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Sheila’s Famous Conch and BBQ in Lake Worth

Tried out "Sheila’s Famous Conch and BBQ" on 12 Avenue South and U.S. 1 in Lake Worth.

I was VERY impressed.

It's basically a take-out window (MC/VIsa okay) with an outdoor, covered ultracasual dining area. Caribbean music and decor, smoker billowing smoke. Not in the greatest neighborhood but clean with polite service.

Basically two sides to the menu, the BBQ side (ribs and chopped pork) and the Seafood side (mostly conch, fish and shrimp).

I like that there are many portion sizes for each entree and also meal / ala carte options. So for example you can order just 3 ribs, or a small plate of cracked conch only.

Friend got the ribs, they were very big and very good IMHO. Not baby backs, these we thought were smoked perfectly with a bit of a char on one side but not totally falling apart.

I ordered cracked conch and conch salad. Cracked conch excellent - tasty, not oily, and served with a nice dipping sauce. Superb conch salad - small but the lemon or lime marinade was busrting with flavor and freshness. I ended up dipping my cracked conch in the leftover juice.

Prices VERY reasonable. I'll be back this weekend to try more. (Conch fritters, conch chowder, chopped pork...)

 
 
 
 
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    1. Wow that all looks great. I adore conch. Did they have grilled/scorched conch or any other conch dishes that aren't fried?

      2 Replies
      1. re: OysterHo

        I don't recall grilled/scoched conch (you'll have to go to Calypso for that).

        I believe they have Conch: Cracked, Fritters, Salad, and Chowder.

        I may go back for lunch today, if so I'll shoot a photo of the menu.

        1. re: CFByrne

          Calypso has awesome scorched conch, that's exactly what I was thinking of lol.

          Thanks, let us know!

      2. Made a return visit, had ribs again plus Conch Chowder and Conch Fritters.

        Ribs were good again IMHO but I'm going to leave a real BBQ review to experts. :-)

        Fritters were not bad, I've had worse I've had better. Mostly dough of course but there were the occasional pieces of conch and the dough was reasonably tasty. I'd like more if they added some onion and peppers to the batter, let them get carmelized and then you have something interesting going on. Good portion for the price. Better selection of hot sauce would also help here.

        Conch chowder (they call it soup) was excellent. Quite unusual, not tomato-ey at all. It had some dark deep flavors, almost like Ox Tail soup or something. Lots of potatoes and small bits of dark conch but the star here is the broth. If your looking for Manhattan Clam Chowder you won't like this but if your interested in something different, highly recommended. See photos below.

        Service was good although they could have given me my soup while the other stuff was cooking, instead they waited about 10 minutes and it all came out at once.

         
         
         
         
         
        1. Went to Sheila's last night, they were great food. My friend and I ordered the cracked conch with sides of mac-n-cheese (good), conch fritters(doughy but flavorful,Good dippin sauce), collard greens(very good),but the star was the cracked conch, the batter was light and did not get in the way of the of the star the conch. light citrus marinade in the background and good much to like. We also ordered a half slab of ribs but to my dismay there were out and there were some on the smoker but would not be ready in time, so we ordered wings and they were very good a 12 piece (i think) was full of big wings. On a separate note I would like the owners to know that the young lady that served us at the window was amazing as I ordered and was told that there was no ribs to be had, she seemed to sense my displeasure and let us substitute a couple of the sides that were not part of the meal for the ribs. You cannot believe how amazed i was, this young girl understands how a good business is run. I predicted great thing for the restaurant and the outside patio and music just perfect with the food.I will jump on the Sheila's Bandwagon great food great staff great fun

          4 Replies
          1. re: pikiliz

            Glad you enjoyed it Piki, I know you have high standards for Floribean treats.

            Thinking back on my experience, I'd have to say this place has perhaps the best cracked conch I've ever had. I also was impressed with the very easy step of having an order-taker/cashier who is actually friendly and has a customer-oriented outlook.

            1. re: CFByrne

              speaking of Floribean do you know anyone that can smoke fish for me I just don't have time to smoke my own anymore ,it is all I can do to catch it

              1. re: pikiliz

                Piki, If you can get some to me late in the week (Thu/Fri/Sat) I will be glad to smoke some, 50/50 deal, Try me out, people do rave about it. Prefer Spanish or Kings but I'll do almost anything.

                1. re: CFByrne

                  sounds good going fri for kings will let you know

          2. Sheila's today and it was overall very good. I'm not much of a conch eater but I did give it a try. I had pork sandwich which later turned out to be a sandwich minus the bread but I didn't complain. I also ordered a medium fried conch.

            The wait was a long time, easily 30 minutes it seemed and there was only a group of two in front of me with takeouts that came in after me. Yeah, good things are worth waiting for I guess. I saw them pull the ribs off the smoker for the people ahead of me and then a pork butt came off. It was pretty hot outside today but thank goodness there was a breeze coming though there.

            The cracked conch was excellent and I can't compare since it is only my 2nd time having it. I couldn't imagine it being much better. With the lime and the dipping sauce, this is a great combo. My pork was very good except the sauce was too sweet for me. It did have a good smoke flavor whih nobody still in business can compare to in the palm beaches. Rice and pigeon peas were good too. If you order the ribs or the pork sandwich, definitely ask for sauce on the side. I could have eaten the pork with just a bit of the sauce b/c it is very sweet. This pork reigns supreme in all of the sampling I have done in the area.

            The area is not the greatest but you are cool eating there. She had a lot of biz coming in after me and I would say at least 10 orders were taken while I was there for about an hour. This was around 1:30 too. Prices are very resaonable. My pork 'meal' which was pork, 1 side, and a drink was under $8 and just the medium conch was $3.65 or so.

            Next time I will try the ribs and maybe some conch soup.

            2 Replies
            1. re: freakerdude

              Whew! Glad you liked the Q, Freaker.

              Wife and I totally agree on sauce too sweet, all else though was very good.

              1. re: freakerdude

                Next time try the Conch Salad also. If you like it spicy ask for it Native Hot otherwise it is not too spicy. It is almost as good as what I experienced while living in The Bahamas for 15 years. Unfortunately, they were out of Conch Soup (Chowder) when I was there.

              2. I drive by this place everyday on my way home from work. I had to stop after reading all of the great reviews.... I ordered the conch only.
                Honestly I have had cracked conch many places , and this is the best I ever had. I don't know how they make it so tender but it's not chewy like some places I have been. The gentleman that waited on me was fantastic. I will be back.

                1. We went today, finally! My bf and I shared 4 ribs, a large conch salad, a large order of cracked conch, and a small order of fried shrimp. I forgot to order mac n cheese, doh!

                  I loved everything but didn't try the shrimp. My bf said it was really good. I took home half of the conch salad. It's fabulous and definitely my favorite of the entire spread. That said, I don't usually eat so much fried food anyway so it's fitting that it would be my fav.

                  The cracked conch was very tender and delicate. Dipping sauce was fantastic.
                  The ribs were delicious, tender, and I loved the smokey sweet sauce. I'm not a BBQ expert, but I'd eat them again.

                  I was dying of thirst and the diet coke was refilled free. I like simple things like that. :)

                  I'm guessing that Sheila is the sweet lady behind the counter. I asked her if they had beer, and she said she's definitely working on that! I guess the city isn't being too cooperative, I don't know how that works really.

                  Two thumbs up. :)

                  1. This place is like walking up to a local restaurant in the Bahamas, Jamaica etc... you name the island. It is actually even better than most of the places that I have enjoyed in the Caribbean! Amazing cracked conch, tender, fresh, hot, cooked to order; perfect as is but sauce is a delicious addition for dipping. Conch salad was delicious and fresh made! Next time I will get the spicy one; was afraid it might be too hot so ordered the regular spice - so good couldn't stop eating it! On vaca here and cannot wait to go back tomorrow to try the BBQ...(will not be able to resist the cracked conch too though!)

                    1. I go out to lunch perhaps one weekday out of 10. The other times I eat at my desk. Today being Friday, I decided to celebrate by making the appx 30 minute round trip to Sheila's for a special treat.

                      Too bad when I arrived at 12:30, the place was closed. Another person was also there looking for a sign or a person but nothing.

                      So I figured maybe they've gone out of business. When I got home,. I decided to try calling which I did around 2PM. A female answered and I asked what was going on. She said her son was sick and she had to take him to the doctor.

                      I'm sorry if someone gets sick or of there is some other problem, but I think when you have a restaurant, you HAVE to open on time or you HAVE to get a sign up or get someone there.

                      There's got to be someone you can get to go over there and atleast put up a sign or something. Now they've probably got a bunch of customers that are PISSED because they took their valuable time to show up and Sheila's was CLOSED at 12:30 on a Friday.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: CFByrne

                        This is the same thing I posted about Bamboo Fire being closed during a Delray festival on a Saturday.

                        1. re: CFByrne

                          Well in Sheila’s defense they are not a chain with multiple stores and manager's. they are a small place that IS serving amazing food and maybe as such you might make a call before driving up because they could be close at anytime. I guess you have never had a kid sick that forced you to miss work and if so maybe someone was able to fill in but did the same work get done ? how about giving them a break they have great food..... Bamboo fire also is of that same ilk except as with Sheila's they serve great food and maybe the delray festival would not be financially viable in this climate and a phone call might be made(freakerdude) I gotta say this entire attitude smells of snobbery....how bout giving people more than one chance before bitching freaker how many times have you been to bamboo fire and cf how many times have you been to Sheila's ......ever and if so was the food worthy of a return trip.....if so why trash them for one time, WTF we need great food in the county and your words do not help because of one time....... both these resto serve top notch food and in my EHOP GIVE THEM A BREAK In this economy we need to help those that serve good food as both the places do

                          1. re: pikiliz

                            I've had a sick kid but I never just did not show up to work. I think you've gotta have a backup plan. A nearby store owner or a friend or whatever, they just need to put up a sign. "Open at XXPM today due to family emergency".

                            "Giving these folks a break" is not really giving anyone a break. It's little things like this that add up and before long the customers stop coming and everyone is wondering why and what went wrong.

                            How about all the folks that stopped by and saw the sign "Open 11AM" and it's 12:30 or whatever and they place is sealed tight. Think they are coming back anytime soon? Pretending this didn't happen or that we should ignore it doesn't help.

                            I'll be back (although now I'll always have to think twice), but I don't know about any number of other folks who may have come for the first time and left disappointed.

                            1. re: pikiliz

                              I don't think what CF or Freaker are saying is snobbish. They clearly like both restaurants. They're simply pointing out some very poor business practices. It's things like this that cause these small businesses to close.

                              The whole give them a break thing doesn't work for customers. I'm willing to forgive things like this for small local restaurants I enjoy. Though most customers will probably just take their lunch dollar elsewhere after something like this.

                              This is the business they chose to be in. So like it or not they need to compete with the reliable chains of the world who are always open when they say their open, regardless of who's sick.

                              1. re: pikiliz

                                Oh pikiliz, don't shoot the messengers. How would you feel if you drove 30 minutes to an hour to get there and find them closed? This information is actually a service to anyone else who might go. Nobody should have to call a business to see if they are open before they go. Any business that is not reliable doesn't make it in any economy.

                                1. re: freakerdude

                                  but i do shoot messengers their bones roasting on a open fire tasty....just saying everybody deserves a chance if it happens more than once I will be the first one there with a attitude to share with them about what a poor job they are doing...i will tell you guys one thing betcha call before you go next time but you shouldn't have too i agree with that just give them a chance...... perhaps I am a little over the top at times soory did not be to be a richard cranium

                                  1. re: pikiliz

                                    If I had my heart set on conch and 'cue I'd be majorly bummed to find them closed. :-(

                                    1. re: johnmlinn

                                      Exactly! Especially when you are starving and then basically used up your entire lunch hour driving to/from and now have neither lunch nor time! That said, I may give it another shot today, a week later.

                            2. Called ahead and went again last Friday. They were open!

                              Conch fritters - would be okay if they actually had some conch in them. They are nice texture and decently flavorful but my serving of 3 fritters literally had ZERO conch in them as far as I can tell, as I took them apart by hand and examined. If you want Hush Puppies get these and sip in some hot sauce, else pass.

                              In better news...

                              Cracked conch, great. Conch soup, excellent. Conch salad superb.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: CFByrne

                                Next time you go, drop me a line and let me know as I'd love to join you. It's just up the road from me.

                                1. re: CFByrne

                                  I adore the conch salad and cracked conch. I must get back there.

                                  Glad they were open :)

                                  1. re: OysterHo

                                    I checked out sheila's today I had the ribs and crack conch and it was by far the best florida has to offer!! and the conch fritters i had were great . those folks have a nice clean place there and they sure have my business the food was hot & fresh. oh yeah I had a beer while I waited on my food.

                                    1. re: conch king

                                      We ate at Sheila's Sunday afternoon. Wife ordered fried snapper but they were out of it. She had fried grouper instead and it was very good. Conch was good as well.

                                      1. re: conch king

                                        They sell beer now?! That's awesome!

                                  2. Nice review here from PB Post. Yum now I may have to go for lunch tomorrow.

                                    http://www.pbpulse.com/dining/restaur...

                                    2 Replies
                                      1. re: CFByrne

                                        Mega packed today at 3pm, probably due to the PB review. BBQ was all gone and I was told it would be a long wait regardless of what I ordered. It was worth the 30 minutes or so for cracked conch and conch salad. Good mix of all kinds of people here. The prices are very reasonable which makes it affordable to all.

                                        It appears they moved out some tables from under the covered area (where I first sat) to make room for the smoker. And the smoker wasn't fired up. I don't know why you'd want a smoker under the same roof as where the tables are, as it could get awful smoky. They definitely needed more tables (and BBQ) today but lots of takeout going on.

                                      2. Great conch salad! I usually don't like fish and chips -- too greasy. But Sheila's was light and fresh and very tasty -- made me understand the whole fried fish thing. Sadly, BBQ wasn't ready when we went there in early evening.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: lhq

                                          hands down the best conch fritters i have ever had, awesome diff style sauce from others will have you addicted, we drive from west loxahatchee for them

                                          1. re: seminole phil

                                            I have it on good authority that Sheila's is looking to expand to Boca Raton. More info soon.

                                            1. re: johnmlinn

                                              Oh damn...can't seem to find the "Like" button!

                                        2. Sheila's has moved to 406 Southern Blvd, West Palm Beach. The Lake Worth location at 12th Avenue South and U.S. 1 is closed.

                                          1. Shelia's is now long gone... But driving past the other day, I saw workers "renovating"

                                            Coming soon, a taqueria.

                                            1. Hi, folks. Whilst driving on Commercial Blvd in Ft Lauderdale, I noticed a new and intriguing store front in a strip mall: Sheila's Conch and Wings. Any possibility it's a relation?

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: barbaglutton

                                                Where exactly was it. I'm in the mood to go check it out!

                                                1. re: retloctt

                                                  About a block or two west of the intercoastal, at 3026 E Commercial Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308. Looks like it just opened last week. Not sure if there's a relation, although two conch places with Shiela in the name gives me hope...

                                                  1. re: barbaglutton

                                                    Well, not to quote another review site, but it seems promising that it could be hers.

                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/sheilas-conch...

                                                    1. re: OysterHo

                                                      Just called. It's the same Sheila! Looking forward to the first Hounder who can check it out...

                                                      1. re: barbaglutton

                                                        I'm going tomorrow!!! Will report back!!

                                                        1. re: retloctt

                                                          Well, I have to say, I was VERY impressed here. Everything was perfect and easily the best I've had and I've had more than my share of conch preparations. The sweet potato fries were even perfect. We'll be back for sure!!!

                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          1. re: retloctt

                                                            Thanks- going for lunch tomorrow. Great pics!

                                                            1. re: barbaglutton

                                                              Had lunch today. Nice place to sit inside, which was a surprise. The conch sandwich was good- although a bunch of little pieces of conch rather than a nice slab. The conch fritters, however, were other-worldy: filled with briny sweetness and savory dough, and enormous chunks of conch. I've travelled all over the Carribbean and these were the best I've had.

                                                              1. re: barbaglutton

                                                                Interesting to hear you liked the fritters. I've always liked Sheila's Cracked Conch and Conch Salad and Conch Chowder - but the fritters were often just like dough balls. Looking forward to trying out the new place.

                                                                1. re: CFByrne

                                                                  I thought they were briny and the doughy part, which is always boring filler, was actually savory and moist, strangely reminding me of stuffing cooked deep in the bird. Let me know what you think.

                                              2. Better head north to Ft. Pierce......for real BBQ.....

                                                EMac

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: LargeLife

                                                  I've occasionally been sentenced to Ft. Pierce for the holidays. Which BBQ are you referring to?

                                                2. Sorry to say but we visited Sheila's yesterday and left not impressed. We expected food that was unique and fresh - but received something that seemed very "store bought".

                                                  http://ftltoday.com/