On Cu­ra­cao, sun­set is an event.

Coastal Living - - NAVIGATOR -

For lo­cals, it’s all about find­ing the ideal spot to watch the sun dip below the cerulean wa­ters or be­hind the scrubby, cac­tus-stud­ded land­scape. But that’s not the end of the party. In fact, it’s just the be­gin­ning. Come night­fall, the whole is­land gets a col­lec­tive sec­ond wind.

Even in New Or­leans and Rio de Janeiro—cities fa­mous for their noc­tur­nal ten­den­cies—you’d be hard-pressed to find a bar­ber­shop open as late as the bars. But in Willem­stad, Cu­raçao’s buzzing cap­i­tal city, revel­ers line up for last-minute trims be­fore head­ing to places like Netto Bar, a 64-year-old hole-in-the-wall land­mark shel­lacked in soc­cer mem­o­ra­bilia and pho­tos. There, they knock back shots of ròm bèrdè (green rum)—a house-made, neon green tip­ple that tastes like black li­corice—and press close in­side the bar’s tight con­fines to dance to salsa and merengue. Or, freshly coiffed, they head to newschool wa­ter­ing holes in the trendy Pi­eter­maai District, such as Luke’s Cock­tail­bar, and post up for li­ba­tions fash­ioned with craft spir­its and cut­tingedge tech­niques (think smoke from de­hy­drated grape­fruit rinds).

What­ever the choice that night, ev­ery­one ends up at a truki pan (“sand­wich truck”): mo­bile smor­gas­bords spread all over the city that draw hun­gry crowds of every stripe. Un­der a canopy of red and green string lights at BBQ Ex­press in the bar-rich Cara­cas­baai neigh­bor­hood, for ex­am­ple, Euro­pean tourists rub el­bows with lo­cal DJs and lawyers. Amer­i­can study-abroad teach­ers and Am­s­ter­dam ex­pats share to-go con­tain­ers of siz­zling frites piled high with grilled chorizo and marinated pork chops. Like a culi­nary Tower of Ba­bel, the lan­guages min­gling in the smoky air are mir­rored in the truki pan’s wide-rang­ing condi­ment bar: Suri­namese peanut sauce, Dutch may­on­naise, Latin-Amer­i­can chimichurri, and Afro-Caribbean pika—a fiery pep­per-onion rel­ish that’s a spe­cialty of the coun­try.

Truki pan late-night eats

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.