The Yard Café Saint Lu­cia

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Clau­dia Elei­box

Peo­ple visit The Yard be­cause of the at­mos­phere, and the fact that it’s by the main road but still feels like an es­cape from the rush. The per­fect com­bi­na­tion of trees, breeze, dif­fer­ent lev­els of seat­ing, have some good food and browse through a book is wel­com­ing enough to have cus­tomers com­ing back reg­u­larly.

Every­one knows, though, that the glue that holds The Yard’s en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly struc­ture to­gether is The Yard Café. Sab­rina and Irie (Yes, that re­ally is his name) are the mas­ter­minds be­hind the good music and en­tic­ing smells in the area. Although they don’t be­lieve this, the duo do ad­mit to bring­ing to The Yard their en­tire “nat­u­ral mystic”, Rasta­far­ian, chilled, laid-back aura when they took over the cafe dur­ing the sum­mer of 2016. Every­thing about them screamed, “Wel­come!”

As soon as you walk into The Yard, the wooden, hand­made ta­bles and benches in­vite you to rest at them un­der the shade of trees. Sab­rina and Irie use a va­ri­ety of re­cy­cled ma­te­rial to serve as essentials: bins, cen­tre­pieces, dé­cor etc. The spices and sea­son­ing that they use in their food is laid out on the coun­ters and hung on racks, serv­ing as air fresh­en­ers as well.

More than any­thing else, Sab­rina and Irie are known for their cre­ative recipes and the twists that they add to their menu. All their meals and dishes are pescatar­ian, lac­toveg­e­tar­ian and veg­e­tar­i­an­friendly but meat eaters never ob­ject as they like the food, too. The duo pair un­usual flavours with reg­u­lar ones, al­ways pro­vid­ing some­thing new and taste­ful to try. Fresh food is cooked ev­ery­day, us­ing as many or­ganic in­gre­di­ents as pos­si­ble.

The Yard Café is open for break­fast from 6 a.m. Mon­day to Fri­day (7 a.m. on Satur­days) and stays open un­til lunchtime and on­wards. My favourite meal is grilled cheese sand­wiches that I think are to die for, and then there’s the fa­mous co­coa tea which is boiled with lo­cal spices in­clud­ing cin­na­mon and nut­meg. Irie’s fish and fries (tossed in dill, salt and some other se­cret in­gre­di­ent) is some­thing that I de­mand ev­ery once in a while be­cause one of their best fea­tures is that they al­ways try to cook for the cus­tomers what­ever they are craving. They also make a “choco-coco” sauce us­ing co­conut and lo­cal choco­late, which they add to one of their fish recipes.

Ac­cord­ing to Sab­rina, though, the main in­gre­di­ent in it all is her son, Irie. “With­out him I would never be able to do this,” she said. The pair are also sure to add a lot of love into their dishes, which must be why peo­ple keep com­ing back, whether to chill un­der the trees, have a bite, host an event (Sab­rina and Irie cater, too), for an after-work lime or just to get a drink with friends.

The Yard is lo­cated on the Star Pub­lish­ing com­pound on the Gros Islet high­way, on the cor­ner by the gap to reach Gaitey. The as­sem­bly of re­cy­cled con­tain­ers is not hard to miss as they have been painted in a va­ri­ety of bright colours and can be seen from the road. Look out for signs, as well, and come en­joy a ‘Uniquely Caribbean” ex­pe­ri­ence that will sat­isfy your taste-buds.

The chefs of The Yard Cafe, Sab­rina and Irie.

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