When we lived in Orlando, we visited Bahama Breeze for the first time shortly after they opened on International Drive. We immediately loved them, but they were always so mobbed with tourists, we rarely went back. About a year ago, they opened one in Cherry Hill, right at the mall, and we have been twice in recent months, once for dinner with just Jim and I, and once for lunch with the four of us. Both experiences were excellent, and this is one restaurant we can consistenly recommend.
On our visit for dinner, we started with an appetizer of the West Indies patties. These were kind of a sweet/spicy meat turnover that was served with a delicious apple-mango salsa. The portion was huge, and fearing I would be unable to eat dinner, I only ate one of the patties that they brought. This is an easily shared appetizer that is a nice change of pace from fried cheese sticks and potato skins.
We followed the appetizer with a bowl of the conch chowder. I do not like conch chowder, but I have to say that the nice, light, tomato broth was very tasty. The homemade croutons that accompanied the soup were excellent. Again, the portion on the soup is very large, and the bowl could easily be shared between a couple of people.
Jim ordered a favorite, Paella. The mountain of deliciously seasoned rice was topped generously with shrimp, scallops, mussels, chicken, fish, and chorizo. Mixed through the rice were bits of vegetables like peas, onions, and peppers. The portion here is enormous, and after appetizers, I would say we brought home more than half of this delicious meal. I had the Ropa Vieja, which is has long been a favorite of mine no matter where I have had it. It is done nicely here as well, served with onions, peppers, and black beans over seasoned rice. You will definitely not leave hungry after the amount they give you of the beef, either. I really recommend that you go with a group and order several entrees that you would all like to try, because the portions are definitely made for sharing.
I do not usually order dessert, but the bananas supreme got my immediate attention. It was vanilla ice cream served over warm banana nut bread, topped with bananas and drizzled with a warm butterscotch sauce. Thank God I went before I became an insulin dependent diabetic! The plate was huge, there were three or four pieces of banana bread, huge scoops of ice cream, and more than enough to share. Jim enjoyed his Key Lime Pie as well.
Our lunch visit went equally as well. We originally decided to skip the soup and the appetizers so we could actually eat and enjoy our main courses. They do not have the paella on the lunch menu, but it is really one of Jim’s favorites, so he asked the waitress of the availability of it. She came back in only a minute and told him they would make it for him, so he was in his glory. Brighid ordered the wood fired Pizza Margherita, which was a favorite of her’s when we were in Rome. The thin crust, delicious pizza was topped with fresh Roma tomatoes, and fresh basil. Brighid ordered a Caesar salad with it, and was very pleased with the delicious salad and homemade croutons.
I ordered the chicken kebobs. I have to say, the lunch menu pricing here is phenomenal. Brighid got a whole personal pizza, which she had two slices left of, and the salad for under $6, and my kebob was $7. Served on a huge bed of yellow rice, the single kebob featured chunks of tamarind glazed chicken, onion, pepper, mushrooms and squash. The flavor was delicious, and the kebob is also available in beef. It was more than enough for lunch. The thing that disappointed me was that the kids menu really looks like nothing special, but when we ordered macaroni and cheese for Eilis, we were pleasantly surprised. A large plate of bowtie pasta swimming in a smooth, creamy cheese sauce was presented with a small fruit salad. Way too much for most kids, Brighid got to enjoy the macaroni later for dinner and declared it some of the best. While waiting for his paella, which took a little longer than our meals, Jim ordered a bowl of black bean soup. It was phenomenal! We all shared a few bites of it, savoring the rich, deep broth and the yellow rice that topped the soup.
You cannot go wrong with a meal here. Everything from soup to dessert has a tropical flair that is both refreshing and unique. The food is reasonably priced and served in large portions, so you are more than getting your money’s worth.