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Side Dish: Fresh Bahamian flavors

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New island breeze

Two words: conch fritters.

When Lunita Ferguson goes home to the Bahamas, the crispy breaded shellfish nuggets are one of the first items she seeks out, often at Nassau's famed Arawak Cay, known also as "The Fish Fry." It's a lively gathering spot for locals, something of a food-and-drink-court attached to an outdoor music venue that's usually bumping with live reggae, Junkanoo, calypso and merengue sounds.

All of which Ferguson and her husband Amos are aiming to capture, thematically, at Three Delights Caribbean Grill (4747 Flintridge Drive, threedelights.com), which opened in the former City of Philly Cheese Steaks space in late October. The overhead music and Bahamian photos on the wall set the scene, but the authentic island food (not a far cry from Jamaican cuisine) is of course the main attraction.

Three Delights offers a daily-changing menu, anchored by all-the-time staples like jerk and chicken curry and barbecue, plus rotating seafood specials ranging from grouper and shrimp to barracuda, plus typical sides such as coconut rice, baked island macaroni 'n cheese and cornmeal flatbread "Johnnycakes."

Once the Fergusons obtain a liquor license, they aim to add Kalik beer, homemade rum punch and Bahamian favorites like Sky Juice (gin and coconut water) — "drinks you won't get anywhere else around here," says Lunita.

Greetings from Guadalajara

In the former Poblano's Family Mexican Restaurant space at 7336 McLaughlin Road in Falcon, Guadalajara Family Mexican Restaurant (494-0700) opened in early October. The business is an extension of the original Aurora location, opened roughly 11 years ago, according to co-owner Modesto Ramos. There are also currently locations open in Castle Rock and Elizabeth, collectively operated by Ramos and two cousins.

As the name implies, the eatery serves traditional Guadalajara-style cuisine based on family recipes (with some Americanized plates for the less adventurous), all three meals, seven days a week. Breakfast delivers authentic plates like chilaquiles con huevos (tortilla chips under green chile and cheese with eggs), huevos rancheros and Mexican-style omelets. Lunch and dinner deliver everything from a stone-bowl-served molcajete (steak, chicken and pork in an avocado tomatillo sauce) to seafood entrées like caldo de siete mares (a complex seafood soup) that one Indy reader and GFMR fan (who says he frequently commuted to the Elizabeth location) likens to "bouillabaisse I ate on the Mediterranean."

That reader also recommends asking for the mushroom salsa and/or frijoles dip, served complimentary, but only by request next to the regular house salsa with warm chips.

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