As rhythmic waves crash onto the soft, sandy shore, palm trees sway and emerald mountains hover beneath a peacock-blue sky. Maracas Bay seems like the perfect retreat from the heat and bustle of Port of Spain. But most of the cars braving the drive along narrow, twisty roads seem destined not for the beach, but for the food at Richard's Bake & Shark across from the beach.
Richard's Bake & Shark
While other restaurants selling this traditional Trinidadian specialty look deserted, lines form beneath the umbrellas at Richard's Bake & Shark all day long. On weekends the queue snakes into the parking lot.
Patrons who line up at the counter to order this best-selling sandwich usually meet Gary, whose mother started Richard's over 15 years ago. In the background, a hard-working team of three operates like an assembly line in the open-air kitchen.
Under a large blue tarp, one man dips the shark meat in in a light coating of flour and spices and then cooks it in a cauldron of vegetable oil. One woman makes dough balls, and another fries them in a different pot to produce the bake. The resulting puffy and airy bread, or bake, is sliced open and the shark is nestled inside.
Secrets to Richard's Delicious Bake and Shark Sandwich
Gary believes the secret to Richard's success is the dazzling array of condiments on offer. In the centre of the outdoor restaurant, deep metal pans brim with popular garnishes such as tamarind, mango chutney, scotch bonnet hot sauce, pureed garlic, shadon benny (a cilantro-like herb widely used in the Caribbean), mustard, cucumber and tomatoes.
Trinidad's bake and shark sandwiches with their rich variety of garnishes to dress these delicious sandwiches are the talk of the town and in many places around the world. This world appeal came after Bizarre Foods did a take on the sandwich. Andrew Zimmerman considered the sandwich the best fish sandwich that he has ever eaten and one of his top ten favorite food ever!
I have featured this video before but will post it here again for this post. One of the things that I have heard is that shark is in short supply and that the fish used today is "King Fish". If you are a Trini based in the homeland and know more about this then please leave a comment. Enjoy the video once again!