes, breads, drinks. The food was pretty good, and the kids liked to play in the sand on the floor! Good, casual place to meet people.

Elvi's - this was the first time we ate there. The food was good but a little more expensive than at other places. We had coconut shrimp, a tropical chicken dish stuffed with spinach/cheese and pasta with butter and parmesan cheese for the kids. I think this was my daughter's favorite meal! The ice cream wasn't ready, so we didn't get to try it.

Fido's - hubby and I split a seafood platter. It was yummy and just the right amount of food! It was the one-person dish, rather than the platter for two. It had lobster, shrimp, calamari, fish and one other undetermined seafood.

Blue Water Grill - good for lunch. The prices seem to escalate for dinner portions. We had fried fish, a fish sandwich and chicken fingers with fries. Nice beachside location. They had lots of salads and different sandwiches on their lunch menu.

El Patio - this might have been our favorite meal. They started us out with a complimentary salbutes appetizer. The kids had the best chicken strips and a bacon sandwich (after spending a few minutes making sure the waiter understood no lettuce, no tomato, no mayo; "But that's not a BLT," he would say; we would answer, "Bacon and bread only!"). The adults had tropical snapper that had a good tasting Chinese-food-like garlic sauce and grilled snapper with a baked potato. This was the only restaurant we saw that served baked potatoes, which was a nice change from the rice and beans or fries we had at every other restaurant.

Celi's - this was my older son's favorite place. The kids had wonderful fish fingers and fries. The rest of us had fried snapper, broiled snapper and broiled shrimp, which were all very good and reasonably priced, around $12-14US each.

Pepperoni's Pizza - ate it twice. My brother said it was one of the best all-meat pizzas he ever had. We had big plans to try Pedro's, but we didn't bring the canoe along to navigate the road to get to his place!

DanDe's (or however you spell it) ice cream - was really good! Lots of flavors and really hit the spot on those hot days! Had mint chocolate chip and Oreo.

The little store next to Graniel's Furniture store - had ice cream there, and it was good, too. We had pineapple and chocolate.

The little ice cream store between the airport and town next to Island Adventures golf cart rental - had awful ice cream! I don't know if it was freezer burnt or just bad, but we threw most of it away. The kids ate the chocolate.

Antojitos San Telmo: had lots of signs advertising ice cream, but all they had were some pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches and Snicker bars in a freezer along a side wall. They were over $3US each, too!

We still have lots of restaurants that we want to get to: Casa Picasso, Rojo, Pedro's, Beach-N Kitchen (which we drove by on our golf cart ride north and wished we would have stopped) and some others that escape me at the moment. I guess that gives us reason (like we need another) to keep coming back!

I'll add a link to pictures if/when my internet connection is permanently restored. --Jenny

#214145 - 11/30/06 05:51 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: cakelee]
J DOG Offline
Good report Cakelee,
Sounds like you all had a great trip!!
The Reef is one of my favorite places, never tried the whole snapper, think I'll give it a try in Feb. My wife thinks the rum punch there is the best.
Look foward to your pics!!

#214213 - 11/30/06 10:03 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: J DOG]
travelqueen Offline
Glad you had such a great trip! Great report!

Hope the flights worked out for you...

#214482 - 12/02/06 11:29 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: travelqueen]
sweetjane Offline
i have a pic somewhere of scubalady; see if this was her:


(she's in the back of the cart)

#214487 - 12/02/06 11:46 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: sweetjane]
believe 'tis

#214617 - 12/04/06 09:08 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: ]
cakelee Offline
Yes, I do believe that is the lady we talked to at the Reef Restaurant. I had seen her driving around on a large golf cart in town and thought she looked familiar. Then, we saw her and her 3 companions at Caramba the night before we talked to her at the Reef! Thanks for confirming her identity!

Yes, TQ, the flights worked out really well. It was nice to have the layover to occupy the kids. I, however, would like to just get to SP next time (and not spend those 2 days in Houston)!

#214861 - 12/06/06 12:42 AM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: cakelee]
DB Offline
Good report.
Would definitely make it to Beach 'n Kitchen next time.
Just got here last nite and we made it up to Kathy's place for lunch today. Definitely worth the effort to get there.
More in a report after the trip....


#222087 - 12/09/06 09:07 AM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: DB]
cakelee Offline
I forgot (until I looked at the pictures again) - we ate at Jerry's Crab Shack, too. Even though they were out of half of the stuff on their menu, the food they did have was really good. We had taco salad, grilled snapper sandwich and a cheese pizza. We heard lately that they had closed, too. Any news on Jerry's or Lili's?

Here is a link to the pictures:


#222105 - 12/09/06 01:52 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: cakelee]
Nova Offline
Wonderful photos - adorable kids. Thanks for sharing.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!

#222383 - 12/11/06 04:16 PM Re: Trip Report, Nov 2 - 16 [Re: Nova]
captjeff Offline
Nice photos ,nice family.looks like a living the dream time was had by all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Living The Dream Every Day!


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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