Que Pasa Restaurant, Art Gallery & Bar now new and improved!

In the early 90s an eatery in town by the name of Que Pasa, became an overnight success when it featured quality fun food, in a relaxed Bohemian atmosphere.

Que Pasa made its home in a crumbling cunucu house, on a backstreet in Oranjestad, that was as charming and it was cozy, and was owned by a pair of young, dynamic, some say sexy, Dutch & German-born chef-proprietors.

The party then moved into a larger space on Wilhelminastraat. Same formula, Bohemia, cozy, fun, with reasonably priced quality food …. and then it changed hands, moving two doors down the street, when another iconic eatery of the 90s, Boonoonoonoos, went out of business.

We remained loyal throughout, because by then we were addicted to this mix of tasty food and companionship; we knew everyone at every table, behind the bar, and in the kitchen, the bartender remembered our favorites and the menu board was ever changing.

Que Pasa taught us never to look at the eclectic printed menu, but to giddily anticipate the hand-written chalk board filled with culinary surprises.

In its one-before-last incarnations, Adi And Marvin lived and breathed Que Pasa, for a long time, one in charge of the kitchen, the other reigning over the bar and dining room. The restaurant spread over two floors, offered an incredible boutique filled with whimsical artwork and crafts, and just made it look so easy, so cool and relaxed.

We liked to sit at the bar and observe Marvin. He was smooth. A great DJ, a schmoozer, and a host. The food always pleased all senses, and when we thought it will last forever life happened with all its ups and downs, then more ups and more down, and the pair of dedicated restaurateurs lost steam and sold.

So here we are, Que Pasa was recently purchased by Aruba Wine & Dine, a local chain of diverse eateries and bars in great locations.    

Managing Director Evert Gerards decorated. We did not know he had it in him. But he completely revamped the décor in the original Bohemian spirit and artistic style. The restaurant is now cozier than ever.

We were served by a blonde goddess, she is the restaurant manager, Patricia. The hand-written chalk board was filled with culinary surprises. I fancied the Bouillabaisse, a rich tomato broth served with crunchy toast and rouille, and a lobster appetizer on a bed of endive salad, with egg. My dinner companion ordered a fish ceviche which was served in a crispy fried banana cup, and the fresh catch, three ways a-la Paris!   

I finished every morsel on my plate. We didn’t even look at the menu.

But it is worth scrutiny. Most of the Que Pasa classics are on, Italian Carpaccio, French Onion Soup, Fried Brie, Spicy Shrimp Pil, and a well-rounded list of specialties from around the globe, Oriental Chicken Sesame Stir Fry, Schnitzel with Stroganoff Sauce, Shrimp Pina Colada, Caribbean Grouper, Tuna Pepper Steak and Tenderloin in red wine sauce with an optional blue cheese crust.

Que Pasa now featured a Bar Tapas menu, and you may order a surprise tapas platter that delivers the chef’s selection. Happy Hour is celebrated twice a day from 4pm to 6pm and from 10pm to 12midnight. Check out the daily Early Bird Special with a 3-course menu for just $21.95 or attend the Tuesday Wine & Food Pairing or the Saturday night BBQ.   

Que Pasa, in the historic street of Oranjestad, in a 100+ year old building, International Fusion Cuisine, + daily specials from 4pm to midnight.

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April 19, 2018
Rona Coster