Sixty-five years ago, the West End neighborhood of Grand Bahama Island was where it was at for tourism. It was the first settled part of Grand Bahama Island. Today, due to hurricanes, other parts of the island attracting resort development and other factors, it’s more of a local’s secret. It’s where I’d say the “real community” of the island lives, gritty and close-knit.
In a ramshackle shack that could be a rural bus stop in the States, I discovered the most delicious conch salad I ever had and possibly the best seafood salad, period! Star Restaurant and Bar has a little outbuilding across the street called “Conch Shack”. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!
You can’t get fresher conch than on the West End; all kinds of local characters fish for it every day. It’s prepared like an instant ceviche. I peeked around and saw such ingredients as salt, chili paste, limes, onion, green pepper, tomato. The proportions created by Owner/Chef Robert Grant are simply perfect. I could sit for hours eating a bucket of this light salad!
The Star has been family owned and operated for decades, welcoming rum-runners back in the day. It’s reputed to have hosted Ernest Hemingway and Martin Luther King, Jr.