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.
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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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