It's seldom that I stumble on a place that is just perfect in every way and instead of keeping it a secret, I just want to tell everyone about it. I didn't expect to find a favorite in Anguilla but I was pleasantly surprised with Blanchards Beach Shack - the concept was quaint but well-thought of, the food was delicious and the setting, right on the beautiful beach of Meads Bay was idyllic. I had read about Blanchards, which was opened in 1994 by Vermont couple Bob (sommelier) and Melissa (self-taught chef), and its' fine dining reputation on the island. When I had a look at their website, I accidentally saw a link to another place, Blanchards Beach Shack, which seemed more like my type of beach holiday restaurant.
Opened in December 2011 right beside Blanchards restaurant, the beach shack is just that, a colorful shack with a blackboard menu of simple food that everyone wants to eat. There are soups (gazpacho and black bean over rice), salads (from a Caesar and curried chicken), sandwiches, seafood rolls, tacos, burgers, hot dogs and big bowls. They also have a kid's menu requisite sides: fresh-cut fries, coleslaw, garlic bread or Caribbean cornbread. Colorful picnic tables line the front under umbrellas or under a shady tree and the system is really simple - one window to order, another to pay where you're given a beeper and a last window to pick-up your order when your beeper lights up.
We took our time choosing from the extensive menu and finally shared three items: a flat-top 100% Black Angus hotdog, split on a griddle until crisp, a large portion of hand-cut fresh french fries, a curried chicken sandwich on a toasted homemade ciabatta and a taco trio sampler: blackened Mahi-Mahi, roasted pork and shredded beef which came with warm homemade corn tortillas. Fresh lemonades accompanied our al fresco lunch which were served on wax-paper lined trays and earth-friendly paper goods and cups made from corn, not plastic.
We were too full to enjoy one of their frozen yogurt twirlers with interesting combinations like Reese's peanut butter cups and peanut butter sauce or toasted coconut, banana, mango and pineapple. We'll save that for our next visit. Yes, we're definitely going back to Anguilla and especially to Blanchards Beach Shack. After our super lunch, we went on the boardwalk towards clear-blue Meads bay and walked slowly back to the Viceroy. Island life, I could get used to this.
Blanchard's Beach Shack
(right beside Blanchards restaurant)
Telephone: +1 264 498 6100
*Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11:30 to 8:30 p.m. Closed on Sundays
*Eat-in or takeaway
*Beach umbrellas and loungers for rent at $3.00 each