Name: Stephen Anthony
Occupation: Hair Artist
Lives In: Wilton Manors
Restaurant Pick: Guanabanas
Reviewed Guanabanas: 10/15/12 at 1:00 pm
Guanabanas is a hidden tropical oasis on the water. Serving the freshest local seafood and produce, then have made a commitment to providing food from local fishermen and farmers. Committed to doing a lot of charity functions, they are constantly giving back to support local charities. After utilizing the complimentary valet, one is greeted by a friendly host staff. Most of the servers ask for your name and remember it during your visit. The beautiful tropical landscaping and waterfront location provide an Island style backdrop. Service is excellent and prices are very fair – generous portions and all dishes freshly prepared.
Name: Blanca Deason
Occupation: Health Care Professional
Lives In: Jupiter/Tequesta
Restaurant Pick: Evo
Reviewed Guanabanas: 10/16/12 3 pm
When I pulled up, I used the complimentary valet parking, although my friend parked across the street. We were greeted by 2 lovely hostesses and immediately one has to start to look around because the way the restaurant is laid out, it feels as though you are in the middle of a vacation island spot. There are no walls, just palm trees all around and other ficus trees and the tables are strategically located under the tree brush. We were asked if we wanted to have the “Happy Hour Menu” or the regular lunch menu. I asked what the difference was, they said that the happy hour menu was a selection of some of the appetizers and we had to sit on the high tops. We chose to sit by the water and have the full menu. Our waitress came by and was very attentive yet laid back. The most beautiful aspect of the entire meal was the view of the intercoastal, and the lovely colors of the sky around the early evening sky, the music playing in the background, the whole ambience. We ordered an appetizer that was the “smoked fish dip” and it was very fresh and good. My 5 year old daughter loved it. We had to ask the waitress to get us some appetizer plates and another table setting, which she brought after the appetizer arrived. For the entrees, we had the Pecan/Boniato crusted grouper and the fried shrimp, they were both good and fresh and mild in flavor. The grouper came with a jalape~o sauce that I would have liked for it to be a bit more spicy, it was a little bit bland for my taste, especially when I heard that it was a Jalapeno cream sauce. The dessert was delicious, very moist chocolate/toffee cake and fresh homemade whipped cream. The entire meal was great, but the overall winner was the décor, the ambience and the relaxing feeling one experiences when eating at Guanabanas.
Name: Lisa Bruckner
Occupation: Wine Manager
Lives In: Lighthouse Point
Restaurant Pick: Grateful Palate
Reviewed Guanabanas : 10/17/12 at 7:45 pm
The entrance was beautiful, a palm frond canopy lead the way to the valet area where a pleasant and helpful young man assist us and wished us a good evening and meal. The atmosphere of the place was very island and tropical feeling.
In order to reach the hostess stand you must first pass the bathrooms which I thought was a bit odd I really don’t want to look into a bathroom (open doors) before getting to my seat.
We were pleasantly greeted at the hostess stand (which had signs leading to it) and seated right away in the Tiki Hut area. It was explained that the patio areas were closed due to the rain.
The tiki hut seating area was authentic in style and feeling. We were seated at a comfortable booth and given menus for both drinks and meals.
Our waiter, James, greeted us and took our drink orders. He explained how the menu was laid out and what the specials were for the evening. We told him this was our first visit and he welcomed us warmly and offered a few selections for us to try.
I decided to take his suggestion and order a very fruity tropical drink called the Guanabana 5. It was a mixture of different rums and juice – their version of a rum punch. It was very sweet and I knew there was a lot of alcohol in it. I sipped it slowly just to get a taste.
We ordered the recommended conch fritters with Jalapeno mustard sauce as an appetizer. When they arrived both myself and my dining companion were surprised at the coloring of the fritters. Usually you see a consistent coloring on the outside. This was not the case, they almost appears mottled. There were large chunks of conch in the fritters which was surprising although chewy. The batter had a an almost sweetness to it which I found unusual and did not care for. I was expecting these fritters to be more authentic to the Bahamian style and found them disappointing.
For the entrée I order the recommended shrimp and crab cake dish with squash and zucchini as a side and let James pick the other side for me. My friend ordered the Cuban pork tacos with rice and beans as a side.
When the dishes arrived there was a great presentation of my friends dish. There were separate dishes for the tacos, the side dishes as well as a really neat stoneware container for the pork. It was quite a spread! There were 6 soft taco shells in a warm container and plenty of pork and sides to make more tacos than my friend could eat. The guacamole was fresh with cilantro seasoning. The flavor was basic and a little runny. The pork had a poultry seasoning flavor to it which immediately made me think of Thanksgiving – not sure how Cuban that is!!
I was confused by my dish when it was placed in front of me. I could clearly see the shrimp skewer but wasn’t sure where the crab cake was and there was a large helping of what appeared to be a crab cake on my plate but it just didn’t look right. Turns out it was the side that our waiter picked for me – Corn pudding!! I’d never had it in my life and had no idea what to make of its appearance.
My crab cake was under the shrimp – hidden.
I was not impressed with my meal, the shrimp were cooked fine but the chili sauce – which I did not expect and was not listed on the menu- was a bit sweet for my taste. The crab cake was cooked perfectly, great crust and good golden brown color. There was something missing in the flavor, it just seemed basic. The sauce was lacking as well.
The service we received was excellent from all staff members. The décor and atmosphere was tropical and fun. You could come here dressed in shorts and flip-flops and feel at home. I could definitely see myself hanging out here with friends on a sunny day, enjoying the water, music and atmosphere while having a few drinks.
I would not recommend it as a restaurant, I thought the food was nothing special and the pricing was too high for the quality. There was some confusion as to the price of the beers, we saw on the website that all beers were $2 on Wednesdays, so we were surprised to see that we were charged $4.50 for each beer. We were told nicely that the $2 beers starts at 9pm when the band starts playing.
My dining companion and I agreed, great décor and atmosphere – a really fun place. Just don’t go there for the food. Hang out at the bar or on the patios, have few drinks, listen to the live music they have scheduled and enjoy yourself.
Location:960 N. Hwy A1A Jupiter, FL 33477
Type of Cuisine: Seafood
Meals Served: Lunch/Dinner Mon-Fri, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Sat & Sun
Accommodations for Children: High chairs/boosters