Bake n’ Shark in Tobago
Noted on June 26, 2012 by IE3 Student in
Written by LaMar McCaster: University of Washington student and IE3-OUS Chancellor Scholarship recipient interning with American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Trinidad & Tobago.
My time in Trinidad thus far has given me wonderful memories that I will be able to share for years to come. From almost not being able to get past the immigration line at the airport; to trying to get in the wrong side of the car as a passenger, to tasting the splendid flavors of Trini cuisine; calling this internship a great experience would be an understatement. Life in Trinidad is very relaxed compared to the US. If you go out for a casual dining experience, you are expected to enjoy it to the fullest and take your time. I happen to have the fortune of living right off of one of the main streets called the "Avenue". Its actual name is Ariapita Ave in Woodbrook district. This avenue is full of what the locals call "liming" spots or bars as we would say in the USA.
"Lime" is pretty much the word used out here for partying, relaxing, hanging out. I guess you could say there are different levels of liming but it’s all the same thing in the end, merely spending time with your loved ones and friends. In the states, people typically look forward to going out to party on the weekend after a long week. Some people may go out a couple of times during the week for a happy hour or what not. But in Trinidad, people lime every day at any given time. There have been times where I have been walking down the Ave. during the day time to go eat breakfast or steal wi-fi from somewhere and I’ve seen people just pulled up on the side of the road with a cooler and a few beers with the music blasting from their cars. Seeing a person randomly might even be a reason to lime here in Trinidad.
One of the things I have enjoyed most of all here is the local cuisine. I am a person that craves Mexican food all the time because I grew up not far from the Mexican border, but here in Trinidad I have had no such cravings. Trinidad has a variety of ethnicities and this mixture makes for interesting food. You have dishes with East Indian influence such as doubles (curried chick peas on a pastry) or roti (curried everything with meat wrapped in a flour tortilla), similar to a burrito. Then you have your Afro-Caribbean dishes such as jerk chicken, calalloo (spinach soup) and shepherd’s pie (mashed potatoes mixed with a meat or veggies). Arabic food is also big here as you will see gyro stands all over Trinidad. One of the best dishes I had the opportunity to try was actually at the beach. The dish is called Bake n Shark. It’s a fried shark sandwich with more condiments than you could even imagine putting on any sandwich ever. It was, for lack of better term, awesome!
The beach is what people generally think of when they think of the Caribbean and Trinidad definitely does not disappoint. I have visited beaches such as Maracas Bay in Trinidad and Pigeon Point across the side of the island which is Tobago. Maracas Bay is probably the most visited beach on the island of Trinidad. I went to this beach on a holiday and it was packed full of people and had serious traffic congestion. Pigeon Point in Tobago on the other hand was a much more serene environment to me. It didn't have the big crowd and the waters were even clearer. Tobago is considered the more touristy side of the country and it definitely does provide that with its beaches.