Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegan/ Veg*n/Vegetarian Guide to Barbados

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I have been getting a few emails from people who are coming to Barbados, some for the first time who are veg*n and wonder what they are going to eat for the time they are in Barbados. I decided that I would give a full guide for anyone interested in coming to the island but who is a little worried about not having vegan options.
I will be telling you about some dishes I know that are vegan for sure,supermarkets, names of foods that you are not familiar with and beaches to go with nearby vegan friendly restaurants.

Casual dining/Fast Food/Bajan Food

For casual dining you can check out a health food store in Bridgetown. It is on the left hand side opposite RBTT Bank. It is called Jenn's Health and Beauty. It is actually a grocery store,book store and cafe in one.
It serves breakfast from 7:30 and you have veggie sausages and tofu scramble all sorts of things like plantains,muffings etc (Update there is a sign saying they have discontinued their breakfast)
Be sure to try the lentil patty it is a pastry filled with spicy lentils and it is very filling. There is a spin off to this pastry called the super and it is filled with pineapple and peas and more veggies and this pastry is called The SUPER ! There is another pastry called a granburger rolland this is actually minced tvp which is seasoned in a savoury pastry .In Barbados they do not call it TVP they call it granburger or burger chunk.
From 11 Jenns has a variety of Caribbean inspired dishes,brown rice,eggplant stir fry,tvp stew,bean stew,garlic potatoes and their daily vegan soup and even a starch that you may be unfamiliar with which is called eddos and they have sweet potatoes and yam sometimes depends on the season. It is a hot meal place but not much seating but u can walk to the beach near Pelican village 5 mins away and eat on the picnic tables if you want a tan. I surely do not want one:)
They also serve vegan cakes and gluten free cakes and a whole range of roti and samosas.
There is also affordable shopping for the groceries.
They sell a variety of protein shakes and fresh fruit juices just tell them soy protein when you go. At Jennsit is a pay first and then serve and it is not a big places and it is noisy because of the shake making. I do not mind this very much but as I say you do not have to eat there you get a takeaway container and the beach is down the street with tables.

In the city there is a place called The Balcony restaurant. Here it is a kinda buffet but not the American style buffet . It is all you can put on to your plate LOL. and that's it. It is a fully stocked salad bar which has many vegan options and your can really enjoy it because there is always Barbadian peas and rice and gravy which is an onion gravy. If you go around 1 pm there is long line heading into the clothing department store yes! It moves quickly and the Bajans usually do not dine in and they go along their merry way so there is seating and the plus of eating here is that there is a wonderful view of the city of Bridgetown.

(Fast Food)I do not like fast food but there is a Cheffette restaurants which is yellow and purple building they sell a vege burger with a pickle tomato and that's it. It is very good.:)
Cheffette sells an all potato roti which is Indian inspired curry potatoes in a thin tasty dough. I would not eat this because there is no protein inside so I would get my roti from elsewhere.

Indian Grill is just on the tip of Bridgetown and it is in Baystreet on the coast. My hubby (who is not Barbadian) and I really enjoyed the roti from here. Even the skin is tasty. They really do it right. They make about 14 different types of roti both meat and vegan and, there is a wide variety. You can have all chickpeas or chickpeas and potato. My hubby loves the vegetable which a mixture of vegetables and chickpeas and he says it has a very good taste as the sweet pumpkin and curry work well in the roti and you have some potato and chickpeas to balance it out.

Oh another place Big John's they have a roti which is more nutritious and it has tvp chunks,chick peas,carrots,green peas with or without potato in a thin dough. There is a Big John's in Hastings near Accra beach on the south coast

Well let me get to Accra Beach. This is a very popular beach in Barbados but not the only one. I think the reason people like this beach is that it is close to so many restaurants and food stalls.You can spend all day at Accra rent a chair and sleep and you can leave your chair and come back but just leave your towel in the chair. On the beach itself there are many restaurants but I never checked any out for vegan treats. We usually go across the street to Quay side center which is a mini shopping and restaurant area. There is a coffee places and you can ask for soy milk in your coffee treats. There is also a grill which does fish but do not worry they have some wicked sides like peas and rice grilled potatoes and vegetables and it is about 3 usd for a side and I am telling you it is hefty. This place with the hefty sides is called Just Grillin.
I was never a fan of Chinese food until I got desperate and ate at the Chinese Restaurant over there and boy was I happy. I had mock duck and fried rice. What a treat and you can always ask for no MSG. Next to the Chineese place there is Picasso's they have a vegetarian menu which has no cheese and so I will dare to call it vegan. It is around 10 usd and it is full of protein as it has TVP as the main course!
Down the street from Quay side next to the Greek restaurant Opa there is an icecream place that I frequent with my hubby and it is called dolce gelato I hope it did not interchange the words. It has a daily soy icecream which is always a treat. He also makes sorbets too and there is an extensive Italian treats menu but I did not see much vegan stuff . It is lovely inside and I promised myself I should take pics of these places next time so you can see how lovely Barbados is.

Bubbas sports bar Worthing Christ Church has a veggie burger made of vegetables. I tried this burger and it was decent they served it with fries and some sauce and it cost me 17 Barbados dollars not bad. Bert's Bar down the street boast of a veggie burger I never went to Berts!

Apsara which I review is a good Indian place to dine with a beautiful bathroom (smile) The staff is fairly attentive just tell the reservationist u are a vegan like the last girl who came there with her friends me (just kidding) Just make sure you say no milk . I do not think their naan was vegan. I tasted a little piece and it taste buttery maybe I was wrong.

Grocery Shopping in Barbados
Well I worked for a company that makes some vegetarian products as a side thing. They make Farmers Choice veggie burger which in my opinion taste better than Morningstar. They make a veggie nugget which is decent and a love bite which is breaded veggies with a samosa flavour. I work there for now( 2morrow is my last day as I have to do one more course at uni to graduate). They do not fry in oil which is used to fry animal stuff. They make their veggie stuff first thing in the morning monday mornings and all the machines are clean. The plant is HACCP certified which means it has international standards. You may want to try those especially if you are on a self catered holiday.

I shop at Super Centre or Big B mainly for my ingredients for cooking as they are the more Americanized supermarkets so they have everything u can find overseas except tempeh we do not use this here...
If you are coming from the UK or America you would you would see all of your familar brands. There are vegan stuff all over just ask them to point you too the right place. They sell fresh produce kinda and baked peanuts. They would have local Barbadian mangoes now which are all organic. Some of the stuff is imported so you would have to read the labels.
All supermarkets in Barbados carry TVP,granola and soy milk,vegan microwave products,tofu all brands the fresh ones and the ones in the tetra pak and they sell premade hummous and chick peas and all sorts of things u will not be bored or hungry I assure you.
Fresh fruits and veggies

Trimart also has a few vegan items and it is a cheaper than the other supermarket but if you are coming from the USA the dollar is 2 to 1 so it will be fine for you.

I personally get my fresh fruits from Pricesmart which is a membership only thing and it is located in Warren St Michael 2 mins away from a big Super Centre supermarket and Food Court. There is also a roti place there and downstair in the supermarket have a restaurant which has vegan options ..hmm oh yeah supercentre has a subby station where u can get a salad sandwich .

On Sunday in Barbados there are fresh coconuts on the highway for sale. They cost for abt usd 50 cents for one and it full of sweet juice and soft flesh. You can buy a litre of coconut water which we call it here for 5 usd and you can bring a baggie to get free soft flesh which they give u if you ask for free. Do not let these ppl fool you because you are a tourist(smile).If you have a rental car you can get up on Sunday morning down ABC highway near Deighton Griffith school and there is a nice man who sells there. When you come in ask the taxi to show you Deighton Griffith school I live 5 mins from the airport driving.

I think I covered many places if you have any questions you can email me at my yahoo address provided.

I was looking through my cam for a pic of Barbados but I have none.
I promise all my reader I will provide some soon.


Bianca said...

Cool! I don't have a Barbados trip planned or anything, but if I ever do find myself on a plane headed there, I will know where to go for sustenance.

Lauren said...

i wish i could go to barbados and have to figure out what to eat! i've heard a lot of good stuff about it..i need a vacation haha. :)

Noah said...

Hi. I just wanted to thank you for putting together this list. I am a 3-year vegan, lifetime vegetarian, and my girlfriend and I traveled to Barbados last April. Though we did not use a whole lot of the information, we did hit the Big B which proved very useful.

I would like to add that the Silver Point hotel, where we stayed, was VERY vegan-friendly. I spoke to the restaurant manager who spoke to the chef who made me a couple of novel dishes: Vegan rice-noodle pasta with grilled vegetables in garlic/oil, and potato mash with veggies!

Good stuff.