Bucket List Item #1285 – eat at Gladys’ Cafe
Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands
When I first started this blog, I promised to eventually catch up and do posts about all of my previous bucket list checks. The flaw I failed to see in this plan was that some of these checks happened super early in my bucket list journey I wasn’t really thinking about documentation past physically checking an item off a list. As a result, you have an item like today’s check. I ate this wonderful food and had this amazing experience and I have no photos to show you. Well, I have one really bad one. It’s literally the only one I took and it’s not even of the food. Oops! So, to my five readers out there: I’m sorry!
We went to St. Thomas some years back for a friend’s wedding. I must admit that I was fairly apprehensive about the destination. The Virgin Islands have always been so low on the travel totem pole for me. I was really struggling to get excited about it, which is silly because there is cool shit everywhere. What I knew for certain was that I didn’t want to spend all my time at the resort, so I made a point to really do some research and set a goal at three bucket list items for the trip, one of which needed to be food related. I scoured the internet for reviews on restaurants on Charlotte Amalie and came up with Gladys’ Café as the number one.
I went here back in my days of picky eating. Guys, I used to be terrible. Thank God Dave pulled me out of the dark ages. I’m not going to lie; I feared the menu already, but the reviews were great, so it was added to the list.
The spot itself is very easy to find. Charlotte Amalie isn’t that big in the first place, so it’s easy to find your way around. And if you get lost then even better! It’s colorful with palm trees and narrow alleys; there are worst places to struggle with directions. 😊
The restaurant itself has a very typical island charm about it and I mean that in the best way possible. The people are what always give me a laugh. We found St. Thomians (what do you call people from that region?) to be, well, rude at first. It’s like if you combined that laid-back islander vibe with a grumpy grandparent that doesn’t give a fuck. Rude isn’t the right word, but there’s a certain attitude we kept noticing on the island that I can’t quite describe. It’s not like I was offended, more like I felt people didn’t like me. Ha ha! And maybe they don’t like tourists. I wouldn’t blame them! I definitely got this vibe at the restaurant, but by the time our meal was over and we’d chatted up the staff a fair bit it was more like your sarcastic friend who makes jokes at your expense, but in a nice way. Yeah, that’s how I would describe the service.
But how was the food, you ask? Uhhhh…amazing. Actually, life changing. Like I said, this meal came at a time where I was trying new things. This meal taught me how much I love plantains. I was basically obsessed with them after this meal and wanted to order them everywhere. The crazy thing is I’ve still yet to eat fried plantains as delicious as this meal. I don’t know if it was the fresh plantains, the way they prepared them or just the fact that I discovered one of my favorite foods. I’ve never topped them since. I also had this unreal king fish, which was even crazier for me because I didn’t eat seafood at the time. This meal opened a door for me. It changed my outlook and pushed me to try new things going forward. I feel like I need to thank Gladys’ Café. Thank you, Gladys’ Café for reminding me to never stop trying new things!
Friends: what have been some of your favorite travel food experiences? Have you ever had a meal that changed your perspective?