With a half foot or so of snow and cold breezes blowing in old L-town Phantom admits he missed the snow and really does not care for summer. We all might be saying that now, but in a month or so and after a few more Nor’easters blow through town we will be thinking of warm tropical breezes and tastes of the Islands. Have I got a place for you.
Located on the DW Highway in Nashua just past the southern entrance to the Pheasant Lane Mall next to Smokey Bones and across the street from the Outback sits Bahama Breeze. OK, well technically the address is Tyngsborough, but who knows exactly where the tax line (sorry I mean state line) is anyway.
After a recent visit while Christmas shopping (sorry again, I mean Holiday shopping for those that work for the school district) Mrs. Phantom, #1 son, and I stopped for dinner. Inside we were quickly greeted and seated at a table under a palm tree while soft calypso music played in the background. The décor is dark wood, think mahogany/teak and the dining area is well partitioned with booths and tables scattered throughout with ceiling fans up high in the vaulted ceiling. Comfy, cozy, warm and welcoming.
Bahama Breeze features a wide menu partitioned out as lunch, dinner, take-out, kids and oh-yes drinks.
There are over twenty appetizers listed on their menu and several are also listed as “small plates” (more on that later). We opted to share an order of crispy Coconut Onion Rings and Sweet Peruvian Corn Fritters. Both the rings and corn-fritters were true to their ‘island’ theme but what made the dishes special were the available dipping sauces. The rings had a tart not-to-spicy and I believe mango based sauce while the excellent fritter, that phantom only got a little bite of, came with a roasted–pineapple salsa and butter. Both dishes were excellent, especially the fritters that came light, fluffy, and packed with flavor and not a hint of the oil they were so carefully fried in.
According to Bahama Breeze – and they are a chain with over 30 locations most in the South – Caribbean food includes all of your favorites…seafood, chicken and steak…prepared with the flavorful and colorful ingredients of the islands. The broad menu of soups, salads, burgers, seafood, shrimp, beef/pork and entrée salads took more than a few minutes to review.
Mrs. Phantom opted for the Grilled Chicken and Tropical Fruit on Mixed Greens selection from the entrée salad menu. #1 son selected Baby Back Ribs that came with an awesome smoky-mango barbeque sauce and glaze. Now, knowing that #1 sons eyes are bigger than his stomach, and he has never been able to completely eat a full rack of ribs, I opted for some soup and a small plate item. As I fully well knew I would be having ribs as part of my meal too.
Phantom opted for a bowl of the Cuban Black Bean Soup and ‘small plate of onion rings. OK I really liked the coconut onion rings and dipping sauce that were crunchy tropical and enhanced by the spicy mango dipping sauce. The small plates section of the menu allows for sampling of a wide variety of menu options and a taste of the Islands as you linger over tropical drinks.
Mrs. Phantom loved the salad. The ‘jerked’ chicken was expertly cooked, juicy and not too spicy. The fresh fruit including a generous portion of sweet juicy strawberries belied the fact it was December and not June.
The Black Bean soup was thick, warm and delicious. Served with a generous scoop of yellow rice the soup was filling on a cold winters night.
True to form #1 son was only able to eat a half-rack of ribs despite his now comic pre-meal routine of swearing he can eat a whole rack of ribs. This time I was glad he was not able to finish. The ribs were fall off the bone meaty, juicy, tangy, smoky, and finger licking delicious. Their trademark mango based spicy grilling/dipping sauce added the “Island” zing for this dish.
It had to be the second stack of onion rings that prevented Phantom from getting dessert. I sure would have loved to try one of my favorites Key Lime pie – or the inviting (by name anyway) Warm Chocolate Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Service by the way was excellent. When you don’t notice you are being served, that means you are being served well.
Having completed our shopping we arrived for dinner at the early time of 4:30 pm. By the time we left the place was full and a large crowd gathered in the waiting area and bar for tables to open. Don’t like to wait – well they have an almost as extensive take-out menu with parking spots right by the door.
The biggest surprise of all was the bill. Granted Phantom did not have a full meal but with 1 tropical drink, 2 sodas, 3 appetizers, and 2 and ½ meals the bill came to just over $60.
In a few weeks as the glow of Christmas and New Years fade and a little cabin fever starts to build up Phantom strongly recommends a trip to the Islands in Nashua for a little R&R with great food at good prices. Make lunch or dinner at Bahama Breeze your cure for the winter blues. Phantom will be returning there soon. Maybe we will run in to each other.
BAHAMA BREEZE is located at 413 Middlesex Road in Tyngsborough, MA
(just over the border)
Visit them on the web at www.bahamabreeze.com
Images courtesy of Bahama Breeze