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Restaurant Review: Caribe Sur

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Restaurant Review: Caribe SurPhotos by Lauren Sega.
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When Cakes & More started stretching its wings with empanadas and the Chivito sandwich, it was just a matter of time before the bakery launched a full-blown eatery. The time has come, sort of.

It’s debuted its food truck, Caribe Sur, which is an abbreviated eatery at best. You know how it works: full menu, order at the counter, wait around awkwardly, run with the goods. It’s got the same rules as any food truck, but the edibles you’ll find make Caribe Sur worth following around.

The aforementioned Chivito sandwich is on the menu, but that’s territory already under the belt, to speak literally and figuratively simultaneously.

Instead, venture into new territory with some of the Fish Tacos ($9.50). An order of three is large enough to fuel a full-on binge. Beneath their sea of shredded romaine and crumbled bits of cheese is the mother load of buried taco treasure: fresh fried fish chunks, guac, tomatoes, tortilla, and sauce to tie it together.

The tacos make a better adventure than the Choripan ($8.50). It’s a sausage sandwich. True, sausage is generally pretty lovable, and here it’s sliced lengthwise and tucked into a roll with lettuce tomato, mayo and a really good, herby chimichurri sauce. There’s nothing wrong with the concept. That said, the sausage, as the core of the sandwich, is just overwhelmingly fatty and leaden. On the bright side, it comes with fries, and those were well-executed. Next.

There are too many good options on the menu to waste time with disappointment. The Quesadilla ($8.75) is better. The chicken version features an achingly tender grilled tortilla overstuffed with chicken and cheese and served with guacamole and sour cream.

Or better yet, there are empanadas. Empanadas never seemed to catch on as big as they should have in Columbus. They should have been like tacos or pho, with stops on every corner. That never seemed to happen. This is all the more reason to get some of Caribe Sur’s versions. They come in three flavors and you’ll need them all.

That means the beef ($3), a pocket filled with lean, tender, seasoned niblets with red pepper and boiled egg; chicken ($3), featuring good quality poultry held together with cream cheese and teeny tiny, totally palatable chunks of olive; and cheese ($3), a combo of mozzarella and provolone jazzed up with dijon. There’s a little onion in all of these, too, to give it interest, but not so much as to define any of the empanada offerings. Even if you’re not really hungry, and have no good reason for stopping at the truck, the empanadas are worth a hit (and it takes a minute to make them, so you might as well make a big commitment and order a lot).

Round it all off with an order of Tostones ($6). They’re as crunchy and savory as fries, with the extra fruit-textured payoff of a plantain.

Lots of days, you can find the truck stationed in a parking lot near Cakes & More at 4969 N. High St. With wheels, it gets around, and it post its travels on streetfoodfinder.com/Caribesurfood.

Editor’s note: Caribe Sur’s empanadas and tostones were unavailable at the time photos were taken.


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