We all make mistakes and our mistake today was stopping for lunch at Sheila’s Conch & Wings at 3026 E Commercial Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, just east of Bayview Drive.
Parking here is odd with metered parking on the left side of the parking lot and free parking on the right. It’s a no brainer and we parked free. I’m wondering who’s cars were parked on the left this morning? The outside of Sheila’s Conch & Wings had a tiki-hut vibe on the front of the place. The inside was colorful and looked freshly painted and clean with some cool colorful art hanging on the walls. Sheila is from the Bahamas and both the menu and décor reflect that. It’s a smaller place with scattered tables, a small bar area and a stage by the window that looks like they have some entertainment.
We sat at a high top table and our server came over. The server asked us for our drink orders and Jeff and I gave each other a look. Now, we’re not good with guessing someone’s age, but this kid (yeah, I said kid), was well under 16 and I’d say closer to 14-15. When he left to get our drink orders I looked around and determined that this was a very mom-n-pop establishment. No problems there, as long as the service is good. But unfortunately, the service went downhill from there.
The drinks were dropped off and I ordered soda and Jeff ordered iced tea. It was sweet tea and Jeff hates sweet tea. The server failed to tell us and really Jeff forgot to ask. I know, many people say that sweet tea is all they have in the South…but this is Fort Lauderdale and most places have both.
We ordered next and I got the fried conch lunch with pigeon peas and rice and Jeff ordered the medium conch salad. The salad comes mild or very spicy so he ordered it in the middle as the server warned us that the spicy is VERY spicy.
We were waiting for the food and all was going well. We waited and waited and waited. Finally someone came out of the kitchen and walked in our direction…but with only one plate. She stopped and set down my conch lunch. She said that the Conch Salad would be out next (duh, I guess that makes sense since it didn’t come out first). Since my food was hot, I stared to eat. The conch was tender and not chewy at all. The coating was light and tasted identical to clam strip coating that everyone seems to have everywhere. This made me wonder if they get it frozen and just throw it in the fryer? Still, it was tasty. The pigeon peas and rice tasted good, but were dry and you could tell they had been sitting in a warmer for a while. The portion was actually not that large and I didn’t feel it was worth the price. I was about half way done with my lunch and still no food for Jeff.
Still waiting for Jeff’s salad to arrive, now my soda went empty and I was done eating and the server finally stopped by to check on us. This was a good 20 minutes after I my food was delivered. Jeff told him to cancel the order and they were nice and took it off the bill and apologized. So we will never know what the conch salad was like. So sad.
Just a note to restaurants out there…service is just as important as the food. Communication is key. When you have a table with two or more, you really need to time the food better. There is no excuse for one diner to get his food and the other waiting for another 20 minutes. The place was not that busy and even if there is only one person cooking…you should have a process down. I can’t imagine coming here during the week for a work lunch as you would never make it back to the office on time. Sorry Sheila’s Conch & Wings, but we will not be returning.