Grand Cayman is not all offshore banks and transplanted NYC fund managers in Teva sandals and bad Reyn Spooner shirts. Nor is it purely the monolithic mega-resorts dotting the well known Seven Mile Beach. Fortunately for the experiential traveler, outside the tourist hot zone and toward the laid back West Side, this all transforms to the soul of the Caribbean: pastel colored clapboard houses, beachy resort apartments, half built tennis courts, dreadlocked locals drinking Cay Man beer on seaside walls at 9 am and the exceptional local food shack Heritage Kitchen.
At Heritage, you revel in such local delicacies as ox tail soup (reputed best hangover cure ever), turtle soup or the sublime "cayman-style" grouper. Order anything "cayman-style" on Cayman and you will receive your dish covered in a deliciously spicy, vinegary sauce-blend of tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, onions and bell pepper.
As if you need another reason to come, The Heritage overlooks one of the best beaches on all of Grand Cayman. Snorkel straight out from the beach into 80 degeree pale blue waters, floating over pearl sand and coral reef while still salivating about, or expectantly of, the viscerally tasty offerings of the Ebanks family. For history fools like myself, it is indeed exciting to know the kitchen is run by this family; the Ebanks are one of the first families to ever settle in Grand Cayman.
Oh, did I mention this trip was also my honeymoon with the love of my life? That was pretty cool too.