Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Caribe Bake Shop

We had a special house guest for the week after Thanksgiving, my brother! He only gets here about once a year, and as a former professional cook and lover of all things food-related, we enjoy showing off the Cleveland culinary scene when he's in town. He's always up for anything, and last week that meant going on a lunch excursion with me to check a restaurant off of my 2016 To Dine Challenge list.

We were all quite sick of leftover turkey at that point, so E$, Mr. H and I all headed over to Caribe Bake Shop (no website) on Fulton.
In their brand new building, they can serve a lot more diners quickly, and they've expanded their seating. The old building was easy to miss when driving by, and it no longer fit the capacity they need. You head in the main front door, and swing through another set of doors on the left (right side is seat-yourself dining). You're then greeted with a cafeteria-style line (another for just sandwiches and the baked goods).
The food immediately starts to tempt you.
Now, they don't have a menu, and there's no signage on the line, so it can be a bit overwhelming for a new diner. To me, it seemed like everyone else knew exactly what to do and what they wanted. Clearly, they have their regulars.
Mr. H and I built a $10 lunch plate (Dining Deals Alert!), with your choice of three rices, two types of beans, and a meat. For our meat, we chose a skewered pork that had a mild-flavored sauce on it. It was a touch overcooked, but had nice flavor to it. E$ had the roasted and pulled pork. We also added fried plantains ($2) to our plate.
We also ordered a Cubano sandwich, which comes in three sizes. Pictured below was half of a Medium, and it was substantial! I only ate about a third of it, and took the rest home for lunch the next day. I would have liked it grilled/pressed, but otherwise it was a tasty version.
Other than feeling a bit overwhelmed determining what to get, and rushed (since it's a line that keeps on moving with hungry people behind you!), I really enjoyed it. Casual, cheap, huge portions, and it smelled and tasted pretty darn authentic.

Caribe Bake Shop
2906 Fulton Road
Cleveland, OH 44113