Blue Marlin Cutter

When you roll into town asking, "What's the best sandwich around?" and the first two people you meet tell you the same place independently, you have an itinerary item. In Barbados, there are several dishes and dining experiences you must have before you leave — cou cou and flying fish, macaroni pie, a visit to Oistins, a roti at Chefette, some fried flying fish at Baxter Road — but no food checklist is complete without the fish cutter (sandwich) at Cuz's.

Cuz is outside Bridgetown, just off Highway 7 in the parking lot next to the beach at Needham's Point before you climb the hill to the Barbados Hilton. It's just a little shack, but this is a fish sandwich with a following. Beach bums, locals, taxi drivers, kids off from school, they all line up for Cuz's blue marlin sandwich.

The sandwich consists of salt bread, lightly pan-seared blue marlin, tomato, lettuce, and pickle, with an option of either a fried egg, or cheese. You put the sauces on: mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, and, of course, Scotch bonnet sauce.

The salt bread (named thusly because many other Bajan breads are sweet) has a thin crust and a chewy interior. Inside, the juicy fish steak has a very light, peppery breading and wet flakes. You get a choice of fried egg, or cheese (Anchor New Zealand Cheddar, the cheese found everywhere in local grocers'). Anyone shy about mixing fish and cheese needn't worry — the meat isn't fishy, and the thick slice of soft cheese pulls the bread and fish together. The crunch of the pickle and its vinegar is key to flavor and texture balance, and the make-you-sweat Scotch bonnet sauce makes you feel like you've accomplished something.

The stand is open daily from "a little after nine" to 5pm, and you can grab two of these sandwiches and a Banks beer for BBD$17 (about $8.50). According to Angela who runs the stand with her brother David, the shop has been there since their father started it forty years ago. Why the name Cuz? "I don't know," Angela said with a laugh, "a Canadian gave my father that name."

Cuz, Needham's Point, Barbados