Date of Review: March 1999
Having just returned from a two-week trip to Guadeloupe, I
feel it's very
important to update your review of The Iguane Cafe in St. Francois.
what we thought was one of the best, if not the best meal of
our trip there
(and we did eat at such stellar places as Chateau de Feuilles
-- which was
marvelous -- and the restaurant at Plantation Ste-Marthe -- where
was truly awful, and the food just so-so.)
The service at Iguane was excellent -- it was very crowded and
we had no
reservations, but they found a delightful table for us anyway.
obviously American, and speak very little French, but no one
seemed to mind.
In fact, everywhere in Guadeloupe, including Marie-Galante and
Les Saintes, we
found people friendly, and very accommodating to our French-speaking
limitation. (I would note, though, that we did try very hard
with the little French we know.)
The food at Iguane was exceptional, arrived in a very reasonable
time, and we did not find the prices out of line with any of
restaurants we tried. (La Louisiane was another fine dining experience,
similar service and prices.)
We also thought the ambiance at Iguane was, except for Ch. de
most pleasant of all the places in Grande-Terre that we tried.
They are trying very hard -- and succeeding!
Date of Review: May 1998
We planned to eat at the Auberge de Saint Francois on our
first evening in Guadeloupe, but it had closed in the past year.
It was a short drive from our hotel, with a terrace and a view
of Marie Galante and Petite Terre. As the Auberge was closed,
the receptionist at our hotel recommended the Iguane Cafe as
The Cafe was a short taxi ride from our hotel. It is on the
road which connects St. Francois with the Pointe du Chateaux.
The Cafe itself is charming. It is well decorated, has a colorful
decor and an open air kitchen.
We were seated, given menus in English, and that was the last
we saw of host or waitress for twenty minutes. I could understand
a slow paced meal, as the Cafe was mildly busy for a Thursday
night, but would have preferred the wait with a drink in front
of me, or at least some water. We did not become upset until
two seperate tables who had arrived after us recieved their drinks
and had their order taken by our waitress long before she returned
to our table. The crowning blow was when our waitress took two
of our menus (without taking an order) to give to another couple.
That couple (with our menus) also had their order taken before
At this point, I went up to the small bar at the entrance
to order some Planter's Punches ("Punch Planteur").
The bar had a variety of at least twenty different rum infusions.
Although I was tempted by the cinnamon, the owner (who had joined
the bartender in our rum discussion) was proudest of the hibiscus.
The bartender pulled down a large jar of rum which had several
whole hibiscus flowers floating in it, and made our punches.
The owner insisted that our waitress carry the drinks to our
table, which is how we were able to corner her to place our dinner
While at the bar, I perused a French language menu. I noted
that the prices were the same as on the English language menu,
which pleased me. However, I also noted that the "Lamb"
Curry was listed as "Cabri" on the French menu, which
is definitely not lamb. Two people in our group ordered the lamb
curry, and it was cabri, not lamb.
The menu was creative and varied. Of special note was the
goat's cheese appetiser. The cheese was very flavorful, and was
battered in a crust that was seasoned with caribbean spices.
The crust was not greasy at all. The goose liver pate was good
as well. The fish main courses (such as snapper in pastry) were
good but not great. The lamb eaters were disappointed at the
quality of their lamb (I didn't tell them it was goat until the
next day). My rabbit (laupin) was overcooked and a bit tough
as a result.
The wine list was fair for Guadeloupe in that it listed the
producers (but not the vintages) and had more selections than
most. The restaurant was open air, and right next to the roadside.
Motorcycles and mopeds would commonly ride by at high speeds,
apparently without mufflers, creating a cacaphony during dinner.
The prices were high for Guadeloupe (about $50 a person, with
drinks, tax and tip included). I do not mind high prices if the
quality of the meal justifies them. Here, it did not. Despite
the charming decor and creative menu, I can not recommend the
Iguane Cafe due to its poor service, location by the roadway,
and prices which were high for the quality of its food.