A fun atmosphere, wonderful eclectic cuisine, and fresh brews at Café Karibo’s new microbrewery
There’s a lot of chewin’ and brewin’ going on at Café Karibo these days, especially since they opened Karibrew, their new brewpub, right next door. Owners Theresa and Tim Poynter have a real knack with food and knowing what their customers want, so it was just natural to expand the original restaurant to include a small microbrewery and pub-style menu. When I visited on a recent Saturday evening, the place was hopping!
I invited my friend Pat to join me, and we decided to sample all four of their homemade beers. We are both quite fond of beer, but don’t really know a lot about it, so it was fun to do a tasting and learn a little about what goes into making a good brew. The rich flavor and aroma of Karibrew’s beers are due to a unique process that allows the beer to be brewed and served directly from the same vessel, and the beer is completely unfiltered. Our server, Dorie, suggested that we start out with their American Pilsner, a light and flavorful beer with a nice aroma, made from a combination of fresh hops and a small amount of roasted barley. It was very refreshing and subtly flavored. As we sipped our beer, we decided to order some Thai Spring Rolls to share. The crunchy spring rolls wrapped around spicy pork and cabbage and served with a soy dipping sauce make a great appetizer. When they arrived, piping hot, we were ready to try another brewski. This time it was Red Rocket Red Ale, a soft blended beer with a light fruitiness that washes down well with the “pub grub” that we were enjoying.
Our next beer choice was called Down Town Nut Brown, a blend of their Pilsner and Dorado Dark Bock, which has the rich character of a traditional English Nut Brown. I loved the sweetness of this brew, and Pat and I were ready to share our dinner, choosing the Seared Citrus Scallop appetizer and the Grouper special for that night. What’s nice about eating in the brewpub is that you can still order any of Café Karibo’s fantastic menu items, as well as their new “Grub” menu selections.
The scallops were a really divine dish, seared to perfection and served with a fresh citrus salad of oranges and grapefruit on a bed of baby greens, sprinkled with cilantro and plated with a delicate lemon butter sauce. Nice and light yet bursting with flavor, this would be a fabulous entrée as well. The grouper was cooked with blackening spices, but just a moderate touch of seasoning, which I prefer. It was served over creamy mashed potatoes, along with a beautiful array of fresh broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, and carrots. Topped off with a bright corn and tomato salsa, this was a delicious entrée, and the grouper flavor was delicate and perfectly cooked.
Our server brought us our last beer sample, Sloppy Skip’s Stout, and I believe this was our favorite beer of the evening. It’s a rich, dark beer made with four varieties of malt and roasted barley, which gives a pleasant coffee-like character to the finish. It was a great pairing for our dessert choice, Café Karibo’s wonderful Strawberry Cake, made with fresh strawberries, strawberry icing, and whipped cream. A superb ending to an enjoyable evening out with a good friend.
With its fabulous fusion foods in a warm and fun atmosphere, Café Karibo has been a local favorite of mine for some time. With the addition of Karibrew’s array of tasty brews and pub menu, things just keep getting better and better. They are open seven days a week.