Eating Bake and Shark at Maracas Beach in Trinidad

Maracas Beach is definitely the most popular spot for swimming on the island of Trinidad.

Every weekend, busloads of locals and tourists make the journey to this popular spot to enjoy swimming in the cold, blue water, leaping over gentle waves, and relaxing under swaying coconut trees while sipping on rum cocktails.

It’s a spacious, curving expanse of coastline that’s protected by a deep bay.

View of Maracas Bay from Above

Maracas Beach is also famous for “Bake and Shark”, a tasty sandwich that’s made with deep fried fillets of shark meat and spicy local sauces.

Going to Maracas Beach and passing up a bake and shark is practically unheard of for most Trinidadians.

There are many different options to get to Maracas depending on whether you’re coming from the East or West of Trinidad, but all roads converge on the winding and scenic North Coast Road.

Before Maracas Beach is the “Maracas Lookout”, a clifftop look out spot that offers views of S’aut Deau Island to the West and Maracas Bay to the East on a clear day.

maracas look out in trinidad

Expansive views of the Caribbean Sea are possible on all but the cloudiest of days.
The Maracas Lookout is also home to stalls selling crafts and local snacks like preserved and pickled fruits and hand-made confections like coconut fudge, and sugar cake.

maracas lookout snacks booth

As you continue cruising along the North Coast Road, Maracas Beach is the first beach that you approach. At curves and rises in the road, you often catch quick glimpses of the ocean.

Smelling the salty air and hearing the roar of the surf is always rejuvenating after a long drive on a winding road.

It’s finally time for a swim in the cool water, a cold drink, and a hot Bake and Shark!

maracas beach trinidad and tobago

Bake and Shark was featured on the Trinidad episode of the travel show Bizarre Foods. The show’s host Andrew Zimmern said it was the best sandwich he ever had.

bake and shark trinidad cuisine

It certainly can be considered to be among the best sandwiches in the world. The well-seasoned shark meat is fried to a golden perfection on the outside while the meat inside remains tender.

The fried bake is also crispy and golden with a fluffy interior that has a hint of donut sweetness to it.

It’s the zesty local sauces that really make the Bake and Shark stand out.

bizarre foods trinidad and tobago bake and shark

Eat it like Zimmern did in Bizarre Foods, skip the ketchup and mustard and go for the more exotic sauce options.

There’s garlic sauce; a slightly less thick mayonnaise infused with a sharp garlic flavor,
tamarind sauce; a sweet and tangy chutney that’s somewhere between barbeque and general tso sauce,

chadon beni; a pesto like sauce make with the pureed leaves of the culantro plant,

hot sauce that’s made with blended peppers and lime juice and then allowed to mature to reach its peak heat,

and creamy salad dressing to go with the lettuce, cucumber slices, and sliced tomatoes that you could garnish your bake and shark with.

maracas beach bake and shark

While Maracas Beach is definitely a great beach to spend a day, and Bake and Shark is one of the most delicious sandwiches, always remember that there’s more North Coast to explore beyond Maracas!

Get back in the car and continue along the North Coast Road, explore Blanchisseuse beach, Tyrico Bay, Avocat Waterfall, or if you’re adventurous make the scenic trek to Paria Beach.

welcome to paria beach

HOT “G” DOG – A Chicago Food Review

One of my highlights of visiting Chicago a few years ago was standing in a two hour line waiting for gourmet hot dogs and duck-fat fries from Hot Doug’s, the world famous sausage and encased meat emporium.

The long wait for these amazing sandwiches gives you a chance to trade tips with other Chicago visitors and get advice for locals.

When I decided that I wanted to attend Lollapalooza 2015, the only downside to my trip to Chicago was that Hot Doug’s had closed their doors permanently in 2014.

I kept my hopes up that someone would recognize the huge vacuum in the hot dog market that came about due to Doug’s departure. Lo and behold, someone did. Not just anyone, but two former chefs who got Doug’s blessings to continue his legacy of exotic hot dogs and duck-fat fries.

According to Doug Sohn “They’re total pros in the kitchen,” and “They made Hot Doug’s as much as a success as I did.”

I checked out the menu of their new joint; Hot “G” Dog and saw some of Hot Doug’s classics as well as some new ones.

GETTING TO HOT “G” DOG

Doug kept his establishment outside of downtown Chicago. Could you imagine the line if he was located in the Loop?

Hot “G” Dog is in uptown Chicagom just a few stops going North on the Red line.

Wrigley Field home of the Cubs

Baseball fans could check out Wrigley Field on the way to Hot “G” Dougs.

As much as I wanted to try everything on the menu, I limited myself to four carefully selected Hot Dogs.

I’ve had duck fat fries a few times before and I wanted to sample the hot dogs more than anything else.

It was difficult, but I managed to decide on four that stood out. These are the four that I tried from Hot “G” Dog:

1- CHICKEN BACON SAUSAGE

with Cheddar Sauce, Fried Tomato & Mozzarella cheese

The sharp tomato flavor provides a nice contrast to the creamy cheese. Everything in this hot dog reminded me of a good cheese burger or really good pizza. In fact, this hot dog seemed alot like a classic fast food mash-up; hot dog inspired by a bacon cheeseburger pizza.

Hot G Dog cheeseburger hot dog

hot g dog review

2 – YAR PORK SAUSAGE

with Italian beer sauce with with Marinated Mushrooms & Feta Cheese

Quite spicy sausage but it was a bit dry. The mushrooms and cheese five it a tangy zest that overpowers the beer sauce a bit. I’m glad this one was the biggest of the four that I ordered because it took a while to grow on me.

Yar pork sausage from hot g dog

3 – GARLIC VENISON SAUSAGE

with Dijon Mustard with Garlic, Cherry Peppers & Goat Cheese

Not really a fan of the cherry peppers so I had most of mine without them. I love goat cheese and felt like the peppers were stealing the show from the cheese. Everything works well for a tangy, garlic-flavor packed hot dog.

hot g dog exotic meat sausage

4 – DUCK SAUSAGE

Truffle Aioli, Foie Gras Mousse and Fleur de Sel

The duck sausage is perfect. Charred on the outside, but still moist and flavorful. Years ago when I ordered Doug’s version if this with the sausage fried, he actually suggested that I take it grilled instead. The mousse and aioli are extremely rich and creamy with delicate flavors. Perfectly decadent. This was amazing at Hot Doug’s and it’s phenomenal here.

duck sausage with foie gras

Hot "G" Dog

THE VERDICT

Some reviews of Hot “G” Doug went out of their way to find fault, such as the sausage of the Chicago Dog feeling a but loose and not having enough snap to the casing. I feel like their food is so good, that is the only way to find fault; to actively seek it. In any case, even Hot Doug’s could never beat Portillo’s when it came to a perfect Chicago Dog.
Two of the dogs that I tried were decadent and rich, and these were my favorite because it felt like they somehow managed to capture a gourmet meal in a humble street food. The other two were probably just not my kinda hot dog, they captured the “dragged through the garden” feel of the Chicago Dog and even had a tangy element to replace the pickle slice. In this regard, Hot “G” Dog creates not just gourmet hot dogs, but gourmet hot dogs that are distinctly Chicago.
So far, there’s one major factor that makes Hot “G” Dog much better than Hot Doug’s, and that is that there’s virtually no line!

Check out The original article at CestLaVibe.com