Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Resort Eats

It's mid-week already. Love it. So tough to get back into work mode after a lazy fun-in-the-sun vacation. I slept in again this morning.....ooooops. :)

I wanted to talk about the all-inclusive resort food for a few minutes. I wish I had thought to take pictures, but I'm not so much a food blogger so I didn't think of it until too late in the game. I don't know how you all do it....toting your cameras around and remembering to take shots (and generally GREAT shots at that!) of each and every morsel. Anyway...minus the photos...I can still tell you that we were generally quite impressed with the food at our resort. We certainly never went hungry and there was never a lack of choice.

We stayed at the EdenH Real Arena Punta Cana.

There was a FANTASTIC all-inclusive buffet. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast every day offered a WIDE variety of fresh fruit, a smoothie stand, a cook-to-order omelette bar (where they would also fry your eggs if you wished), pancakes, french toast, plus the entire hot buffet which always included some kind of potato, meat, scrambled eggs, veggies and more non-North American items like beans, mashed plantains, etc. They always had these hot sliced bananas in hot syrup with raisins...that by day three I was putting on top of my pancake....soooo freaking good. Lots of homemade breads, plus cereals, yogurts, cheeses, juices, etc. And the coffee was quite good and served with hot milk if you wished. They even had a self-serve espresso machine. My travel mug was filled each and every day for our trek to the pool after breakfast. :)

Lunch was also amazing, although we only ate there twice. FH didn't really eat lunch (instead opted for a much larger breakfast than mine, and survived on his tasty cervezas) and I would just take a trip to the snack bar (which I'll talk about a bit later) to tide me over until dinner. But the times we did go, it was just as good as breakfast. Always fresh salad fixings (they had the BEST cucumber) with lots of fresh veggies and pickled items (olives, capers, artichokes...yum!). Yummy homemade dressings. Always a fish choice, plus another protein...ham or pork or beef...sometimes chicken. Pasta made-to-order if you wished, or hot dishes of pasta in the buffet itself. Again, lots of bread, fruits, cheeses, etc. They also always had a big serving of paella but that's the first to go so you have to be quick! And pizzas...thin crust, homemade pizzas...yummy. Oh, and starting for lunch you can order from the bar at the buffet no worries about slowing down your drinking. :)

Dinner is much the same as lunch, but they would have somewhat of a theme each night. One night was "American" so they offered things like fried chicken (super crunchy and tasty!) or roast beef with gravy. Always salad, veggies, potatoes, pasta, etc. Another night was "Mexican" so we had little cheese quesadillas with their excellent guacamole. The made-to-order pasta is offered at dinner time as well, but with all of the other amazing choices we never bothered to stand in line for that. Again, lots of side dishes to choose from....and always a carving station of some sort...ham/pork/beef. Something for everyone. At dinner, they even dim the lights in most of the seating and put out candles so it seems more like a restaurant....I appreciated that.

They offered MANY different desserts each day as well. Lunch and dinner. I tried a few different things...the ice cream and a few of the different cookies were the best....I saw donuts one day and I wish I'd had one but such is life. So much choice....just too much to try everything! A couple of the little cakes were disappointing, but that's the nice part about it being a buffet....if you don't like something, don't eat it and just get something else!

View from the buffet patio

The Snack Bar: so much bigger than we had expected. I thought it would just be a little food place that we could get something to munch on during the day, but honestly it was more like a mini-version of the from noon til 5pm every day....located right next to the pool. For the first few days I stuck with just the salad bar (honestly, every salad I had was fantastic....I loved their dressing and each day there would be different toppings....beets or boiled eggs, etc) and would have some tortilla chips and homemade guac. By the last couple of days I was adding a few french fries and a hot dog (minus the bun)....but they had pizzas, burgers, plus other hot dishes that would change daily...ribs, chicken, beans, etc. And always fresh fruits and desserts. You would NEVER go hungry.

A la Cartes: the resort offers four a la carte restaurants....we could have dinner at each of them during our stay if we wanted, but we didn't want to be tied down to a specific reservation time so only booked two meals. I really wanted to try the Tepanyaki bar but it was by far the most popular and I didn't want to eat at 10pm so we chose the Italian the American-style steak & seafood place. There was also a French bistro but we prefer Italian. The Italian was cozy...the food was OK....we liked the buffet food better, but it was nice to have a little actual "date-night" atmosphere. There was a little antipasto bar, a starter pasta (bland but good), and we both had veal marsala for our main's no Angus beef but it was nice and the risotto with it was pretty good. Dessert was a little tiramisu and a canolli....oh and I was also brought a very strong but super yummy espresso! The wine is NOT good though. haha. The American restaurant was a bit brighter and less "romantic" but still nice....I had the salad to start of course, then a chicken veg soup...FH had chili in a bread bowl which was quite tasty...then we both had the beef tenderloin. Again, it's not Angus beef but it tasted good. We skipped dessert that night and didn't even attempt the wine. :)

All in all, we have absolutely no complaints about the food. For the most part everything tasted quite good, and the stuff that wasn't good wasn't bad either...just not our taste. I was able to eat perfectly healthy when I wanted to and didn't feel deprived or like anything was missing. They make a real effort to include local cuisine while still catering to North Americans and Europeans alike. We heard people complaining about the food and just could not figure out why. When vacationing outside of your home country, just embrace what is offered to you! Especially when they have gone above and beyond to make it tasty and offer such a variety. Besides, the vacation shouldn't really be all about the food now should it?!

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Lex said...

oh wow, the wine is TERRIBLE! HAHHA. It was like that in Cuba for us, and in DR also.

I really am thrilled that you had an amazing vacation!

Cat_82 said...

I'm so glad you had a great time Jaime. You made my stomach grumble reading about all that food!

eurydice said...

i love vacation buffets! they are trouble though!