I returned to Di Grill Shack mid-April for the Salmon burger, one of my favourites on the menu. It was a Saturday night, but didn’t look so busy. All the paintings were removed from the walls, leaving the decor a bit plain, however a few plants were added indoors close to the seating areas.
The service was still good, staff remained well dressed and pleasant and food was delivered in a timely manner. I ordered the Piña Colada again and it was just as good. The Salmon burger was almost perfect but the temperature could have been on the warmer side. It was as if the burger had to wait a little on the fries because the fries were hot. Other than that, the burger was as tasty and well seasoned as expected.
Although it was a Saturday night, I didn’t stay for more drinks. I was not inclined to with dreary songs like ‘Endless Love’ playing in the background. The decor is also too decent for the name ‘Di Grill Shack’, so perhaps they should revise decor and give the place a bit more of a buzz. My experience in February was better. Rumour has it that there has been a change in management. If true, will Di Grill Shack in Courtyard 71 last? Time will tell.
Two Saturdays ago, I finally got to visit the new restaurant in town, Opa Greek Restaurant and Lounge on Hope Road. I delayed my visit a bit as the reviews were not so good, from the food being bland to getting cold pizza. Nonetheless, many persons did not hesitate to display themselves on instavideo breaking plates with great delight and shouting ‘OPA!’, a renowned Greek tradition to express a joyful emotion or a celebratory response to something.
Upon arrival, my beau and I were greeted from the outside with the door opened for us, which isn’t the norm in Jamaica. The owner and hostess welcomed us pleasantly and we were shown to our seats.
The decor was instantly impressive, however so much blue on the walls can tend to darken the place up a bit. It still had an overall unique tasteful touch and the lighting with the waterfalls was creative. It was refreshing to see well dressed waiters as well.
Our waiter, Alan approached the table immediately and took our appetizer orders. Complimentary pita bread for the first round with the option of getting whole wheat is a thoughtful incentive. My beau ordered a traditional Greek soup, Avgolemono.
I then probed Alan a bit to hear what was the best entrée to choose that did not include Chicken. He was very knowledgeable about the menu and the selection of wines. He suggested the 3 dishes, the Psari Sharas (Grilled Fish served with skordalia), Gourounopoulo (Boneless slow-roasted Pork loin with feta and sundried tomatoes) and Kotsi (Slow-baked Lamb Shank), giving you the best variety of options depending on the kind of meat you prefer.
I haven’t had Pork in a while so I went with the Gourounopoulo and my date chose the Psari Sharas. Alan brought a Chateau Menuty rose wine for us to taste and we went with his selection.
All orders, excluding the wine arrived in a timely fashion, not having to wait more than 5 to 15 minutes for any of the dishes. By right, the wine should have arrived before or with the main course.
The Pork was a bit on the rubbery side but had a nice flavour. Pairing the Pork with feta was interesting, not sure if it was the best choice of cheese though. The Fish on the other hand was lovely.
The meals seemed to be overpriced, especially for the portions given and perhaps the plates could be a little smaller to skew our judgement. There could also be more of a variety of side options provided with some of the dishes. The majority of appetizers cost close to or over $1000JMD, not to mention a glass of wine, which is also on the high end for a spend.
A birthday was being celebrated that night so plates were broken traditionally with exclamations of ‘Opa’ and persons seemed to be having a good time. I am sure their bill was blinding though, as my dinner for 2 without dessert, including a free appetizer costed $8791.75. The bill included tax and a 10% service charge but who pays $850JMD for soup?! My beau did, but not if I saw that price first.
Opa is a decent place for a planned dinner or celebration with satisfactory service and good but not great food. So after what seemed to be a decent night out for dinner, you will ponder if you really got value for your money.
Growing up in the sports world with a father as a former West Indies Cricket player and having a mother with the television on the NBA Playoffs or Wimbledon instead of Lifetime or Home and Garden TV, I had no choice but to grow up loving sports in general as well.
I had my own cricket bat from about 4 years old to go and practice at the Kensington Cricket club. I was a tomboy, used to be on the Track team, I played Tennis, I am a frequent fan at the stadium for Athletics. You name it. But over the years, though I enjoy most sports, my favourite sport to watch is Basketball. It gets me the most emotional. I will go to a bar alone and watch it, I will forego meeting family at the airport, my studies back in the day used to be delayed, not to mention last year I left my own Surprise Birthday party to catch the second half of the game without opposing fans present. My Birthday is in early June, helllooooo.
Over the years, whether its general face to face conversation or social media, I have noticed initially that men are surprised that I may even make a comment on a sport. It is either ignored, gasped at with surprise or faced with the question of ‘What do you know? You watch sports? or Is it your partner’s team that you are defending?’ Then after a short debate on a topic, they tend to realise I actually do know something about sports. I am not an expert, but anyone, whether male or female that not only watches a sport but follows a sport, listens and understands the commentary or has actually played the sport themself should be free to make any sensible statement or argument about the sport, a match, the players, the team or the coach. Thankfully my actual friends unlike ‘social media friends’ know how competitive I am and how serious I can take a game or anything for that matter.
Most of us are busy, so may not know 100% of the stats but as a fan should know enough and appreciate the sport enough to make certain statements. I have been in many enjoyable ‘social media wars’ over sports but this year the comments faced so far take the cake. They are not even worth a ‘war’ but a mere shut down because there is no argument put forward, just careless, senseless remarks. Ironically, these comments on my posts have just begun in the end part of round one of the NBA Playoffs. Where were the comments on my posts ALL season? Have they even been watching?! This led me to start thinking that it might not only be because I am an outspoken fan but because I am an outspoken female fan. How is it that when my male friends show support for teams that couldn’t even make the playoffs or were eliminated already do not face these kinds of comments? Isn’t the current success of women in this country and larger female to male ratio at the Universities an indication that women also have the inclination to have good perception and views once interested in any particular subject? At least one culprit admitted that they just saw my post and was playing devil’s advocate. That I can acknowledge. But to say a team is ‘lame’ twice with no reason is beyond me. The defending Western Conference Champions whose four NBA championships are the fourth most in history behind only the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls. Yes, the San Antonio Spurs that I have been a fan of from 1999. The same team who has made the playoffs every year since they drafted Tim Duncan. The team that went on a 19-0 winning streak during this season. The stats could take up a whole book. But ‘lame’? You must be kidding me. Any average Jo that watches basketball seriously should have respect for the Spurs team and their fans too. Now if its the personality of the players one finds ‘lame’, I could somewhat understand that. Everyone is not going to swing on a hoop like a monkey or beat their chests, want to fight and have lots of tattoos. They may simply choose to give a long stare like Timmy Duncan or roar like Tony Parker. The Spurs do have soft personalities, they are not an extremely physical team. Manu is not as great as he used to be, I can hardly shout GINOBILIIIIIII anymore, and wish he would wear glue on his hands sometimes. However there is nothing that can deny the displayed quality and potential of the team from their passes, Timmy Duncan’s ability to obtain core rebounds, Parker’s drive down the lane, now you see him now you don’t, score!!!!
So people may not want Timmy on a cereal box anymore or have Tony speaking a lot in an American ad with his French accent, but the Spurs are a great team. They are a dynasty. Whether they are eliminated in the first round this year or not, the ball is round and they are better than the majority of the teams out there, if not the best. In the Playoffs, its who wants it most, who is the most hungry. There is no way to pin point who deserves a ring more than the other, the talent and effort this season has been phenomenal. Let a girl support her team in peace. I love this game!