Jamaica has escoveitch fish and bammy, and Bajans are all about the fish cutter. But Trinidad is the only place you’ll find bake and shark, the delicious deep-fried fish sandwich that’s really worth blowing your diet for.
And the place to get it is at Richard’s on Maracas Beach. Open all week but particularly popular on Sundays and public holidays, Richard’s specializes in the hearty and much-loved local specialty, made from two golden-battered shark fish fillets sandwiched between pillows of chewy salt bread. But as delicious as the sandwich itself is, good bake and shark is really all about the dressings you slather on it. Richard’s condiment station is undeniably impressive, a bountiful buffet including tamarind and garlic sauces, sliced mango, various pepper sauces and the uniquely Trini shadow beni, a minced cilantro, salt and garlic dressing.
There are about 15 seafood restaurants at Maracas but I’m told that that the lines outside Richard’s are always the longest. (Indeed, it was 40 people-deep on my first visit, during Trinidad Carnival.) But as locals will tell you, long lines mean good food worth waiting for. And trust me, the locals are right.