There is no atmospheric lighting, its furnishings are modest and yet: Street Food in Port of Spain’s Queens Park Savannah is something you don’t want to miss out on. During weekends, all stands are present. Strong female hands roll out the dough, while the men stand easefully baking. Roti is famous in Trinidad. Neighbor Texan Ranch keeps his buf flow wings warmly tucked away under a lid. What he doesn’t hide, is the secret to his success. “Everything is made from scratch; the sauces too I make all the way from scratch. But the secret is in the wings. They are seasoned and already have their own flavor. The sauces do the rest.”
Overpowering the humming of mini generators is the sound of music. Soca at first, then soul. Sausage is not on the menu in this small ‘street’; copious amounts of barbecue chicken and jerk chicken are. Traditionally, Trinis are also big fans of soup. Corn soup is popular, a vegetarian, stew-like soup. Oxtail and pigtail soups are popular too. Aside from tails, feet are favored. Souse is a cold, sour dish containing pig feet or chicken feet. There is a cow heel variety which can also be purchased as a soup. Thanks to all these different options, no one has to skip the souse for religious reasons.
Another typical snack in Trinidad is the double. In no time, fast hands fill two flat baras with an array of sauces: chana, tamarind, pepper and shado beni – a type of coriander that grows in the wild. The fresh aftertaste comes from the lightly pickled cucumber. Another must try is Mona’s Roti Shop in Marabella. The line out of the door tells you why their roti has been awarded ‘Best Roti in the Caribbean’! And indeed: the dough is golden brown and soft, the curry is light yet flavorsome. Surprisingly, the sauce doesn’t leak through it.
If you’re looking for fast food with a fabulous view, visit Lady Young Lookout on the road of the same name. There are several food stands here, including Yardie’s. Instead of using the jerk sauce to stew the barbecue chicken, it is served on top. The flavor is hot and tangy. In the evening, the mountain offers a picturesque view of the city lights below.
Street Food, Queens Park Savannah, Port of Spain
Mona’s Roti Shop: 161 Southern Main Road, Marabella
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11:00–18:00 hrs
Lady Young Lookout: Lady Young Road, Morvant
Opening hours: 24/7
Text & photos: Charles Chang
Translation: Roline Brahim-Tjen A Kwoei/Equivalence Translations
More information about Trinidad & Tobago is available on the website of the Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Ltd.
Lots of useful information in the annual edition of Discover, published by MEP Publishers.
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