Carmel Magazine

Summer/Fall 2020

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"When I opened, I wanted to feature menu items that reflected what I trained for during my schooling in Switzerland," he said. From day one, Salameh introduced table- side service. Formal servers assembled Caesar salads, carved racks of lamb, deboned Dover sole, ignited pans of Steak Diane and flambéed desserts — Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee and Crêpes Suzette. A decade ago, Salameh limited the main course tableside selections to his three-course performance dinner for two (Caesar, rack of lamb, flambé dessert). Now, due to COVID-19, Salameh has tabled his tableside tradition, pivoting to socially dis- tanced, patio-only dining. The dining room, once a grand stage for dinner and a show, sits empty — waiting for the curtain to rise again. Anton & Michel is located on Mission Street and 7th, Carmel. For more information, call 831/624-2406. BABALOO BRINGS CUBAN CUISINE TO SEASIDE Gladys Parada didn't blink when it came to launching her dream—Babaloo Cuban Café— two weeks into a global pandemic. With odds stacked against her, the Cuban American kept her focus. Forced to Facetime her final kitchen inspec- tion, Parada sat alone in her empty cafe, soul-searching. She thought: "If it goes badly, I can always hit the pause button." She opened a week later (takeout only)— to rave reviews. Many remembered Parada's Babaloo food truck she rolled out in 2010, serv- ing Cuban sandwiches, plantain chips, tostones and other favorites. The truck sputtered to a stop three years later (County regulations were unfriendly to rolling kitchens). Parada paid the bills by working at some of the area's finest restaurants (Sierra Mar, Carmel Valley Ranch, Ventana)—yet her dream bubbled like a pot of braised pork. Parada's thrilled to be able to showcase her heritage through Cuban food, with influences from Spanish colonists, enslaved Africans and native Indians. Due to the pandemic, Babaloo has survived mostly through online ordering at www.baba- "That's disappointing," she says. "I thrive on meeting people and having conversations over a cafecito (Cuban espresso), with salsa or jazz in the background." Babaloo Cuban Café is located at 1123 Fremont Blvd. in Seaside. For more information, call 831/901-3900. LAST BITES Restaurants have pivoted deftly to alfresco dining, with countless patios and parklets dotting the landscape. Passionfish in Pacific Grove added an upstairs patio, The Whaling Station in Monterey erected a giant event tent and The Beach House at Lovers Point built a curbside parklet… Pacific Grove newbie Lucy's on Lighthouse embraces the "rad" culture, serving hot dogs named after surf spots and sides inspired by skate moves (www.…Opened in 1997 as a loud, proud, late-night, steak-and-cocktail joint, M o n t e r e y 's L a l l a p a lo oz a i s n o w PALOOZA, focusing on global cuisine and natural wines. 158 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 2 0 Gladys Parada opened Babaloo Cuban Café in Seaside at the beginning of the pandemic but has gotten wonderful feedback— for her Cuban sandwiches, baked sweet plantains, empanadas and tostones—that are enjoyed through takeout. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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