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ST THOMAS — Casual Caribbean cuisine served with local flare and loads of love is what you’ll find at Gladys’ Café at Royal Dane Mall. For almost 40 years, owner Gladys Jones has been dishing her mix of American and Caribbean cuisine to hungry customers on St. Thomas. From cheeseburgers and deli sandwiches to oxtail, kallaloo, and roti, there is truly something for everyone at Gladys’ Café.

Hidden down a small cobblestone alleyway off of Veteran’s Drive along the waterfront, the warm, cozy atmosphere at Gladys’ Café awaits you. Its Danish brick walls, rattan chairs, mahogany wood furnishings, and ambient lighting makes dining in a treat. Breakfast is served from 8am to 11am offering a variety of dishes. Pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon and hot cereal are a few hearty options available to start off your day. Their signature lobster omelette that is mentioned in almost every review found online is a favorite among diners.

Lunch is where many would say the restaurant truly shines! For the meat lovers, try their oxtail plate with a side of rice and peas, fresh veggies, and plantain. The fresh whole Ole Wife or Snapper fish prepared pan fried or steamed is a must for those wanting a taste of local seafood. Served with fungi — similar in texture to polenta — or rice and peas, this dish also includes a serving of sweet plantains. The stuffed avocado salad platter is a special at Gladys’ Café that many patiently wait for each year. Guests receive one-half of an avocado, stuffed with their choice of Caribbean lobster, albacore tuna, or chicken salad. “Exceptional and delicious” and “fresh and tasty” are a few words used to describe the special. For those wanting a little heat with their meals, Gladys’ Café has a homemade line of hot sauces that are shipped all around the world. There are five options to choose from: Oil and Vinegar, Mango, Mustard, Passion Fruit, and Tomato. You can take some back home to ensure that vacation vibe continues long after your trip is over. If you are new to their hot sauce, they strongly recommend to “drip, don’t pour” because “you won’t realize how hot it is until you are a few bites in.”

Choose from several local drinks to wash your meal down. Nonalcoholic options include passion fruit juice, tamarind, and mauby. Alcoholic options include a few of Gladys’ favorites like piña colada, Bushwacker, and Bailey’s Banana Colada. They also offer smoothies and fresh fruit coladas made to order.

Gladys’ Café is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch from 8am to 3:30pm at 5600 Royal Dane Mall. Give them a call to hear the specials for the day at 340-774-6604.

by Anquanette Gaspard