Local eats: Caribe Caribbean Grille
In the upstairs loft space at the King Mall, located in the 700 block of Grand Avenue, you’ll find a brand new Caribbean restaurant open for breakfast and lunch: Caribe Caribbean Grille.
And once you step inside, you truly feel like you have entered the Caribbean — bright blue colors, twinkling ceiling and music.
I talked to Damian and Guillermina Serano — a fitting last name for a woman who loves her spice.
Susie Jimenez: What makes your Belizean style refried beans different?
Guillermina Serano: It’s made with black beans sautéed with garlic, onions and habanero along with a special secret seasoning. They are cooked until tender; then instead of just pureeing them, I also sift them so they are silky.
SJ: Let’s talk about spicy. Why are there so many habaneros on your menu?
GS: This is a type of pepper that people tend to get scared of and you see a lot in the Caribbean. Cooked and used properly, you will see how much flavor they have. I boil mine with garlic, and it makes the flavor come out with a milder flavor. Don’t be afraid; you will find them to be so flavorful at Caribe Caribbean Grille.
SJ: What is your signature dish, or what should everyone try when they come visit you?
GS: Belizean Tamales! There is a mix we call ricotto, which includes annatto seeds, tomato-based sauce and pulled chicken with sweet peas and green beans. It’s like nothing you have ever tried before. It’s then steamed in banana leaves and served with coconut milk rice and fried plantains.
SJ: What style is your restaurant?
Damian Serano: You order at the counter, where you will see our paper menus and our huge menu board. We have the most flavorful breakfast with fresh waters made in house — watermelon, mango and pineapple. Our ceviches are one of a kind, refreshing, and they are a must-try item. We also place a side of habaneros on the side so you can experience the Caribbean flavors. We strive in having a family-oriented restaurant, so we don’t serve any alcohol, but it’s a family-friendly menu, too.
SJ: What is a must-have ingredient in your kitchen?
GS: Coconut milk is an essential in my dishes, along with habaneros. My spices consist of my ricotto mix that I braise and marinate my chicken, beef or pork.
Susie’s thoughts: I must tell you how important it is to have customer service. Damian and his wife Guillermina are definitely very proud to bring Belizean Caribbean Food to Glenwood Springs so that people can have an experience from their country. Call in advance to get your food to go, and definitely try their spice — it has some major flavor and just a kick.
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One of Phil K. Walter’s favorite memories of his FBI career is when his wife pitched in on a case.