Delicious, Grab & Go Local Fare

Etta Samuel grew up in St. Croix but has called St. John home for the past 34 years. She is married to Mr. Nevil Samuel.

Last week, we told you about a great new authentic restaurant in Cruz Bay – De’ Coal Pot. Today we’d like you all to know about another great local spot, but this one’s more of a grab and go place. It’s called Etta’s Place and I’m not sure what’s better – the food or dear, sweet Etta herself.

The idea for Etta’s Place came about last year around this time while Carnival was happening over on St. Thomas. After tasting what she described as subpar food during the event, Etta Samuel decided it was time for someone to offer flavorful, authentic West Indian cuisine on St. John.

“I said if this is what they’re doing, then I’m going to start cooking. So I opened the restaurant and realized I had a gift,” Etta said.

Etta’s Place opened up on the second floor of the Marketplace about three months ago. She serves a variety of dishes including stew chicken, salmon balls, fresh local catch, veggie platters and more. Most dishes are between $8 and $14 and include peas and rice, sweet potato stuffing, sweet plantains or banana fritters, cole slaw and potato salad.

Here’s a peek at her full menu:

ettas menu
Click to enlarge

And here’s a look at how good her food is (I wish we had some kind of smell-o-vision because this all smelled amazing!):

ettas food

For those of you who like conch, Etta sells a great dish of conch in butter sauce. But you need to grab it quickly, because it “sells like hotcakes,” according to Etta.

Etta’s Place is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. She is considering expanding her hours in the future.

Ettas sign

Authentic Caribbean Cuisine in the Heart of Cruz Bay

Norma Coal Pot
Norma Herman, owner of De’ Coal Pot

People often email us here at News of St. John asking for recommendations on good, authentic local fare. Well there’s a new restaurant in town that fits the bill and we have to say, it’s pretty delish.

De’ Coal Pot has garnered quite a name for itself since it opened less than four weeks ago. Located in the heart of Cruz Bay – next to The Lime Inn and across from Sogo’s Restaurant and the Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel – De’ Coat Pot serves up authentic Caribbean cuisine that includes shrimp creole, garlic herb conch, herb crusted steak and more. It has a large, beautifully decorated dining room and a bar that seats six.

Coal Pot Inside

De’ Coal Pot is owned by Norma and Glycerius Herman – Norma grew up in St. Thomas while Glycerius is from St. Lucia. Together they are bringing the delicious flavors of the Caribbean to Cruz Bay. Here are a few dishes they serve:

Click to enlarge

You may have even had the opportunity to taste one of the Herman’s dishes in the past. The couple owned the Windy Level up on Centerline from 2009-2011. The location wasn’t ideal, according to Norma, so they decided to relocate into town.

“I wanted a spot in town because of the traffic,” Norma said. “It took four-and-a-half months to build. We did it one day at a time.”

So what exactly is the meaning behind the coal pot?

“The coal pot is what we grew up cooking on,” Norma said. “Conch, oxtail – it took a lot gas to cook them and get them soft, and gas was too expensive, so we had to use the coal pot.”

The coal pot is simply decorative at De’ Coal Pot but serves as a reminder of the past.

De’ Coal Pot is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It currently accepts cash only; however they will begin accepting credit cards in the upcoming weeks.

You can contact De’ Coal Pot at (340) 714-2625. You can also find them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DeCoalPot

De Coal Pot Exterior