Our friend David had a golf cart for the week so suggested he drive the three of us down to a restaurant south of town for dinner. Normally we go to eat out right in town since we (and David) live north of the bridge and have no vehicles other than bikes, so getting to restaurants south of town is not impossible but inconvenient. David picked us up at Grand Caribe last night, and away we embarked on our adventure to Casa Picasso
-- and with the roads in the shape they were in, it really was
The road north of town had already been riddled with potholes, but thanks to 2.5 inches of rain on Tuesday, these potholes were now filled with water. And in some cases (cough...Reef Village...cough), deep
water. We plowed through the "great lakes" as we headed southward, and as we approached the incline of the Sir Barry Bowen bridge, the golf cart stalled out. Oops! It really wasn't surprising considering that the water in a couple of the "lakes" reached almost to the floorboard.
A couple of locals in a cart behind us stopped to survey the situation (yes, the cart had plenty of gas), and Barry got out and pushed the cart back off the bridge and out of the way. I jumped out of the cart to snap a couple of photos, and before long, David got the cart going again. I even jogged over the bridge to keep the weight in the cart down as he drove it over the only real "hill" in town!
Cart going nowhere
Barry pushing cart away from the bridge so others can pass by
Mud on cart -- and my foot -- from splashing through deep puddles on road
Even after we crossed the bridge into town and onto the paved road, the fun wasn't over as we had to negotiate the muddy, unpaved detour in town while Middle Street is under repair near Castillo's Hardware. And after getting through town, the road in front of the Belikin distributor and around in front of Casa Picasso is unpaved and puddly as well. We were very happy to see this sign!
We had never been to Casa Picasso before but had heard great things. And it didn't disappoint. The decor was bright and attractive, with lots of local artwork on the walls.
Service was polite, professional, and attentive. Since this is low season, we had the place to ourselves for much of our meal, though more diners arrived near the end of our meal.
Barry and David
The food was deliciously prepared and lovely to look at as well! The three of us shared two Tapas (which we forgot to photograph), but here are the descriptions -- I took a photo of the menu since we gobbled up the food so quickly!
And we each tried a different entree, all of which were wonderful.
David's entree: Malaysian Style Rendang Pork Ribs -- Tender pork ribs, braised in lemongrass, ginger, garlic chili sauce, fresh coconut, turmeric & coconut milk, served with coconut turmeric rice and acar (Malaysian style pickled vegetables)
Barry's entree: Vegetable Lasagna -- Homemade rolled pasta layered with fresh vegetables, tomato sauce and cheeses, served with an organic salad & garlic bread
My entree: Curry Rice Noodles with Sautéed Vegetables (v) -- Asian inspired curried, sautéed rice noodles with fresh seasonal vegetables & local chaya
Portion sizes were generous, and I even had enough to take home half of my entree for lunch the next day. We skipped dessert, but I have a feeling those would have been lovely as well. Maybe next time! Our waiter served us complimentary shots of Limoncello
after our meal, a perfect way to end the meal.
Barry and I
Leaving Casa Picasso
Here's a big pond on the road right outside the restaurant:
On the drive home, we remembered to take photos of some of the worst road moguls and ponds up around Reef Village. Wish we'd gotten these shots earlier while it was still light, but I think you will get the idea. Fortunately the golf cart held up just fine this time with no more stalling out. It is worrisome to realize that this is just the beginning of rainy season here, and the the window on grading the road has probably come and gone, as it may not dry out for many months now. The road just doesn't drain properly and is badly compacted from all the vehicles driving on it when it is in this condition.
"Moguls" now filled with water
Approaching a large pond, but not the worst one
Large, deep pond, followed immediately by another one
Another cart plowing through the worst of the ponds -- this sucker is deep in the middle!
Despite the challenges in getting there and back, we had a lovely evening and can recommend Casa Picasso to anyone who enjoys upscale, eclectic dining. This is really a gem of a restaurant that reminded us of nicer places "back home" in the US. The owners, Adam and Jackie, couldn't be any friendlier, and they've created an attractive and unique spot with an obviously talented kitchen staff and excellent service as well. Check it out!