Trini Pak is Now Selling Shark & Bake
You won’t see many carts or trucks in this city selling a bake. Sure, the Sweetery and Treats Truck make tons of baked goods. But a real “bake” is a Trinidadian street dish that is eaten at breakfast or after a late night of drinking, which might actually be one in the same for some. The most popular way of serving it is with a piece of breaded and fried shark – known as a Shark and Bake, which sounds like it could be a national fast food chain.
The bake itself refers to the bread pocket that holds the fish together. It can be fried, roasted, or um, baked! I’ve only had it once before at A & A Doubles in Bed Stuy and have never seen it in Midtown. So I’m certainly no expert, but I was beyond ecstatic when I learned that the Trini Paki Boys (on 43rd and 6th) have been running it as a special and will be adding it to the regular menu.
Last week, they offered the homemade fried bread with a dried and salted cod known simply as saltfish. But this week I discovered they finally have shark. The sandwich costs a mere $5 and is overstuffed with chunks of flaky fried fish, crisp lettuce, and fresh tomatoes. And then it’s doused with some Trini hot sauce, deeply flavored tamarind sauce, and a creamy yogurt based white sauce to cool the whole thing down.
This was like the best Filet-O-Fish in existence – only with fresh ingredients and complex Caribbean flavors. The rich bread was almost reminiscent of a flat, savory donut, but with less heartburn possibilities. There was a subtle sweetness to it that I related to cornbread and I loved the dark, crisp exterior and the soft buttery middle. I’d be happy eating anything inside the bake. Seriously. Give me a dirty old shoe, I’d be fine.
But the shark worked beautifully. It was chewy and salty with a strong (but not unpleasant) fish flavor. And aside from some surprising cartilage, it made for an easy to eat sandwich. This gives both Schintzel & Things and the fried fish sandwiches at Kim’s Aunt Kitchen a run for their menu. Neither of them are using bread this awesome. And fortunately, nobody is serving a dirty old shoe.
Trini Paki Boys also offers the shark as a spicy curry, if you’re cutting back on the carbs.
Trini Paki Boys Cart, 43rd St and 6th Ave.
Post by Brian Hoffman