Our first meal on the island was at the Conch Pearl Restaurant at Northwest Point Resort. We were starving (and by that I mean it had been five hours since we ate last) and managed to sneak in just as the restaurant was shutting down for a couple of hours before re-opening for supper.

The resort restaurant is a great place for pulling up a stool and having a nice cold local Turk’s Head or Presidente (from Dominican Republic), but not really a fill-your-belly and sigh-in-contentment sort of place. Small plates, weird jerk chicken…but it served the purpose that night.

Da Conch Shack though, is a quintessential beach bar and grill complete with sand and surf, Caribbean music, picnic tables on the beach and about one million conch shells laying around. When we arrived, a young man was hauling in a load of conch on a skiff. From ocean to table with no stops in between, it doesn’t get any fresher than this.

I’m not sure if having our first taste of conch at Da Conch Shack was a good idea because every other place we ate at after that had a hard time competing against what these guys do so well.

Pictured are curried conch, and the conch combo plate (cracked conch and conch fritters). In a word, yum.

The day we explored Taylor Bay and Sapodilla  Bay on the south side, we stopped in at Las Brisas, a beautiful little Mediterranean (with Caribbean influence!) restaurant on the south side of the island. We had to order the conch fritters and cracked conch to compare them to the stuff put out at Da Conch Shack. It was a very close race, but I think Da Conch Shack is still king.

Horse Eye Jack’s, situated on the beach right next to Da Conch Shack, was next on our list.

Much like Da Conch Shack, Horse Eye Jack’s is the type of place you can easily envision Jimmy Buffet hanging out at. Although the curry didn’t rate as highly as it did at Da Conch Shack, the Caesar salad was in a league of its own and the rum punch definitely one of the best concoctions on the island.

I’d be hard pressed to rate which one of these guys has the nicer conch (oh, that sounds a little racy doesn’t it?) but I’d love to spend alot of time trying to find out.