“You want me to bring the soup and come back?” That was my Server Tessa. She is referring to the pumpkin ginger soup I just ordered.
I am sitting beachfront at Coconut Grove Restaurant and Bar on Dickenson Bay in Antigua. I am waiting on the red stripe beer I just ordered to come to my table, but I can not decide on an entree and I am going back and forth between the curried conch and the mahi mahi.
Trust me, I am in no rush.
But I am grateful that Tessa is giving me a few extra minutes to decide. While I continue to think about it and wait for my soup to arrive I take another look around me.
Coconut Grove sits right on the beach between guest houses. A few beach lovers and diners take advantage of the clear skies while laying out on towels and eclectic beach chairs. It’s relaxing. And with the exception of the melodies of Bob Marley on the restaurant’s house sound, it’s quiet.
My mind has registered where I am and now fully relaxed and know that I want the curried conch.
“I am sorry, we are out of curried conch,” Tessa says on her return with my pumpkin ginger soup.
Well, that makes in easy. “I will have the mahi mahi, please”.
That takes care of that.
The soup’s not bad. Smooth and spicy.
While I have that I look around the bar and listen in on the conversations between the Bartender, whose name I later found out is Jermaine, and some patrons. The vibe and the conversations are light, familiar, and lively.
I have my mahi mahi, which is softer than it looks and well flavored.
I eat and sit here with another red stripe for a while.
I eventually find myself at the bar talking to the Bartender Jermaine and a patron Oliver.
We talk about life, travel, and life here in Antigua. Jokes and moments of silence as natural as our surroundings.
I sit and chat for a while.
The Servers and Jermaine are now starting to setup for dinner. I pay my bill, buy Oliver a round, and move on.
“You have to come back and try the conch next time,” Oliver recommends.
I think I will.
– UYC Contributor Shane Traille