It is tough to be the one following my dad's Aruban Chef review, but I am definitely joining him by keeping my review in the Authentic Aruba genre.
A few days back, after scuba diving the Air Aruba Wreck near Oranjestad, my sister, my husband and I decided to drive up to Savaneta and have lunch at Zeerovers. We have never been there before, but got curious because we heard about the concept on the radio... and... one of the guys at the dive shop that day could not stop blabbing about how cheap the beer was there over there!
Click here to find directions from My Aruban Home or Palm Beach Area.
So we drive up to Savaneta, and I reminiscent on the fact that I don't visit this side of the island enough. If you feel like a drive through Aruba, this area has some really nice beaches to offer with plenty of sea life and crystal clear waters. The Mangel Halto area for example is not only an amazing diving spot but also has great snorkeling and sunbathing beaches. The view of the mangroves in this area is simply stunning!
As we near Zeerovers we see the pirates flag dancing in the air, at first sight you would not even imagine you could eat here. The place is extremely raw, a simple building with an open air bar area, a pool table and a small section with tables and plastic chairs overlooking a pier. My favorite thing about it was that every once in a while you see a fisherman dock on the pier to unload his day's catch, while other fishermen gut their catch in a corner nearby.
We walk up to this lady, and watch her as she sells fresh fish to this old man from a little shack. There is no menu nor stove at sight, so we were pretty curious what we were getting into. When our turn arrives she can immediately see we were a bunch of rookies, and with a big smile she explained the concept.
The first question she asked was what you wanted to eat? As she said this, she opened the fridge and showed us a nice cut of "mulato" fish on one hand and in the other a bag with whole shrimps. Next comes how much? You pay by the weight rather than the plate, so if you are a group of people you are better off ordering too much than too little, since you need to pay a fixed cooking charge if you go for multiple servings. As we make our choice she throws the raw pieces on a piece of newspapers and preps it for the kitchen...
All servings come with a portion of fries and fried plaintains, nevertheless, I would recommend you to ask for the pan bati (Aruban bread) and home-made pickled onions (pica di sibollo) as they really complement the fish well. Once you're done making these choices the fish you chose is deepfried and served at your table in a big basket for everyone. Forks are optional, as this is a place where you are expected to eat with bare hands...
Our family agrees on the fact that this place is perfect if you want a cheap and down to earth environment, but you better prepare yourself to have greasy fingers!
Click here to see more pictures at Zeerovers or to share your own Zeerover experience.