West Side restaurant relocates, brings Caribbean cuisine to Short Vine

As of March 4, West Price Hill’s Caribe Carryout is now near Bogart’s on Short Vine. Several people who wanted to buy into his business had approached Basil Balian, the restaurant’s cofounder, but the traffic at the West Side location didn’t justify expanding.
Balian chose to move to Short Vine because of its potential for a higher customer base. “It’s all about location, location, location,” he says. “I’m excited and encouraged by all of the housing and restaurants sprouting up along the street. I believe the street will become a magnet for food lovers, and I trust that we’ll get our fair share of foot traffic.”
Caribe’s menu much the same; it features homemade empanadas and rice and stews prepared daily. But Balian and his business partner Russell Laycock have amped up the spice. Laycock is known as “Mr. Spice,” and he’s brought his expertise to Caribe’s spice mixtures and sauces.
“Even though Caribbean food isn’t generally spicy, with the exception of Jamaican cuisine, we had a few customers say our empanadas weren’t spicy enough,” Balian says.
Balian and Laycock have also recently added a Jerk Chicken Empanada to their lineup. It’s something they introduced to the menu before relocating because they wanted to satisfy their Jamaican customers, Balian says. The pair plans to introduce new recipes to their customers as daily specials, and then add them to Caribe’s menu based on demand.
“We want to add to the variety of quality food already on Short Vine,” Balian says. “And we intend to help make Short Vine a hungry person’s instinctive destination.”
By Caitlin Koenig
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