Perched on Old Winter Garden Rd, between Kirkman Rd. and Hiawassee Rd. sits this quaint little place. I just wondered in to see what was inside. To my delight there was a cheerful young lady behind a counter who greeted me immediately. As I looked around it was evident that this was more of a restaurant than grocery store. The extent of grocery was a few items on one shelf. There was also drinks in a cooler and Bahamian tee shirts.
Standing at the little counter you get the feeling of island nostalgia. There are coconut thrushes, palm leaves, bright colors, swaying Caribbean music, and Bahamian hospitality. I almost wanted to pull up a seat at the bar and order a rum drink with a fruity umbrella. Not sure if they have rum, but there is Bahamian Kalik Beer, Goombay Punch, and the house’s very own drinks.
Mel, the very kind and gracious owner, makes and bottles her own drinks. She makes Switcher, which is made from limes and sugar; Peach Tea, peach and sugar; and a combination of Switcher and Peach Tea. I tried the combo. It is a very delicate balance of sweet and sour with hints of peach. A marvelous combination. Locally sourced and made, can’t beat that.
The menu is not extravagant. There is fish, chicken, pork, conch, and beef prepared a couple of ways; a few sides, patties, a couple of Bahamian Conch Specialities, desserts and soft drinks. But the smell coming out of the kitchen was very hearty.
I was tempted to get a conch dish. But the Curry Goat called my name. The difference between Bahamian Curry and Indian Curry was evident the minute I took a look a this dish. The heavy Indian flavors of masala were absent. But the very fragrant Whole All Spice, Sprigs of Thyme, and Whole Bay Leaves were swaying an island breeze across my nostrils that not even the temptation of conch could peal away. The goat meat was fall off the bones tender, but not dry. Pieces of semi soft cartilage still held the meat to the bones making for a very silky chew. This curry was served with the prevalent Caribbean rice and peas, you can order white rice if you so desire. The pigeon peas and rice was moist, tender, and delicate. My choice of side was sweet plantains. This is less sweeter and less riper than Dominican or Puerto Rican Maduros, but still firm and ripe.
I was taken by the simple, no hassle, laid back vibe from the staff. Then I found out that it was a family owned business and they all worked there. The matriarch, Miss Mel, even came out to say hello. She makes all the food. While this is be far not the poshest place in town, it is certainly well keep with heart and soul. The atmosphere is great, the service is true Bahamian hospitality, the food is spectacular. I am going back for the conch and everything else on the menu. Why can’t more restaurants be like this?