Our first order of business was to compare the conch salad of the Bahamas to the conch salad of the Turks and Caicos. Our immigration agent, Claude, recommended a local eatery on the beach, Bugaloo's Conch Crawl.
Bugaloo's Conch Crawl offers a different dining experience... Yep, these tourists are having lunch even as the tide rises around them! (Twenty-somethings optioning for high adventure dining...) We opted for the more mature "high and dry" option on the beach.
Bugaloo's has fresh conch, prepared to order. When I say "prepared to order", I mean literally prepared to order. The conch are kept alive in a pen out in the water in front of the restaurant. Local conch fishermen bring the conch in by boat and place it in the pen.
The conch harvesters wade out to the pen and pick up the conch shells in a wheelbarrow. They set up on the beach, cracking the conch shells, removing the meat and pounding the conch meat with a mallet to tenderize it.
Once the meat has been expertly trimmed and tenderized, it becomes a delight to eat. Conch appears on just about every menu in the TCI. Conch salad is conch in its most natural form….raw conch meat diced into small cubes, lime juice, chopped onion, green pepper, tomato seasoned with crushed pepper or Tabasco. The conch salad at Bugaloo's was delicious. We also had grilled shrimp with rice and a fresh salad.
Coco Bistro offered continental Caribbean cuisine in open-air dining under a canopy of coconut palms and foliage. What could be more romantic? We had a meal fit for a king! I had grilled lobster, jasmine rice with snow peas, and LA had grilled Tuna with risotto and fresh vegetables. Coupled with fine wine and homemade ice cream for dessert, it was a special dining experience.
Our new friends, Byron and Polly, asked us to meet them at their favorite conch restaurant, Da Conch Shack.
Located in the Blue Hills section of the island, Da Conch Shack is located on yet another beautiful beach beside a sparkling ocean.
Polly and I headed out to the beach to chat with Charles, the local shell salesman. He tried mightily to get us to purchase shells, but to no avail. Polly, being a local, had no interest in his tourist trap offerings, and I, living on a boat, had no room! I REALLY wanted one of those beautiful shells, but I knew LA would KILL me if I showed up with one. One of these days, I am going to buy some of these shells, but today was not that day. (Mainly because I had no place to hide the darn them and I would get busted by my shell monitor.)
Our gastronomic tour of Turks and Caicos continued on… Le Bouchon du Village: a French sidewalk cafe. We had appetizers, salads, and a great Sauvignon Blanc for lunch. It was so good that we returned on another day just to sample more items on the menu.
Mango Reef Resort (at Alexandra Resort): Caribbean fare Beachfront dining overlooking gorgeous Grace Bay Beach
Other places we dined were Tiki Hut Island Eatery: Dockside at Turtle Cove Marina, is a family-style restaurant serving salads, seafood, sandwiches. Danny Bouy's Irish Pub: standard Irish and American pub fare, Monday night football.
We enjoyed our gastronomic tour of Providenciales! We got fatter, and our wallet got thinner! But a good time was had by all….
Until next time!