Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Caribe items on Jay's Cafe menu

Excited to try Caribe's menu? Well, you don't have to wait any longer!

Just as changes are slowly happening to the building (painting, decorating, cleaning up, etc.), we are slowly changing the menu at Jay's Cafe, taking out old items and adding in Tony's Caribe menu items as ingredients and equipment become available.

I wanted to post a few new dishes that are available right now at Jay's Cafe, future home of Caribe. Watch for more dishes to be added this winter until we change over completely this spring.


The two new grilled sandwiches are grilled "Caribbean style" using a flat iron grill. It's basically a panini grill, but with flat grill surfaces. The bread used for these is a Cuban style bread. Since Tony added these to the menu this past week, they have been very popular.

Also new today are the cold sandwiches, ham/swiss or turkey/cheddar, each served on Puerto Rican Sobao Bread with avocado mayo. If you've been following us on Facebook or Twitter, you've probably read all my posts about our quest for this bread. We finally found a small family-owned Spanish bakery in St. Paul who was willing to make this special recipe for these sandwiches. It's a baguette-shaped loaf, soft and white, and slightly sweet. We talked to several bakeries and nobody was willing to try the recipe. So we're excited to finally have this bread! Tony picked it up this morning and said the smell of the fresh-baked bread reminded him of the bakeries in Puerto Rico.

Jumbo Shrimp for lunch

The new lunch entree debuts today. Tony was telling me this morning about the enormous size of the jumbo shrimp he just got in for the new Papaya Garlic Jumbo Shrimp. It sounds delicious. I'm usually at home, so I don't get to try these dishes until Tony brings some home for me to taste! If you do try it, be sure and let us know what you think. Tony's always open to feedback and will adjust the menu to best suit our customers.

New on the lunch menu..............

Grilled Cuban Sandwich
Roasted pulled pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread, served with plantain chips and garlic chili pineapple coleslaw. $10.00

Jerk Chicken Sandwich
Spicy grilled jerk chicken, topped with caramelized onions on Cuban bread. Served with plantain chips and garlic chili pineapple coleslaw. $9.50

1/2 Sandwich Combo
1/2 cold sandwich served with cup of soup and side salad. $9.00

Sandwich choices:
Turkey and Cheddar with Avocado Mayo served on Puerto Rican Sobao Bread
Ham and Swiss with Avocado Mayo served on Puerto Rican Sobao Bread

Cup of soup of the day:
(ask your server about our daily special)

Side salad:
Mixed greens with balsamic vinaigrette.

Papaya Garlic Jumbo Shrimp
2 sauteed jumbo shrimp with garlic, red onions, and papayas served over white rice. $11.00

New on the Dinner menu..............

(New Caribe Salad)

Arugula & Spinach Salad
with avocado, oranges, tomatoes, candied zests and citrus vinaigrette. $7

(New Caribe Entree)

Mahi Mahi
Pan seared Mahi Mahi on garlic mash with celeriac, topped with butter lemon tomato sauce $16

New on the Breakfast menu..............

Smoked Salmon Croquettes
Pan seared, house cured and smoked salmon croquettes topped with citrus beurre blank on a bed of mixed greens. $12

Sweet Potato Pancake
Topped with papaya compote, candied pecans and whipped cream. $8

Pan de Majorca
Grilled Majorca roll with powdered sugar and butter. $3.50

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Valentine's Day at Jay's Cafe (future home of Caribe)

Looking for ideas for this Valentine's Day?

We will have live acoustic guitar and vocals by Phil Berbig on Valentine's Day, Sunday Feb. 14 from 5-9pm (no cover charge). In addition to Jay's Cafe regular dinner menu, we will be offering a five course dinner for one night only!

We hope you can join us, sit back and enjoy your Valentine's Day evening at Jay's Cafe, future home of Caribe.

Valentine's Day Dinner Menu:

Five Course Dinner $50 per person.
A glass of Five Rivers Pinot Noir is included with each meal.

Tapas Amuse
Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and onion marmalade on flat bread with cilantro drizzle.

Mussels Gratin
Mussels steamed, then baked with parmesan cream.

Spinach and Arugula Salad
Spinach, arugula, orange supremes, tomatoes, avocado, and candied zest with citrus vinaigrette.

Salmon with Risotto
Pan seared, miso glazed salmon on wild mushroom risotto Milanese.

Pastel de Tres Leches
Three-milk cake topped with coconut creme anglaise and toasted coconut.

For reservations, call (651)-641-1446

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Mom & Dad-vertising"

Phil and Rollie (Heidi's parents...the Chef's In-Laws) at Christmas, 2009

With as tough as the restaurant business can be, we'll take any marketing help we can get. Especially during this start-up phase we're in. And on my short list of top-secret advertising strategies that are within our budget (which is currently anything for, um, zero dollars) is what one might call "Mom & Dad-vertising." Seriously, there are no bigger fans of our crazy endeavors than our parents. I guess we're pretty lucky in that regard.

Back when my sister and I were in college and drew up plans for a booth to sell airbrush t-shirts and face painting at our county fair, our Dad didn't bat and eye...built us a booth (that Gretchen still works at every summer, 10 years later), and both he and Mom proudly wore my airbrush T-shirts and told everyone they knew who painted them and how they could get one.

When I wanted to start an online business selling my T-shirts, they'd proudly wear them for other to see. And Tony's mom took order forms and business cards to pass out at her work and also showed off her "gear" from my shop.

So when our restaurant plans were finally becoming more finalized, I decided to make them some new T-shirts for their collection and give them out at Christmas. Each with the Caribe logo. One reads: "Chef's Father-In-Law" the other: "Chef's Mother-In-Law."

In addition to those I made one for myself that reads "Chef's Wife" although Tony's siblings were quick to suggest I make mine say, "Chef's Boss." Tony occasionally wears his Caribe shirt that reads "Grand Poo-bah" under his chef coat. You'll have to ask him about that.

Tony and Rollie (Heidi's Mom, Chef's Mother-In-Law) at Jay's Cafe Jan. 6, 2010

But back to our parents. Even if we had it in our budget to pay one of those crazy-excited people to wave a huge sign all day on the corner of a busy intersection (i.e. "HUGE FURNITURE LIQUIDATION TODAY ONLY 90% OFF!!!), we'd still not get the enthusiasm we genuinely get from our folks.

So thanks, Mom & Dad for wearing your shirts out in public, and Tony's Mom (who's also sporting her "I'm the Chef's Mami" apron!). Your support (and free advertising) means the world to us.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Old News (is still news!)

In case you hadn't already seen the Facebook & Twitter posts, I thought I'd post here the first articles on Caribe in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Finally a "Real" Blog

I'm excited to finally have this blog in "blogger"...Google based blog that I can update from any computer at any time and not have to republish the whole website to make it live. Yes, this kind of thing makes an internet geek like myself excited. So if you were subscribing to the old blog, you'll need to resubscribe to this one to get future posts in your feed.

Technical speak aside, it's one more thing I can check off my ever-growing "to-do" list for Caribe. And with this up and running, I'm able to not only share easier what's going on and post photos easier, but you can leave responses and comments. There's nothing worse than a one-sided conversation (aka: the first blog). So now our blog can be more of a dialogue. Welcome to the conversation.