Beef Sha Bhakleb
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What: A local favorite, this dish is simply rice with beans and hunks of meat—usually chicken and/or pork on the bone—that is, you guessed it, well-seasoned.
Where: Russell’s Bar & Seafood Restaurant (268-462-5479 or 268-726-5242; Fort James Beach), picturesquely perched above the entrance to St. John’s Harbour on historic Fort James, offers this and other dishes on its terrific Saturday local-food menu. The building housing the restaurant was restored by the late Russell Hodge in 2005; today his daughter Danielle presides over the venue. We loved the spacious terrace, with its wide, open swath of blue sky and turquoise sea.
When: Tues-Thurs, noon-6:30pm; Fri, noon-till; Sat, noon-8pm (Saturdays are for local food; Friday nights for reggae!)
Order: The darkly colored seasoned rice (35 EC) was studded with red kidney beans and pieces of pork and served with a small salad. It was basic but tasty, especially with a dash of hot sauce. We also enjoyed the souse here, but there’s plenty of good stuff on the Caribbean-inspired seafood menu, particularly on Saturdays when traditional foods (conch water, rice pudding, salt fish cakes, etc.) reign. Pair ’em with a local Wadadli beer or a rum punch.
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