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Thursday 13 December 2012

St Croix, US Virgin Islands - Harvey's Restaurant, decadent conch in butter sauce, fried fish and rice

After sailing from St John's Antigua, we headed into St Croix, Virgin Islands.  We slept in and rather than spend the day at the beaches they're known for, we headed into Christiansted instead and poked our heads into one of the yummiest family run places around - Harvey's Restaurant!  But first, beautiful St Croix!

We we greeted at the dock by Cruzan's lovely ladies out promoting the rum... which had a near stampede of older male tourists rushing to line up for a picture with the ladies... lol!

We took a bus down to Christiansted - with fuzzed out air conditioning.  Note to self - take an open air tram  unless you want the experience of roasting in a van with rolled up windows the whole 45min-1hr trip there.  Its advertised as a 30min ride, but not with traffic.  We wandered around the uneven sidewalks of town, with the occasional wild? chickens underfoot

After shopping and hitting up the local post office, we asked for directions several times and eventually found Harvey's Restaurant, a local favourite!

Complete with cool murals on the outside of the open air restaurant.

Ducking into the shady coolness after the hot hot hot sun was bliss!!

As was the ice cold spicy ginger beer (left) and a Sorrel based drink that tasted like red currant.  Its steeped as a traditional Christmas drink on the island.

We wanted to try all the items Harvey's was known for, but we quickly realized, there was no way we'd be able to remotely finish off entrees of stewed goat, conch in butter sauce and something called fried pot fish.  Richie Harvey overheard us and brought us out a sample of their stewed goat on the house!  Mild, earthy, super tender and only a trace of gaminess.  If I wasn't told it was goat, I would have never guessed!  Delicious!

The condiments are homemade hot sauce, and a local hot sauce.  I was so distracted by the yummy conch I forgot to try them! Whoops!

Our entrees came out in good time, and we cooled off by shamelessly sitting in front of a fan (of multiple ones in the restaurant).  I had the conch in butter sauce and it was divine.  Fresh large pieces of conch is poached in butter with onions and sweet red peppers to a rich, melt in your mouth silkiness.  Hands down the best conch I have ever had.

Its served with an addictively tasty tomato sauced rice and beans, sweet fried plantain slices, creamy cheesey baked macaroni and cheese that I wished I had more tummy space for...

And a side of tangy coleslaw with raisins adding in a nice sweetness to the crunchy slaw, a good cup of steamed fresh peas (loved adding some of the butter sauce to them) and a 1/4 of a ripe creamy avocado that had wonderful fruity notes.  You get your veggies here!  It was so much tastiness I couldn't decide what to eat first! Nomnomnom!!

My boyfriend's entree of fried pot fish was also excellent.  First fried and then gently sauced in the same addictive velvety smooth tomato sauce the rice and beans is mixed with along with some onions and sweet bell peppers, the moist fish was cooked to perfection.

It was also served with the same sides my conch entree came with - making for a huge plate of tasty food! (Not that we're complaining!)

We ran out of room for dessert attempting to finish the large platters of food.  Ritchie laughed as some of his regulars can easily finish the entrees and still have room for more!  Here's a picture of Ritchie and his Mom - the kitchen goddess!

And Harvey puttering at the bar - he had stepped out when we asked to do a quick family photo after our meal.

Its clear that Harvey's Restaurant is passionate about local ingredients, and serving excellent traditional island fare.   This family run restaurant also reminds you of good values we should take to heart... all the placemats were laminated artwork by local schoolkids that reminds us to do good as there are less fortunate where every you may travel... so if you haven't already, donate to your local charities this holiday season!

After shopping around town a bit more, we took an open aired tram back to the ship... next stop San Juan, Peurto Rico!

Harvey's Restaurant
Address 11B Company Street, Christiansted, St Croix US Virgin Islands 00820
Phone 340-773-3433
Hours daily

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