Eating Your Fish: Completing the Ocean-to-Table Aruban Experience
Eating at Driftwood Restaurant was the final chapter of our Ocean-to-Table deep sea fishing experience with Driftwood Fishing Charters. Read more about the ocean part of this multi-phased adventure in Part 1: Catching the Fish.
Six Black Fin Tuna
We did so, however, at the expense of our breakfast. The whole Kid Allergy clan managed to be incapacitated the entire last half of the boat ride with the exception of my husband. He walked away happy as a clam while the three of us were not so sure how to feel about the whole experience.
I can tell you with all honesty that I have never been so happy to get off a boat. Or brush my teeth. Or shower and change clothes. I was truly miserable.
But…an afternoon of relaxing on the beach can do one wonders. Listening to your children laugh together can reinvigorate your spirit. Resting your eyes in a lounger while running your toes through the sand can make difficult memories melt away.
We were told by our crew to show up to the Driftwood Restaurant at 6:30pm-ish. “It is island time,” they said. “No need to hurry in.”
So around that time, we made our way in another $12 one-way taxi from the Marriott in Palm Beach to the Renaissance Marina side of town.
The restaurant was by no means a fancy joint but it was fitting for a place billing itself as a “catch what you eat” establishment. Wood paneling could be seen from wall to ceiling and the décor was masculine and fishing boat themed.
We had to tell the server what we caught when seated and were told they would prepare it a number of different ways. The charge of $19.99 per person was explained to cover the cost of preparation, four dipping sauces and sides of white rice, baked potato and/or vegetables (choose two).
We did the gluten free allergy run down and the server went off to check with the kitchen. We got the thumbs up regarding preparation, side dishes and dipping sauces all being gluten free. We then all waited with anticipation to enjoy the rewards of our hard work.
When the fish finally did finally arrive, it seemed to be stacked miles high on the oversized silver platter. Some were grilled, others blackened and sautéed, and some were simply seared. Each variety we sampled was nothing less than divine. Even Kid Allergy, a notorious fish loather, found joy in trying everything on the plate.
It was only after we began rubbing our very full bellies that we agreed there was no way that ounce for ounce it was equal to the amount of fish we actually caught. There was even a high probability we didn’t catch the particular fish we were served. Our excess pieces of fish were likely to have been put in to the greater pool for the restaurant to serve and make a profit on.
But, ultimately, that didn’t really bother us. What they served us was definitely more than a generous amount for our two adults and two small children. In fact, the platter was so large, we had to box the remainder for takeaway.
Riding back to the hotel, my husband and I agreed that this adventure was really more about the broader experience of immersing our family in the "catch what your eat" lifecycle than it was about eating our very own fish. And...in the end, we all felt that everyone in the family walked away far richer from taking part in the thrilling escapade of deep sea fishing in Aruba.