Restaurants & Bars

West Indies Chow on St. Croix

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Restaurants & Bars

West Indies Chow on St. Croix

Tom Armitage | Mar 6, 2000 12:39 PM

My wife and I were lecturers for a continuing education program on a Carribean cruise recently. (Yeah, I know, it was a tough assignment, but someone had to do it.) When the ship called at St. Croix, after a morning of snorkling at Buck Island, we sought out a local restaurant where we could be reasonably sure we wouldn't be running into any of the ship's passengers. Happily, we discovered Vel's Bar & Restaurant where, for lunch, we had stewed conch, kingfish escabeche, and a wonderful side dish called "potato stuffing." I asked about the potato stuffing, which was the color of mashed sweet potatoes (the dark orange sweet potatoes that are often, mistakenly, called yams). I learned that it was made with white potatoes, the orange color coming primarily from achiote. The dish was prepared by sauteeing onions and celery, peppers and spices, adding this mixture to the white potatoes, and baking. It was a terrific dish, well worth the $1 it cost me. We returned for dinner at which we had a wonderful conch salad, spicy/sweet bbq ribs, plantains, and a very nice flan. The beans, which were served with both our lunch and dinner, were fabulous. Vel's is located in Frederiksted at 16A King St. Highly recommended.

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