Sunday, August 17, 2014

don't you dare miss DA CONCH SHACK if you go to the Turks & Caicos, it's da best! (8-17-14)

Hot off the presses we left our cocoon of a resort and drove about 15 minutes to the north shore and the area of Blue Hills where DA CONCH SHACK rules.
Upon arrival we were greeted by warm smiles and a "have a seat where you like" at the tables set up in an open area on the beach between two small shacks (really houses), one is the kitchen, the other the Rum Bar where 14 different types of aged and prime rums are offered--don't miss the awesome Guatemalan Zacapa; it's he smoothest ever.
We met the manager Karel Rodney, who hails from Jamaica, but makes this home and has brought some of his island spice over as well. There's Jerk Chicken and Sam had the Jerk Chicken Tacos which he said burst with flavor.
Will & I started with the Infamous Rum Punch and I new I had to have another, but beware-they are potent and oh so pretty with layered colors of yellow, black and orange. They also have something called a Conch Knocker Shot which has to be on the list for our next visit!
Will had the Conch Salad to start which is a simple ceviche that always packs a punch and here it was declared the best. I had the Cracked Conch which is lightly battered ands and  fried and served with a Russian dressing of sorts which is even better if you add the Peppajay Hot Sauce made locally with scotch bonnet pepper and guava.
I learned from the menu as well that the conch is over 600 million years old and one of the highest viable proteins found in nature (37grams in the salad alone).
Other tidbits learned from the menu include the fact that natives think the pistol gives them virility, and they are also high in Omega-3.

For his main course, Will had the CONCH Combo with more cracked Conch, the best conch fritters we had all week and two sides (all entrees come with 2 sides, so this is a big meal!). We both chose the rice and peas and the Johnny Fries, which are French fries seasoned awesomely with local salt and smothered with a black bean and local pepper gravy. This was the icing on the cake for us, although Samuel insisted on having his without the gravy :-((
My main was the Cracked Lobster which they said, like the, conch, is fished locally (you will recall this is the third day of Lobster season, and thusly my fourth meal including these succulent treats). The two tails were just lightly battered and fried to perfection; the best lobster so far.
The secret to this little hideaway is the great food, the superb beachfront atmosphere, the excellent friendly service and the fact that it's a nice change from the many fine dining spots we tend to hit. Da Conch Shack is only 15 minutes from our secluded resort or about the same or perhaps 20 minutes from the main Grace Bay resorts. On Wednesday evenings there is live music if you want to party as well.
After we were satiated beyond belief, we looked at the vendors on the beach and purchased some gorgeous conch shells as well as t-shirts and hot if you are lucky you will hear me play the shell on your next visit to our home, and maybe I'll even use the hot sauce so you can have a taste of the Turks & Caicos, which is something we will always cherish.