I may receive a commission if you purchase something mentioned in this post. See more details here.
Hey, hey it’s vacay and you are in St. Maarten. Have you even begun to dig into the local eats? Let me help you with this so you can quickly get acclimated. There’s nothing like landing in St. Maarten, smelling the saltwater and then getting so hungry. Where do you go? First stop will be the best ribs, chicken, and seafood you’ve ever eaten, without a doubt. Local and yummy.
Anywhere I travel, I seek out the best of the best. My demands are as follows: clean, set up, efficient service and delicious food. But I actually prefer to meet the owner, chat with them and then decide if the food has legs as well as a cheeky, fun-loving owner. Of course in food, that’s the best combination. The restaurant is on the Dutch Side of St. Maarten for those in by cruise ship.
Seek out Cole Bay, right in the heart of St. Maarten. You are looking for a roadside eatery, with a huge red tent (you are sure not to miss) and is jamming with customers from lunch through dinner. We ate there area a group of 10 and it was marvelous. Lick your fingers, wear comfy pants, let’s go Rib it up at the best rib shack in Cole Bay, St. Maarten.
Best Rib Shack in Cole Bay, St. Maarten
Famished from our day of touring and ready to tear into some good eats, here we are. And there are more tables loaded with people and a bar that keeps hopping. You can see it is street-side so very popular stop.
The more people stop, the more other people stop, it just keeps its groove going the whole time. Honestly, the flow of people was constant, and this validates my opinion of Awesome.
Close to the airport, about 5 minutes if there is no traffic so it’s good for food before you go to the plane, or after you come off. For us, it was a long day, as we toured the Dutch Side of St. Maarten and also stole a few streets to visit on the French Side (of course I can not resist a street that looks interesting).
There’s so much to do in St. Maarten, that a day tour is not enough, nor is a week. Sammy picked us up and took us to The Captain’s Rib Shack. The grill masters of chicken, pork and seafood reside here.
If you don’t stop, you will so miss what might be one of the best local cuisine options available to you. So STOP. Your looking for a red roadside restaurant and no they don’t have a website so you need the name and one of my drivers to take you there. These guys know it well.
The Captain’s Rib Shack
That’s Brenda one of the owners and the corner of my eye too:) I just want you to see the signage, so you know where to go! Big love to you Brenda if you are reading this!
Quick story. Address is 117 Welfare Road, Cole Bay, St. Maarten, The owners are Brenda and Dino. Dino is the Captain, he actually is a pilot. We got to meet him that evening as well. I would suggest anything on the menu as our party tried it all. (above is Brenda and me!)
Locals come here and so do those that return to the area, because the food is delicious. Whether you want something like a Johnny Cake or some chicken, this is your spot. I always want to be open here and let you know that my son with Severe Food Allergies could eat here because Brenda cares.
If you have food allergies, get the Manager on duty and tell them what they are. Niko ate both chicken and pork, and was filled up and loved it. Thank you Brenda, Dino and Staff for your warm welcome!
Brenda’s Addictive Johhny Cake
Oh I know, I know, anything that looks this good, just can’t be the best for your daily diet. Who cares. When on vacay, vacation calories do not count! That’s it, no more, yes I ate them almost all myself. Mmmmmm~!
If you love bread, let this carb, lead your Caribbean eating fare at the Captain’s Rib Shack. Brenda seriously needs to make this recipe a box set to take home and make. If I ate one piece, I then ate the whole plate.
Truth be told, there was some serious Rum Punch flying around our tables too, and wow, did it have a kick. Totally vacay mode is how that rum punch rolled. Yum.
So what’s in a Johhny Cake? Pretty much flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and butter in a pan, but however Brenda does it, it’s stellar. I don’t think that is the recipe, but I love this woman and want to be her adopted child over bread. Okay, it’s that good and you all know I watch my carbs so diligently, but exceptions need to be made.
If you’ve never had a plantain, it can best be compared to a banana. It is the banana that was meant to be cooked and served. Oh so yummy. Side note: Where Niko Travels did not eat these as they are latex fruits, so if you have latex allergies this is not a food to try.
Crispy looking right? Delicious is the only way to explain. Also, I scooped the lettuce in a few bites of mine, don’t know if I was supposed to but holy delish combinations.
Hold onto your taste buds, and get ready for some crunching and then some Rum Punching when you eat Fried Plantains. What a great combo and these are cooked to perfection. The outside is perfectly crisp and the inside nice and soft.
Secret Blend of Brenda’s Rum Punch
Whatever Brenda and Dino have going on in this punch, the world needs to experience it at some point. One glass and you relax, and 2 glasses and you might not find your chair. Maybe I am just a lightweight or maybe it is just that good?
Want to know how to figure it out? Go to St. Maarten and visit them, taste test on your own, and then tell me what you think. Let the Secret Blend of Brenda’s Rum Punch be part of your vacation.
Much like a great time, this just creeps up on you. I do believe after 2 glasses of this, I could have danced the jig and have no idea what the jig is. Lol! It was the beverage of the evening and of course beer. Let’s be serious, beer can be got anywhere, but Brenda’s Rum Punch is only in St. Maarten. Drink, and have your driver (Sammy, Robert, Tony) take you home! End of story.
Pork Please By The Tray
And here is the feast by the tray. I saw the tray get set down, and another one followed, and then I heard a lot of ‘Mmmm’ noises and the trays were devoured by our large party. Totally eaten and fingers being licked. That good.
I learned that the meat was juicy, tender, and the BBQ sauce was second to none. Our driver ‘Sammy’ loved this dish as well. He explained how popular this dish was.
Don’t Forget The Cluck Cluck BBQ
Yes, chicken and it is BBQ’d and delightful. No I did not eat it, but I had 9 other foodies at the table declaring their love for the chicken. I believe I even heard someone ask if ‘Brenda’ could come home with us. LOL.
Moist. Juicy. Tender. Seared just right, the picture says it all and of course all their comments said it too. Love when food is done perfectly like at The Captain’s Rib Shack.
Shrimp With ‘Orgazmic’ Sauce
Here’s something you have to experience with a group, an ‘Orgazmic’ Sauce. Yes, I said that really and it is contagious around the group, everyone will experience the ‘Orgazmic Sauce’ moment, because it is tempting.
Yes, I giggled with this name, but it is Spot On with its name and gives basic shrimp a bolster like I’ve never experienced. NO it’s not heat, it’s just an indescribably moment from the time you dip it and it enters your mouth until you swallow. Orgasmic I’d say! Eat that!
Now I shot this with 2 different cameras to see which I thought came out best, but either way you see the goodness on the plate. In this picture you can see the depth of the Orgazmic Sauce. I am craving this as I am writing this.
Oh, and if you are wondering, I ate that red pepper strip, after dunking it into the Orgazmic Sauce, it earned it’s place in my belly and I just wanted one more jolt of the sauce. Translation=heavenly.
The Star Attraction of My Feeding Frenzy
So we all know I don’t eat meat, no secret there, but I do love my seafood. I also can’t tell you that everyone at the table got to eat and try this, because I don’t share well. Ha! When Brenda had this sent over to the table, she had a smile on her face and mine met hers with a bigger one.
The Lobster was kick-ass, over-the-top yum. Smooth, soft, tender, and seasoned with I don’t know what, and don’t care. It was ‘da bomb’ of the evening, second to the Rum Punch.
Grilled? Broiled? I have no idea how it was prepared, and to be honest, I don’t want to know, it’s vacation food and it was just the Best Ever! I am a Lobster gal and this was my ticket to perfection at The Captain’s Rib Shack.
Michael also had one that he allowed others to try, but he also ate it more on his own, sorry you all. We loved this star of the show.
All Of The Food
There’s no way to miss at this eatery. None, unless of course you don’t stop then you missed out on the best rib shack stop on St. Maarten (the Dutch Side).
If you love great BBQ pork, grilled chicken, shrimp, lobster, Johnny Bread and fried plantains this is the ‘hot spot’. No matter when we passed here it was bumping. Translation = it’s delicious and word is getting around.
Dress in shorts and tees, be comfortable and get ready for satisfying delicacies down to shrimp in an orgazmic sauce & fresh caught lobster. I’ll tell you what – the platters were filled with food and between 10 of us nothing was left! I believe that tells the story on its own.
Vacation well. Play Hard and dig into good eats in St. Maarten. My thanks to The Captain’s Rib Shack & St. Maarten for hosting us. All images, and opinions are my own based on our time spent at this lovely eatery and country.