Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Fun Food Friday — Goldie’s Conch House

Goldie’s Conch House — King of Conch

Both Ursula and I encountered cracked conch on a trip to Grand Cayman Island many years ago. It was at an all-you-can-eat (AYCE) place called, appropriately, The Cracked Conch. There is still a Cracked Conch restaurant on Grand Cayman, but it’s not at the previous location, and it may not be under the same ownership as it’s no longer AYCE. So, since the Bahamas are practically synonymous with cracked conch, Ursula decided we were going to have lunch in Nassau at a restaurant she found online. Thus, we found ourselves at Goldie’s Conch House.

Both indoor and outdoor dining

Ursula was also anxious to try a local drink called sky juice, which is made from gin, coconut water, sweetened condensed milk, and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. I’ll just say that sky juice did not disappoint either of us:

Bahamian sky juice

I cannot say likewise for the rest of the meal, which we started with conch fritters. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that fritters are not my favorite way to eat conch, as I find this concoction is usually heavy on the stomach, and seldom arrives at the table as the crispy concoction one would expect of a “fritter” anything. Alas, Goldie’s version did nothing to change my mind. They were to me a bit bland and extremely heavy on the palate. On the upside, there were plenty of them; so much so that we didn’t even attempt to finish them. The accompanying sauce was tasty, but being mayonnaise based did nothing to mitigate the inherent heaviness of the dish.

Goldie’s conch fritters

Fortunately, the cracked conch was an improvement. It wasn’t the best we’d ever had, but it was passable. The conch could have done with a bit more tenderizing (you have the pound the heck out of conch to get the most out of it). Some pieces were tender while others were chewier than they should have been. The batter was light, which was a huge improvement over the conch fritters, but it wasn’t as crisp as I like. To be fair, the humidity must have been way up from the heavy rain so that might have been a factor. I’m inclined to give Goldie’s a second chance to see if that was indeed the reason.

Cracked conch, lime, and fries

The fries were okay, but far from European pomme frite standards. Let’s just call them far better than the grease-soaked mass served up at Five Guys (one visit several years ago was more than enough for both of us; we’ll never make that mistake again), but certainly not up to par with McDonald’s (and let’s face it, fries about the only reason to ever enter a McDonald’s).

Goldie’s cracked conch

All in all I’d give this visit 3½ forks out of five. And who knows? Our visit may have just been on an off day.

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)

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Filed under Fun Food Friday, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, Restaurant Review, travel, vacation, Wine & Food

Fun Food Friday — Restaurante Anduriña

Restaurante Anduriña

I haven’t done a Fun Food Friday in so long that I hope I don’t blow it. How will I measure success with today’s article? I’m aiming to leave you with your mouth watering, your tummy growling, your blood sugar plummeting in anticipation, and your hand reaching out to make reservations for a trip to Barcelona.

Ursula waiting in anticipation

We found this hidden gem by doing what we usually do in an unfamiliar city. We asked the hotel receptionists where they personally would go for local cuisine. We stipulated that the establishment be a place where the locals go, that the recommendation be a tapas-style restaurant, and we preferred that it be within walking distance. After a brief consultation between the two of them, they pointed us in the direction of Restaurante Anduriña, which was at most a five-minute stroll from Hotel Catalonia Portal de l’Àngel.

Less than a five-minute walk from our hotel to Restaurante Anduriña

Sneak peek time at the back of Restaurante Anduriña‘s menu. This side shows drinks and desserts:

Wine, Beer, Apéritif, and Dessert Menu

So, just how good was Restaurante Anduriña? Let me just put it this way — during our three nights in Barcelona we saw no reason to go anywhere else for dinner. Not once. We weren’t even tempted to try. And talk about locals, that is all we saw eating here with very few exceptions. But, then, you pretty much had to know where to go to find this wonderful establishment even though it’s been around since 1939. It’s on the charming, narrow pedestrian street Carrer Comtal. With this place both Ursula and I thought we’d struck a homerun first time at bat.

Restaurante Anduriña’s bar

On two of our three visits I had my camera. Alas, I did not on the evening I enjoyed their heavenly burger. Yeah, I know… pedestrian in the extreme, but I wanted to try it. Fortunately, it tasted more of the local cuisine than I deserved. It was great, and quite large. I did have my camera the evening I tried their pulled pork sandwich, though. And, as one would expect of European pomme frites (what we call French fries), those were exquisite:

Pulled Pork and incredible Fries

But, being first and foremost a tapas establishment, I shan’t further waste your time on the mundane. Let’s begin with a look at the main menu:

Restaurante Anduriña menu

But before we order some food, let’s get some house wine, which tasted much more expensive than it was:

Restaurante Anduriña House Wine

Ursula loves European-style dried meats and sausages, as one would expect of a Zurich homegirl. Needless to say, the Spanish cured meat platter was a must on all three occasions:

Spanish cured meat platter

Hmmm…. Looks good! Let’s zoom in and see what goodies await, as this platter includes olives, chorizo (a spicy sausage), Iberian ham, fuet (a thinly sliced dry-cured pork sausage), bull blanc (the pale meat pictured, a type of pork sausage):

Left to right: Iberian ham, bull blanc, fuet, and spicy chorizo

Of course, one needs bread to go with this. That’s extra, but an absolute necessity with these delights. Light and fluffy with a delightfully chewy crust:

Bread is extra, but a necessity

Serve it all up on your plate and it looks like this:

Assorted meats and fresh bread

Ursula also loves anchovies, so as you can see above we had those as well. The olive oil in which the fillets swim is great for dunking your bread:

Anchovies swimming in rich olive oil

Not on the drink menu, but in plain view above the bar, is the good stuff for those wanting something a bit stiffer than wine:

The Good Stuff

On our second of three visits Ursula’s nose detected the faint aroma of green chilies. Looking around we saw a couple savoring a plate piled high with what we soon learned were Padrón peppers. It was love at first bite, and we wound up ordering it more than once. No need to worry about spiciness (unfortunately for us), as they were quite mild and very tasty. The peppers came to us fried and rolled in course salt:

Padrón peppers — heavenly!

It was on our second visit that we also discovered Restaurante Anduriña also makes a mean sangria. Needless to say, the house wine went by the wayside once we discovered sangria by the “jug” (pitcher):

Restaurante Anduriña sangria jug

I hope you enjoyed today’s Fun Food Friday. Next week I’ll bring you a series of articles on our transatlantic aboard Harmony of the Seas (ship review links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Until then, let’s raise a glass of that wonderful Restaurante Anduriña sangria:

Restaurante Anduriña sangria

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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Akaroa; Best Fish and Chips ever at Murphy’s on the Corner

Akaroa, New Zealand

Ursula had heard that Akaroa is the place to go for fish and chips, and we read up on several recommendations. Alas, we did not go with those, but instead found a place on our own. If we had taken the most recommended place we would have wound up eating lunch at Bully Hayes:

Bully Hayes Restaurant & Bar

But a quick look at the offerings on the plates served outside left us yearning for a place we found on our own about half an hour earlier, when we stopped at the Coronation Library to snag a Wi-Fi signal for a bit:

Wi-Fi at Coronation Library on Rue Jolie near Beach Road

Just two minutes’ walk south, on the corner of Church Street and Rue Jolie, we passed a mouthwatering little place that was packed, with people waiting to take one of the few tables available. So, we headed back and decided to give this place a try. This is Murphy’s on the Corner:

Murphy’s on the Corner

The menu appears to change daily, as does the fish used in their fish and chips:

Murphy’s daily menu

I must say that heading back to Murphy’s from Bully Hayes was a definite win. I used to live in England, and I’ve traveled all over both Scotland and Ireland. In none of those places, world-renowned for fish and chips, have either Ursula or I ever had an example with incredibly tasty with a batter this delightfully light and crispy:

Best fish and chips EVER ! ! !

But enough about lunch. Let’s finish today with another view of the town:

Akaroa, New Zealand


Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, Restaurant Review, travel, vacation