Monday, May 20, 2013


Paseo Caribbean Restaurant has two locations in Seattle: one in the Ballard neighborhood and another in the Fremont district. This trip covers my Ballard experience on Seaview Avenue NW.

Just a few minutes after opening at the Ballard location!
After a few friends highly suggested that I try this place out, I all but promised that I would hit up this place the next time I was in Seattle.

I got the most popular item on the menu, at least according to the website. The Caribbean Roast pork sandwich ($8.50) starts with pork shoulder coated in Paseo's marinade. The meat is slow-cooked until it becomes their version of killer pulled pork. A healthy dose of pork goes on a lightly toasted baguette, slathered with aioli, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapenos, crisp romaine lettuce, and caramelized onions.

Caribbean Roast Pork sandwich
Porky food porn!
The baguette was amazing. For me, there's nothing like a sandwich with a crunchy, golden-brown baguette. The toasting process also allowed the bread to encase all the goodness.

The creamy aioli had a slight sweetness, probably aided by the pool of Paseo marinade. The lettuce, even after walking a good 10 minutes back to my car, still stayed fairly crisp.

The onions really stood out for me. Wonderfully cooked and in a long spiral strip. It's not a full-on caramelizing process here, keeping a middle ground so the onion still has a pleasing crunch without any off-putting bite.

The sandwich is wrapped in white paper and covered with napkins before getting placed in a plastic bag. It's pretty safe to say you'll be needing those napkins and the plastic bag if you want to eat in the car.

The pork is incredible. Extremely tender and succulent, as advertised. The flavors have a controlled explosion so you'll still be able to appreciate everything else. Everything just works in harmony.

As far as sandwiches are concerned, other people have gotten the #1 ($8.50; cubed pork loin grilled over lava rocks and basted with Paseo marinade).

The West Caribbean Bowl ($12) also is a popular item. It has jasmine rice, black beans, warm salsa, shredded cheddar, sour cream, jalapenos, and one flavorful chicken thigh.

Caveat: Highly recommended to get there before opening time (11 a.m.) so that you'll get your food faster by being among the first people to order that day. Otherwise, it may be a long wait.

I still remember the drive I made to get here; wasn't fond of it. Basically due to road closures, a bunch of us had to navigate back roads that were not suited to handle a large flow of traffic. Otherwise, I wouldn't even need to think twice to return every chance I got. I'm wondering if the Fremont location is a bit more traffic-friendly to get to.

(Address for the Fremont location)
That being said, check out Paseo if you're in the area! An elite spot for me! 9/10

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