Barbie's Restaurant: Local Food? Eat at Barbie's!
Downtown in Grand Turk. Just a small place with giant flavors and the best conch fritters I have ever had in my life. This place may not look like much but it is authentic local food. When I saw the handwritten sign out front advertising hash lobster, peas and grits and fried plantain, I knew this was the spot! So in we went, and after talking to Barbie, we took her advice and had an order of the conch fritters along with our meal. Oh yeah--they were soooo meaty and good. The meal was one of the more unusual ones that we had on this trip and it was absolutely everything you would want in local food. By that, I mean, it was different in ingredients, flavors, textures than anything I have ever gotten at home or on any of the other stops. I was so impressed that I even had the cook come out so I could take her picture!! Just really sorry that the photos of the food turned out so blurry.
Favorite Dish: Everything we ate! Seriously! What was really strange was that the plantain was very sweet and Barbie said that is because people on Grand Turk like it very sweet where some of the islands prefer it not quite that sweet. And peas and grits?? I'm just glad that the nasty sound of that dish didn't stop us from trying it--it was heavenly.
Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville: Sometimes you just want some Nachos....
Margaritaville is the only food option available in Grand Turk without a trip into town. Liz and I stop here on every visit to Grand Turk. We are usually arriving via a cruise ship and are craving some nachos. Margaritaville is a pretty big place (two levels) with a large open patio style dining room. The dining area was large with high ceilings and fans. Plenty of tv's line the walls with sporting events, Jimmy Buffet concert footage and Jimmy Buffet themed memorabilia. There is a bar right outside by the pool with a swim up area, cabanas, flow rider and gift shop. The bar has "land" seats as well as pool seating for those not willing to get out of the pool for a drink. The decor was a bit cheesey with Jimmy Buffet lyrics painted all over the walls and TV's showing drunken customers from Margaritaville's from other locations...but if your are a Jimmy Buffet fan you'll totally like this joint's decor.
We like to come early; almost as soon as getting off the crusie ship. This place fills up fast and the later it gets the rowdier the crowd. We have our prefered seats by the beach and enjoy the people watching.The restaurant has a roof but it is an open air atmosphere that allows the nice breeze to blow of the water and into the restaurant. The menu has the normal bar type appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, entrees and of course their famous Margaritas. The nachos and calamari here are excellent as well as their iced tea and Margarita's. The food here is always good and the service is very friendly.
Our most recent trip here in October 2009, we had an excellent waitress Marlene who took wonderful care of us.
Favorite Dish: The nachos are great: piled high and topped with lots of cheese, salsa, peppers, beans and onions. The calamari is very good and sweet;the breading was crispy and light. It is served with a peppery dipping sauce that was really good. The iced teea here is very good and not overbrewed. The Margarita's are served in large salt rimed glasses with tasty lime wedges on the side of the glass.
Margaritaville: Jimmy Buffet's place
Their website says "The restaurant is situated in the village type setting of the Carnival Cruise Center on Grand Turk, only half a minute’s walk from the cruise-ship pier. Take the time to walk the white-sand beach and swim the crystal clear blue waters surrounding the isle. But after you finish browsing the village, make sure you’ve set aside a couple hours for some fun in the sun at Margaritaville Turks and Caicos!"
There are few places at the cruise ship dock to get meal because most cruisers eat on the ship. Most places serve snacks, ice cream or drinks. When we asked about lunch, this was the place that the locals mentioned.
Favorite Dish: I wanted to get Bob something to eat (and the pieces of bread I grabbed from the buffet weren't sufficient for me either), so we walked over to Margaretaville. I ordered conch soup which I thought would be fast, but Bob ordered a fish sandwich. And it didn't come quickly enough for us so we had to take it with us.
I drank my soup (I had to put some ice cubes in it to get it cool enough to drink and I spilled some of it on my dress). Bob started to eat his sandwich, but it wasn't to his taste and he was afraid it would have spoiled without refrigeration while we were on our tour, so he threw it out
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