Floating around Orlando’s Caribbean community my eyes kept getting shifting to Sybil’s logo on many flyers. Being a curious eater, I a did a little digging and found that this bakery was all the rave in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York. To my sweet tooth delight, I found out that there is a location in Fort Lauderdale. Road trip! Well, I was heading farther down the road to South Beach but a little pit stop was well worth the detour.
Sybil’s occupy a small storefront in the Lauderhill neighborhood on University Dr. Driving towards this area from the turnpike exit it is clear that there are many different nationalities present. Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Haitian, and West Indian restaurants all co-exist within a couple miles from each other.
The store itself is a full service on site West Indian Bakery. It appears family run with the distinguished gentleman heading the bakery operations. Popular Caribbean pastries such as pine tarts, black eyes, cheese rolls; red and plait bread graces the nostrils. Sweets and local brewed drinks are highly recommended. There is a hot food area served cafeteria style. Although there are a couple of tables and chairs, it looks more like take out is the preference. On my visit Radio Guyana International with DJ Third Degree was broadcasting LIVE. Nothing like a full blast of Caribbean music to beckon the crowd. I wonder if there is ever a full blown parking lot Carnival here?
Upon consulting with a kind lady in the line. Gotta love West Indians, they love to show off their food. I decided on a few items.
Fish Cake – freshly made with white fish. The crust was ever so delicate and crunchy. If you are not Caribbean hot friendly, do not attempt to taste that Tamarind Sauce on the side. Fire!
Mittai – this is fried flaky dough covered with a sugar syrup that clings to the dough. It is soft inside yet crunchy on the outside.
Red Bread or Solara – I am told, depends on the country this has different names. Solara is the Trinidadian name. The red is food colored coconut rolled tender bread dough. This bread was a little on the dry side for me.
Black Eye or Chinese Bean Cake – Here again the name takes to different countries. The middle is a black bean paste with the consistency of mashed beans, while the crust is chewy and soft. I have had this item from Asian supermarkets where the crust is crumbly. I kind of like this version. No mess while driving.
Pine Tarts – The filling is as the name suggest pineapple, while the crust is chewy and soft. Being a pineapple lover I am really digging this mon.
Sorrel Drink – made from the petals of the sorrel fruit. Sweet, flavorful with a nose of cinnamon. Great refresher.
The service at Sybil’s is top notch Caribbean hospitality. Everyone from the customers to the guys behind the counter, to the kitchen staff are friendly, jovial, and merry. Maybe it had something to do with the Live DJ outside, but this was definitely a welcoming Caribbean feel. It did not hurt that the pastries were great!