BY J.J. BABB • For the Coloradoan • November 27, 2008
If the only food you think you’ll find at a gas station is chips, candy and soda, you obviously haven’t been to 2Mayto2Mato Caribbean Food Shack in the Shell gas station on the corner of Elizabeth and Shields streets. Owner Angela Ramdass imports many of the spices in her dishes directly from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Food Shack was born after Ramdass began selling out of her sauces at local farmers markets. In addition to meals, the Shack sells sauces, including Fire Roasted Tomato Choka salsa (featuring four heat levels, “sweet” jerk sauce, tamarind chutney and “Stupid” hot sauce.
We each ordered one of the Shack’s specialty BakeNShark ($7.95) and BakeNCatfish ($6.95) sandwiches. According to 2Mayto2Mato, these are a Trinidad tradition, sold on Maracas Beach. The fish was wonderfully flavored and perfectly fried to order. A generous portion of the fish was layered on freshly baked bread with Ramdass’ own tangy homemade Island Chow Slaw. The sandwiches also came with Grandma’s Potato Salad.
I also tried the large Island Plate ($6.95) – curried chicken in coconut milk, served with potatoes and chickpeas over steamed rice, a side of sautéed pumpkin and a large piece of roti bread (a flat bread traditionally served with curries in Pakistan and India). I was a little unsure about the pumpkin, but it tasted like pumpkin pie filling with the consistency of sautéed squash. You can also get the Island Plate made into an equally tasty sandwich ($5.95).
This isn’t fast food; our meals took about 20 minutes to prepare. However, entrees are made fresh to order by Ramdass herself. And the steaming hot plates of wonderfully flavored food were worth the wait.