Writer: David I. Muir | Photography: David I. Muir
Upon entry, I was submerged in authentic Haitian culture. Flags, thatch and bamboo decor made for an eclectic and inviting atmosphere. Kompa music kept me swaying in my seat throughout the visit, and was a welcome accompaniment to the selection of beautifully presented dishes I was offered.
Sak Pase Lounge, an intimate eatery, sits within the very casual Caribbean Sunshine restaurant complex in Orlando, Florida, but has its own distinct vibe.
Their standard appetizer, Pate Kode, is a chicken patty with a light, flaky pastry filled with meat more reminiscent of lamb than the chicken advertised. It was served with Bannann Peze, fried green plantains similar to tostones, and a bowl of their “famous” spicy Sak Pase Sauce.
Their Griot (Griyo) is amazing. It looks like no frills fried chunks of pork, yet its slightly crunchy covering disguised a tender, citrus infused paradise within. Served with Diri Kole, a richly flavored version of rice and beans made with tomato paste and spices, and Bannann Peze, this meal could feed two. Their rice and beans is rich with flavor and is a dish that would keep me coming back for more!
Chef Rice surprised me with his Sake Pase Bowls – fried green plantains shaped into curved receptacles, filled with pulled turkey sautéed in his Sak Pase sauce, and topped off with Haitian Pikliz (spicy coleslaw). This unique treat too could have been a meal on its own, and I’d recommend you try this as an appetizer before your choice entrée. Their Passion Fruit Lemonade also deserves honorable mention.
It seems obvious to me but it is worth noting that the food was served with a smile, making for an even more enjoyable experience. Both the presentation and the service were excellent, and the pricing made it a superb value for money. Sak Pase Lounge is an excellent choice for Haitian American dining.