Remember these two words – Crusoe’s Restaurant – for the next time you’re dining out because this family-friendly restaurant at Comfort Suites Paradise Island is one of those hidden gems where you can find comfort food favorites with a twist to satisfy every desire and taste.
From conch chowder to conchy conch fritters, a spinach and artichoke dip to coconut-crusted shrimp, there’s an appetizer that will whet your appetite for what’s to follow – whether you prefer a salad or sandwich, to entrees that run the gamut from veggies to seafood, meat and pasta, to a decadently sinful dessert menu. And of course, there’s always daily specials from the chef that are worth exploring.
Case-in-point – on a recent visit, I had my mind set on what I would have, that was until restaurant Assistant Manager Oshima Cartwright encouraged me to give one of the entrée specials of the day a try – her recommendation, the curry lobster. I of course vacillated, but eventually said why not, she wouldn’t lead me down the wrong path, even though I’d set my sights on having the seafood extravaganza (fish, grilled shrimp and cracked conch served with a lime cilantro dip and side salad) on my most recent visit. With Cartwright’s urging, I went with the curry lobster.
What was set before me was a huge half-lobster sitting atop a bed of jasmine rice and topped with julienned carrots, zucchini and bell peppers nestled in a pool of curry sauce (of course I asked for extra broth in which to soak up all that goodness). The curry was offset with a little sweetness that turned out to be incredibly delicious. But I found out that if I’d wanted to spice it up, all I had to do was ask. I did. It was fantastic both ways. I commended Cartwright for the recommendation. Hopefully it’s on offer the day you decide to visit so that you too can have the curry lobster experience.
While they pride themselves on their down home conchy conch fritters, and which I admit are really good, I’m also a fan of their succulent coconut crusted shrimp served with apricot sauce – you get three per order, but they’re jumbo sized, so you won’t be disappointed. I never am.
The Abaco conch chowder is also a must-have, if only for the coconut Johnny cake it’s served with – trust me, that coconut Johnny cake is something special.
Their beet and feta salad sounds simple enough, but it’s a salad that I order every time I visit, even though there are two other salad offerings on the menu (signature salad and Greek salad). At Crusoe’s the beet and feta salad turns out to be a real treat as they toss slow-roasted red and golden beets in olive oil infused with basil and top with crumbled feta cheese (extra feta cheese please), drizzled with balsamic; this is one of those salads where I literally have to drag my beets and greens through the balsamic vinegar to get every nuance in this delightful flavor explosion of a salad.
And if you’re throwing all caution to the wind when it comes to calories, the gussie mae burger, an eight-ounce burger topped with pork and served with a spicy island slaw, has your name on it. But their jerk turkey burger, again an eight-ounce pattie, marinated in jerk seasoning and topped with mozzarella cheese and sautéed mushrooms, is a signature for those who are more mindful of calories.
To end the meal, Crusoe’s offers a dessert menu that satisfies the adults, kids and the kid in the adults as they are appealing and playful at the same time.
I know from experiences time and again that their signature guava brioche bread pudding is to die for, but this time around I wanted something a little different and went with the caramel wonder and the English truffles.
In its simplicity the caramel wonder is wonderful – chocolate topped with vanilla ice cream and caramelized popcorn, drizzled with caramel and finished with whipped cream. It will delight the kids, and definitely delighted the kid in me. The English truffle was not what I expected at all; served in a martini glass, it’s comprised of layered chocolate ganache, cherry filling, brownie, finished with whipped cream and drizzled with chocolate. It was the more adult version to the caramel wonder, and will appeal to the chocolate lover.
For many people, portion size is important as they want value for money. At Crusoe’s you definitely get that. And it has to taste great. You get that too, according to your tastebuds. And variety is a must. That’s a given.
To be honest, this is one of those restaurants that I think I need to visit more often, for the simple reason being that there’s so much to explore.
If you’ve never heard of Crusoe’s Restaurant, then you need to come out from under that rock that you’ve been living under because in 2019 it’s one of those little hidden gems that needs to be unearthed and where you’re going to find comfort food favorites with a twist that will satisfy your every desires – from portion size to flavor. And if you have heard of it, but still not visited the restaurant, well… it’s time.