Tourista Ariba Mi Isla

LionFish Snack Aruba

Adjacent to the cute cununcu house at Paradera 100, and only open on Saturdays, Patrick Van Brakel, a school teacher and an avid diver turned LionFish hunter, operates a small snack-shack with three menu items: Lionfish Lollypops or Wings, with the fish fins fried to a crisp, Battered Lion Fish Fingers with French Fries and a Lion Fish Wrap, mine with served with mango, all delicious, escorted by a homemade sauce tartar.

Yes, he only opens on Saturdays 12noon to 7:30pm, because he is a school teacher, and doesn’t want to abandon his day time job, yet. Aruba’s community of LionFish Hunters supports the shack with their catch!

We ordered at the window in front, then sat in the back on a small deck terrace, to eat our meal – on environmentally-friendly disposable plates. A family of well-fed cats, living under the deck, ignored us completely. Mom is now fixed, Patrick explained. Mid meal a local family of four walked in for their Saturday lunch, they seemed to be familiar with the place, their little girl entertained the kittens. Then three young women appeared, sand on their feet, they knew what they were going to have.

I guess the place is no secret. Try it out one day. The fish is mild and moist and melts in your mouth.

Eat them to beat them. Check out Patrick’s YouTube channel,

Let Them Eat Bread, T2 PAN

During the first Farmer’s Market at the Ostrich Farm I met  #panpaboruman, apparently late in the game because this has been going on for about ten months, and available for delivery. We’re talking about an artisanal bread microbakery, by Zaida Everon.  

The home industry had humble beginnings according to their Instagram account: T2 PAN, was created in memory of a beloved father named Tito.

The catchphrase, PAN PA BO RUMAN, evolved from MACHETAZO’S PLACE, a local toko, a mini convenience store, which sported a simple handwritten sign on plywood over the door: “Machetazo’s Place Aki Tito ta Pan Pa Bo Ruman,” casually translating into Tito’s got bread for your brother/sister.

Tito passed away when his daughter was 13, and since the family wasn’t wealthy, she asked mom, a real-life cake-boss, to teach her the artistry of baking in order to earn pocket money. With mom’s recipe and her father’s sales and marketing savvy, she started a cupcake business, selling at school and in her neighborhood. She made it through High School, then through College and University in the Netherlands and ended up teaching at the same school where she was educated as a teenager.

Then 10 months ago, she revisited her passion.

The results?

Fresh bread for your weekend feast, for sale at local markets: Italian bread with fresh Italian herbs, a Cunucu blend sourdough, long fermented sunflower bread, 100% leavened by nature, all stretched by hand and slow baked, yielding rustic, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside loaves, sold with serving suggestions.

The secret ingredient? Three different cultures of yeast and bacteria. Check it out Saturdays, at the Farmer’s Market at the Village on Palm Beach.

Pa Bien. Very entrepreneurial, and admirable.  Tasty too.

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July 17, 2020
Rona Coster