When it comes to the weekend, a lot of locals head to the eastern districts for a change of pace. To those who live in big cities, this probably seems a bit funny, as East End and North Side are only a 45-minute drive from the west side. However, there’s no denying that there is a much more laid back, Caribbean feel to that part of the island.
I rarely drive up that way – I have a habit of donning my comfy pajamas at the weekend, and remaining supine, on the couch, watching streaming TV shows from morning to night.
Driving to the Kai
Last Sunday, I had to take a drive up to Cayman Kai. My friend Lynne Firth came with me (I was looking at some furniture to possibly buy, and Lynne was there to provide the voice of reason), and we headed out around noon from West Bay Road. I had not eaten breakfast, and so by the time we had finished looking at dressers, chairs, beds and other household items, both of us were pretty peckish.
Over The Edge
As we made our way back along the North Side coast, we saw a local staple before us: Over The Edge restaurant and bar. Despite growing up in Cayman, I had never been there, so this was the perfect opportunity.
One only has to walk in the door to see that Over The Edge possesses the easy Caribbean charm that so many more modern establishments lack. No frills – just a great spot overlooking the water with a large indoor bar, indoor seating and then an expansive deck that catches all those sea breezes sometimes lacking on the west side.
The sheltered part of the deck was full when we arrived, so we sat just inside, but with a great view and fans set up to keep us cool.
ender, introducing himself as Tonz, was right over, taking drink orders, handing out menus and generally being very welcoming.
After he left, another member of staff appeared to make sure we were being taken care of. Service was impressive so far.
Complimentary Johnny Cakes showed up first – a generous portion with butter to spare. We would come back just for those.
The rest of the meal that followed was thoroughly enjoyable, with the attentive Tonz and other staff members really looking after us. I had land crab cakes and Lynne got the peel-and-eat shrimp, and although I thought I had space for the codfish and ackee I had also ordered, I found myself getting full through the large plateful with white rice and vegetables.
I made sure to get the rest to go.
I should add that as we ate our meal, people just seemed to keep flowing into the restaurant, including many I recognized. Clearly this is a favorite Sunday stop for locals.
The menu is an impressive mixture of dishes from the land and sea, dominated by classic Caribbean fare. It absolutely matches its surroundings. The whole place reminded me of my childhood in Cayman – when Rum Point and Tortuga Club looked completely different to how they do now. My family would do North Sound trips, free dive for conch, then sit and eat it in the shade on a lazy weekend.
Let’s hope that Over The Edge sticks around for years to come. It’s charming spots like this one that the tourists consider to be true gems.
Visit www.overtheedgecayman.com for information.