Cane

Waiting for a new restaurant to open is the adult equivalent of spending every evening sitting by your family’s landline phone, waiting for that one cute boy to call. The minutes tick by like seasons waiting for your Mr. Right…er…I mean, restaurant…

Cane opened recently and it didn’t slip my mind for a moment, particularly because they don’t take reservations and I knew that finding the right moment to make my grand appearance might be a challenge. My husband and I thought we might have better chances if we went, just the two of us. We began our long walk there around 5:45 and Yelp claimed that the live wait time was under 5 minutes. I checked back periodically while we trudged there, my stomach beginning to consume itself. Every time I refreshed the page, it told me the wait was only five minutes. I began to relax. I let my guard down. Two blocks from the restaurant, the wait changed to 30-45 minutes, like a freaking monsoon of people had just rained down on them. We arrived, put our names on the list, and headed across the street to Bar Elena, where we figured we could get something to drink (we were right, and they have HH every day until 7!) Bar Elena is going to be seeing a large uptick in liquor sales on account of their new neighbor.

I sank two (TWO) drinks before Cane called us. Don’t worry, I was still able to put away one more–their Carnival cocktail. It was mildly sweet, mildly coconutty, and cold. It was alright. My husband’s Cane Fever with the spicy habanero shrub was the clear winner–spicy, fruity, and refreshing.

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When I inquired about the cow heel souse, our server wavered. “It’s a gelatin-based delicacy, served room temperature,” she told us.

“We’re very adventurous and want to try something new,” I said.

“Oh…it’s adventurous.”

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The souse (how to pronounce this? Like “Dr. Seuss” or like “I’m totally soused?” Still unclear) arrived fast. It was, as far as I can tell, a ceviche in which the fish had been replaced by flavorless gummy bears. Or maybe like a spicy-savory bubble tea? Flavor: top notch blend of heat, cilantro, and onion. Texture: Ehhhhhh. Adventure level: 2 out of 10.

We then ordered the omnivore tiffin box. There were way too many components for our itty bitty table. We didn’t even have room for our own plates after that so we had to eat out of the little dishes like animals.

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Clockwise from top left: paratha bread, beef curry, chickpeas, mango chutney, green tamarind chutney, chicken curry, and potatoes. I appreciate when my dinner can also give me a history lesson about imperialism. All you need to know: the British thought all brown people looked alike, so they picked up a bunch of servants from India and moved them to the West Indies, a place so named because, like I said, all brown people looked alike to them. This meal was very heavy on the Indian influence with the main crossover being the use of beef. The potatoes and chickpeas were fairly mild but still well-cooked, particularly the potatoes. But oh my god, whatever was lacked by those two things was more than made up for by the two meats–the tender, fragrant, jerk-like chicken and the completely melting, oily, chili-spiced, fall-apart beef. We were rubbing scraps of paratha around at the bottom of the bowl when we finished it. I can’t even communicate how good it was.

They tried to entice us with dessert, but I saw the writing on the wall. Literally. It said “vanilla softserve.” I get that Cane is supposed to be Trini street food, but come on, guys. You’re better than softserve.

Price: $40 per person.

Bottom line: Wait. Wait as long as you need to. Much more worthwhile than waiting for some stupid boy to call.

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