Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Carribbean Grill

spotlightSummer is over. All of my fantastical and nonsensical summer dreams have been crushed by the oppressive weight of the fall season and reality. I needed one last illusion of summer fun before I had to return to the real world, which is not nearly as fun or alcoholic as the one on television, So I took the advice of an associate of mine and picked up a bunch of Caribbean food from Caribbean Grill.

spotlight

Caribbean Grill (Photo: News-Press)

 

Summer is over. All of my fantastical and nonsensical summer dreams have been crushed by the oppressive weight of the fall season and reality. I needed one last illusion of summer fun before I had to return to the real world, which is not nearly as fun or alcoholic as the one on television, So I took the advice of an associate of mine and picked up a bunch of Caribbean food from Caribbean Grill.

Caribbean Grill was voted as having the best Cuban sandwich in the area by Washingtonian Magazine. I may not be as respected or socially acceptable as the Washingtonian, but I know how to determine if a sandwich is good.

(Insider’s tip: you bite down on it and swallow. If it doesn’t taste bad, it’s probably good.)

I skipped the Cuban sandwich because, after all, it’s just ham and cheese. However, I did get a spiced pork sandwich, which consisted of carrots, onions, peppers, tomatoes and thick, delicious spicy pork pressed in between a soft baguette. This is a quality sandwich, and at around $5 ($7 with a side), it’s a hearty dish that will fill you up and keep you going when you’re working long hours in the sugar-cane fields or the cigar factories of your native Cuba.

The ropa vieja brought back memories of my glorious time in Havana. Sure, I may have never actually been to Cuba, but I’m assuming that native Cubans spend all day frolicking on beaches while savoring this delicious concoction of pulled pork, peppers, onions, spices and a red sauce served next to some slightly sticky rice. Yep, they’re too busy having fun, eating tasty spicy food and getting free health care to worry about oppressive governments or crumbling infrastructure or anything like that. I’m sure of it.

Need starch? Like any quality hispanic chicken/pork place, the Caribbean Grill has yuca fries (fried or baked). I strongly urge you to get it, because no matter where you get it, the yuca will probably be amazing, and the yellow sauce, although a little watery, remains one of the best sauces in the known history of sauces.

Stop the presses! This flan is amazing. I was originally thinking that I shouldn’t get it, but as my mother always said, “If you can get flan, get it. But you’re diabetic, so you can’t have any! Haha!” So in an act of rebellion against my overly-sheltered childhood, I got the flan, and it was the best decision I have ever made. This custardy brick of excellence is a lot thicker and less gelatinous than most flans I’ve had. Furthermore, there’s probably an inch or so of caramel sauce in the bottom of the container, so in addition to being thick and custardy, there’s a good chance that it’s soaking in caramel and will be even sweeter towards the end. To all the millions of attractive ladies who read this column, you’ve met your competition and your chances are slim.

With inexpensive sweet and spicy dishes that can fill you up but not leave you feeling like you just ate something large and bland, Caribbean Grill is poised to become more popular than ever. I may not have ever been to Cuba and may not have a clue about their food, but if this is in any way an accurate depiction of it, Caribbean Grill will give Cuba a run for the little amount of money they have left.

Caribbean Grill

5183 Lee Hwy., Arlington

703-241-8947

Hours:

Monday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

 

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