On my cab ride in from the airport in Port of Spain Trinidad, the driver enthusiastically shared with me some of the great things to see and do and know about his home country, of which he was so proud.
I had been traveling since 5 a.m. and it was late when I arrived. Although I tried to listen closely, I was tired and not yet accustomed to the Trinie accent, which is a combination of eastern Indian English and Caribbean patois with heavy Spanish influences. So when he said I had to try some “bacon shark,” I was all in. I mean, it’s got bacon so it’s gotta be good, right? He said a place called Richard’s on Maracas Bay Beach was the place for bacon shark.
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Where to Eat Bake and Shark in Trinidad
The next day, my friends and I were off to Maracas Bay Beach and there we found a busy beach shack called Richard’s. But there was nothing with bacon on the menu. THE treat here is “bake and shark,” duh! “Bake” references a delicious flat bread, fresh and warm from the oven. The shark is filleted and deep-fried. I’ve traveled in a lot of Caribbean nations, but had never heard the term “bake” to refer to a roll or bread. I love learning things like that.
Word of caution: The condiment buffet should include one of those signs warning of flammable materials. Some of those sauces will freakin’ melt your face off.
The Trinies are quite proud of a vegetable grown here called a scorpion pepper and they mix it into everything. I didn’t ask for advice and slathered the wrong sauce on my shark. My tongue is still in flames as a result.
Where to Eat Roti in Trinidad
After our stomachs settled from Richard’s and we had played in the water at Maracas Bay Beach, we went out in search of the Hi-Way Roti Shop. Such a classy name had us visualizing some greasy-spoon truck stop, and we weren’t too far off.
Hollis Bagwandeen’s parents opened this spot on the Solomon Honchoy Highway in the 1970s. Right away, you could see it was popular with hard-working locals looking for some serious grub.
Roti is a savory stew-like combination of meat and mushy vegetables loaded with curry. Some places serve it rolled up like a burrito. However, Hi-Way Rotie serves the flat bread on the side, allowing you to sop up the curry dish. You have choices of chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, vegetarian and more, but roti is the only thing on the menu here at the Hi-Way Roti Shop.
Wash it down with an LLB — Lemon, Lime and Bitters — made with Angostura Bitters, produced right here in Tobago — and you’ve got yourself a culinary feast in the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
Check out what my friend Carole has to say about the fried cassava sticks and pumpkin chocolate soup at the Cafe Mariposa in Lopinot Village, another great place to eat on Trinidad.
Tip: When life takes you to Grand Cayman Island, and it should, here are a few places where you will surely enjoy a great meal.