Iberostar. The name alone causes the tension in my back to release, fond memories to flicker through my mind, and a smile to linger on my face. As much as I would like to focus on the property, service, and the Iberostar brand. I must stay focused and remember that I am a restaurant and food blogger. I want to share my experience about their buffet.
I enjoyed this buffet every morning for breakfast and most afternoons for lunch for the duration of my five day trip. I actually thought about how much I would miss the buffet when my family planned excursions around lunch time. Of course, in Jamaica, finding great food is not a difficult task. However, finding the quality, quantity, and diversity of food to satisfy two adults born in Jamaica, two adults raised by Jamaican heritage and spoiled by the Florida palate, and two kids that tend to live off of a carb diet can be a great feat.
The actual buffet is run very well. You’re seated by your hostess and after a couple days, your server knows your name, your preferences, and usually keeps a little conversation going with you. As usual, I’m always curious to hear about their schedules, what they do on their off time, and their perspective of the island. Once you place your drink order, the buffet is in another room a few steps away and you are encouraged to help yourself.
There are a few stations to meet everyone’s needs. There is authentic Jamaican food so that you can eat breakfast and lunch as a native. My parents felt right at home at this station and read the entrees out loud as if they were surprised that the hotel remembered to include that particular entrée. They continued this at each entrée, as if it were the first one they had seen. It is actually quite a humorous event to watch my parents eat. Under normal circumstances, at other resorts, my father when asked, “How’s the food?” usually responds by saying, “It can eat.” A Jamaican phrase that means that the food is not amazing but it’s edible. My mother often pushes her plate from in front of her and frowns like a three-year-old child when she is not enjoying her meal. However, the Iberostar buffet placed my parents in a silent trance. They cut their dumplings, devoured their ackee and saltfish, and swallowed their fruit whole. When I asked my father, how he was enjoying his meal, he nodded repeatedly and mumbled enough sounds for me to know that he was beyond pleased. My mother’s eye lit up as she looked at me in surprise as she sent one of her grand kids up to get her seconds. Through her eyes and her muttering of, “My God” I knew what you she was thinking, and I thought the same thing too. The food was beyond good. It was fresh…it represented the purity of Jamaican food and there were so many entrees to choose from!
There is an American section that allows those with an American palate to get traditional breakfast and lunch buffet options. I was extremely impressed by this station because It had better food than most American buffets that I had visited in the United States. My picky carbohydrate loving nieces were delighted and the younger one kicked her feet as she ate. She even went up for thirds! These American carb eating nieces of mine trusted the buffet enough to venture to the other sections of the buffet. I spotted plates filled with rice and peas, curry goat, and loads of fruit. The variety and color on their plates pleased this aunt of theirs to no end. I was thrilled that they had given up solely living on carbs to try some other food groups!
Also, there is a fruit and dessert station. The fruit station is not only the typical fruit that you would see in Publix (a common Florida supermarket). There were exotic fruits that I only see on special occasions and fruits that I have never seen before. The dessert station did not disappoint. It has as many options as any other station and makes sure to end the meal with a bang.
This resort has one of the best buffets in the Caribbean. When the food is amazing, the staff is hospitable, and you’re on vacation…..everything is irie!