No need to take a cruise to get a taste of Caribbean culture and cuisine – you just need to head to Oakland Park. From special island dishes such as conch salad and fried plantains to excellent rum-based cocktails, Alberte’s offers cuisine that’s close to home, but still unfamiliar to many Americans.
Located next to Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, the restaurant serves Caribbean cuisine, mostly highlighting Haitian dishes. In the morning, Alberte’s serves breakfast island- and American-style.
Owner Alberte Louidor and her husband Wil Marseille are sharing their Haitian roots one dish at a time and want customers to experience authentic Caribbean and Haitian cuisine. “We want people to know that the Haitian community has great quality food,” Marseille says.
The authentic experience starts before you order, with the sweet sounds of classic Haitian kompa music. The sleek, chic modern restaurant also offers Haitian culture in its décor. Elegant Haitian art and images are hung throughout. Massive, mural-style photographs of stunning mountains, oceans and landmarks show off the different regions of Haiti.
Louidor, who was born in Port-au-Prince, learned her cooking technique by watching and helping her mother in the kitchen while she was a little girl. By the age of 8, Louidor had started cooking for her family. She even remembers the first dish she cooked. “I first started cooking fried plantains,” she says. “I would make them for my father, he loves plantains.”
Of course there are fried plantains on this menu among other island dishes like curry chicken, oxtail stew and jerk pork. For non-meat lovers, the menu features veggie wraps, several types of rice and other dishes (again – those plantains).
“Anyone who walks in can find something delicious to eat here,” Marseille says.
Island flavors continue in Alberte’s island dessert menu and bakery, which in addition to ice cream, cakes, cheesecakes and pies includes favorites such as baked creole bread and patties.
The bar also gets a Haitian infusion thanks to Port-au-Prince-brewed Prestige beer as well as a number of cocktails featuring Barbancourt rum. They’ve even taken several popular cocktails in their own, more Haitian-flavored direction – try the Haitian Martini or the Sex in Port-au-Prince.
Alberte’s restaurant has great food and a wonderful ambiance for friends and family experiencing Caribbean cuisine together.
A private room comfortably seats 30 and is available for parties or business meetings. To add more Caribbean vibes, Alberte’s brings in a DJ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night for an evening of island music and hits.
Put together, it creates the perfect Caribbean atmosphere – from the dishes, desserts, island drinks and music, you only have to go as far as Oakland Park to get a taste of Caribbean culture.
The Dish: Griot (Fried Pork)
- 1.5 lb of pork
- 1 hot pepper
- 1 tsp of parsley
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 tsp of thyme
- 1/2 tsp of rosemary
- 1 tsp of seasoning salt
- 1 lime
- 1 sour orange juice
- Cut the meat into medium pieces.
- Wash thoroughly with the lime and/or sour orange juice.
- Season well with seasoning salt, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic powder and pepper, and let it marinate for 2 to 4 hours. For best results, refrigerate overnight.
- In a saucepan, cover meat with water and boil over medium-high heat until water evaporates.
- Stirring occasionally, continue to cook until meat is tender.
- Remove the meat and set aside.
- In a skillet, heat oil and fry each side to brown evenly.
- Serve hot with bannann peze (fried plantains) and diri kole (rice and beans).