Situated on Valley Church Beach on the island of Antigua is a beach bar and restaurant called The Nest. After a swim in the beach’s pristine waters, The Nest is the perfect place to delight in authentic Antiguan cuisine.
I ordered a plate of conch with peas and rice. Conch is a dish I’ve enjoyed as a kid. I always requested that my neighbor who is a Barbuda native, cook it for me. The conch is more known for its beautiful shell where its meat is often overlooked. The meat is removed from the shell and cleaned thoroughly to get rid of any sandy sediment. It is then chopped into medium sized pieces; seasoned with various herbs and spices like thyme, curry powder, allspice and cloves. It is cooked in a pressure cooker or stewed for hours in a pot to soften the meat. Although I think stewed conch is absolutely delicious, it is an acquired taste.
While waiting for my meal, I ordered a Mango Margarita. The mango margaritas at The Nest are perfectly blended with Antiguan rum. This cocktail is cool and refreshing. With its indulgent flavors, it will keep you wanting another glass – just be careful not to get too tipsy. After a sip of their mango margarita, it may be difficult, but it is still important to drink responsibly.
The Nest is an unruffled, unpretentious beach bar and restaurant that serves up lots of island love. The food at The Nest is the best food I’ve ever tasted during my time of travel to the Caribbean. It is sometimes really hard to find authentic Caribbean cuisine in the Caribbean because most places cater to foreign tourist. Tourism, just like any form of gentrification, subtly dilutes the indigenous culture to suit the needs of the island’s guests. A lot of islands sadly lose the ability to promote their culture in food and music. I’m so happy to find authenticity in one of my home countries. I really love The Nest, and I put it at the top of my list of favorite places to visit when island hopping in the Caribbean.