Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Laid-back restaurant by the beach

When we travel, we often have restaurant meals for lunch, rather than supper. For one thing, the prices are usually easier on the pocketbook. Many restaurants are also less crowded at midday.

So tonight’s supper was kind of a compromise – at a restaurant, but at a ‘budget-style’ place we’d heard served excellent conch. 

In ways, the meal seemed more like a lunch than a supper, but after a day exploring several empty beaches (the best kind!), a fried seafood supper sounded just right

We had two kinds of conch (sounds like 'conk'), plus a heap of chips. I ordered the conch burger and the Dear Man ordered the crack conch. We divvied up the burger and conch bits so we both got to try each.

Conch is the one food you can’t avoid on the Bahamas. Nor, would you want to – they know how to prepare it here. 

Although conch meat is naturally quite tough, the Bahamians have learned ways to tenderize it. You can often hear terrific pounding in the kitchen, as that’s one of the ways of softening it up. The other way is with lots of lime juice, freshly squeezed, of course. That's how conch salad works, a deliciously refreshing treat, basically a kind of ceviche

Flavour-wise, conch is vaguely related to clam (our west coast geoduck is a taste that comes to mind), somewhat sweet and with a bit of chew to it.

But the conch isn’t only used for food. Its beautiful shell shows up everywhere, as garden or patio decorations and even embedded in cement as part of a fence. 

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