My day in St. Thomas started off on a speed boat, the Seablaster, that soaked every inch of your body. Don’t fret, the crew offers you garbage bags to put all of your belongings in. Trust me, accept the bags. Also, keep your sunglasses on. They will protect your eyes from getting sea water in them. The Seablaster brought us to two locations. The first location was an area to swim/snorkel with Sea Turtles (Turtle Beach). The second location was an area full of Sting Rays, Coral Reef, and gorgeous exotic fish (Christmas Cove). This little trip was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Swimming and hovering over beautiful creatures in their natural habitat made me so happy. It sounds so cheesy but I felt so incredibly blessed to have that moment. Now it’s time to kill my cheesiness and get to PARTY TIME! At the end of the snorkel trip, the crew offers you a super strong rum punch. The Seablaster is a double innuendo. You get blasted getting to your destination, and then you get blasted via rum punch on your way back to land. On the ride back is the perfect time to take pictures, enjoy your drink (s), and relax.
We are everywhere. When I say “we”, I mean Asians (I’m half, but I rep!). People giggle when I tell them about Chinese people with Jamaican accents. In every country I’ve been to, I see Chinese restaurants. Filipino food? Not so much, not even here in FL. I’ve been to a couple but they weren’t that great. A couple were atrocious. I’m extremely snobby when it comes to Filipino cuisine because my family is from Pampanga, the culinary capital of P.I. I was told about this hidden gem before my trip and made sure to make this a priority.
I had to check out Love & Joy Filipino Market/Restaurant. L&J opened in 2001 by Filipinos who wanted to sell Pinoy goods to fellow Filipinos who were crew members on ships. A couple years ago, they opened to the public.
Love & Joy is located in the Havensight & Crown Bay, near the port. Just tell the Jeepney driver where you want to go, they’re aware of L&J.
I stepped in the grocery area first. They have about 5 aisles and it’s full of any and every Filipino product you can think of. They even have an Internet cafe, phone cards, and can transfer money to P.I for you.
It’s not the Ritz and the food is served buffet style. As germaphobe as I am, I didn’t mind this. Why? Because it was a packed house and I saw the staff put fresh food out. The doors were constantly swinging open and I could see staff stir frying and super busy in the kitchen too.
The star of the show, Lechon Kawali. That was the best Filipino food I’ve had in years. I also had the worst indigestion of my life because I ate so much. Also, I rarely eat meat.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do anything else. St. Thomas was lovely, super clean and I felt safe. It is the USVI after all. I’m not knocking the other islands I’ve been to, but they don’t really have traffic laws, lights or signs. My people are guilty of this too, okay? 😉 If you’re ever in St. Thomas and craving a different cuisine, please give Love & Joy a chance. More info at http://www.asianrestaurantvi.com/