Football, Cricket, Oxtails and Guava Duff – On Tap at the Cricket Club, Nassau

I was determined to eat Guava Duff today. It’s been a while since I last had any and, for some reason, I woke up this morning with a singular mission: find, eat and enjoy a bowl of warm-creamy-sweet duff. That, would make this a successful day.

While travelling along West Bay Street a sign I’d driven by hundreds, if not thousands, of times, caught my attention. After a quick u-turn, I made my way, for the very first time, to the Cricket Club.

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Although the Cricket Club is a popular local hangout, I’d never taken the opportunity to pop in. Because, well, cricket. Having been forced to play the sport in high school in Jamaica – an experiment that ended horribly – I’ve been averse to the sport and anything associated with it since. Fortunately, I quickly learned that the Cricket Club Restaurant and Pub is about a lot more than just cricket. It offers a diverse menu of both local, Caribbean and traditional British favourites.

I came in search of guava duff — which, to my delight is available on the dessert menu — but decided to prepare my palate first with a serving of oxtails and white rice, with coleslaw and fried plantain on the side. Great oxtails were always a cure for anything that ailed me as a kid growing up in Jamaica (especially after a particularly horrible day on the cricket pitch) and these did not disappoint. The hint of scotch bonnet pepper was perfect and the spinners (finger-like dumplings) added a familiar texture.

While I worked my way – quickly – through my plate, an unexpected guest arrived and took a seat on the empty chair next to me.

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She didn’t hang around long and likely just came in to check the score of the Belgium vs. Algeria World Cup match on the big screen. The roar of the crowd to Belgium’s second goal sent her flying along. Good thing too, as I had little interest in sharing my oxtails.

As some club members — not in regulation attire I might add — started a loose cricket match on the pitch, my guava duff arrived in all its splendor and was quickly devoured before the appearance of any more uninvited guests.

Mission accomplished! Today was a successful day.

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