Stephen Travels

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Ballahoo, Basseterre, St. Kitts

Ballahoo (Basseterre, St. Kitts)

The oppressive humidity at midday on St. Kitts was starting to drain me, and I needed some nourishment. I had arrived hungry and thirsty at the Circus, an octagonal plaza anchored by the Berkeley Memorial, a working drinking fountain and nonworking clock in the middle of the bustling roundabout in the heart of the capital city of Basseterre. A tempting menu lured me up a flight of stairs to Ballahoo, where I was quickly seated by the friendly host. From my table on the outdoor terrace across from the full bar, I was able to look down at the goings-on in the Circus, observing locals go about their daily business amid an endless swirl of taxis, cars, and delivery vans, and watching everyone scatter for safety from a sudden torrential downpour and re-emerge ten minutes later when it had passed. With that drama over, I refocused my attention on my fellow diners (not a single tourist; they were all Kittitians on their lunch break, judging by their accents) and a menu loaded with mostly local dishes.

Fork and KnifeTry This: Right off the bat, I needed something to cool me down. The watermelon and feta cheese salad drizzled with balsamic vinegar was the perfect solution. Next I selected one of my favorite dishes when I’m in the Caribbean: conch fritters, breaded in herbs and spices, and this time served with a passion fruit and chili dip. Although the orange-marinated chicken breast with rice and mixed vegetables looked tempting, I opted for something lighter and selected the local grouper, perfectly grilled with butter and fresh herbs and served with peas, seasoned rice, and a mixed-green salad.

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