Sandwich of the Week: Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy’s Fish Sandwich
Considering the allure of the turquoise waters and powder soft sand of Bermuda, it’s a relatively effortless 2½ hour flight to arrive there from the East Coast. Both the air and water temperatures range in the 80’s during the April to September high season. A small, pretty island with a relaxed, friendly vibe, you could navigate its entirety from a rented motor scooter should you bravely choose to, but beware: as a British territory, you’ll be driving on the wrong side of the road.
The following are a few recommendations are from my trip there last month:
The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
Originally built in the late 1800’s, a reported $90 million refurbishing is almost complete. Situated on the harbor, it provides great water views from comfortable rooms, the sexy saline pool, and the delightful restaurants, which include Marcus Samuelsson’s newest, casual, and airy restaurant, Marcus' Bermuda. Conveniently located, it’s only a few minutes’ walk from shopping and dining in Hamilton town and the ferry to other points of interest. A shuttle transports guests to a glorious private beach about 20 minutes away. An Exhale spa is on the way.
Spend as Much Time on the Water as Possible
Among the plethora of surfside activities available are fishing, kayaking, sailing and all the touristy options like those glass-bottomed boats and a rum tasting sunset cruise. There are jet skis everywhere, but interestingly, although you can’t take those out alone…a motor boat you can rent. If you can drive a car, you can handle a boat; you can easily pull up to a real shipwreck, snorkel endlessly, and even find your own deserted beach on which to cavort. The Island Tour Centre offers up everything or if you’re at the Princess there’s a sport shack right on premise.
The Gourmet Store Next Door
If you need to pack a picnic or just pick up some tasty foodstuffs and spirits you’ll be glad to find Miles Market, just a two minute walk from the Princess hotel. They’ve got the goods that will make most any cosmopolitan gourmand happy.
Eat the Fish Sandwich of My Dreams
How excited can one get about a fish sandwich? Yet the designation “fish sandwich” does not do justice to the masterpiece constructed by Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy. At its center sits perfectly fried snapper or local wahoo coated in a batter that seems almost a second skin to the fish. It is neither too crisp to obliterate the sensation of softness from the fish itself, nor too thick to obscure the featured ingredient. It is...just right.
Topped with tartar sauce and cole slaw, but you must get their hot sauce—even if you apply it judiciously yourself—because of the subtle fruity heat it adds to the equation. This is sandwiched between soft whole wheat bread or (and I recommend this instead) raisin bread. That might seem an improbable combo, but it works oh so well. The size of the sandwich borders on silly; it’s true what they say that one can feed two. Where there is often an inverse relationship between size and quality, that’s certainly not the case here.
Forget Michelin stars. I give Mel’s a triple R rating (Rob Rosenthal Recommends), i.e., worth the $20 round trip cab ride that you’ll need. Some consider the neighborhood “dicey,” so order ahead and have your cabbie wait. I dare you not to devour this beauty on the return trip.
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