Fast. Fresh. Floridian. Located in Jacksonville’s 5 Points neighborhood, Karibo is a restaurant that prides itself on eclectic, creative dining, boasting a delicious menu of home-cooked items and local favorites. Those include hand-made veggie burgers known to put any other fresh or frozen patties to shame.
Check out our interview below with owner Bryan Poynter to learn a little bit more about Karibo for our latest #APBEats feature.
Tell us about the food available at Karibo:
We have a diverse menu providing sandwiches, salads, seafood, and even rice boxes.
Within each category we have plant-based options - for example: a BBQ sandwich but instead of pulled pork, we mimic the pork with a veggie protein. We wanted to create something that feels like you're eating a pulled pork sandwich, but it's fully vegan. Our plant-based mac & cheese and vegan chili are all so good that if you ate it you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
We just focus on flavorful, comforting food.
What is the backstory behind creating a vegan/pescaterian variety style menu?
The goal was to design plant-based items, meant for the general population.
My family's oldest restaurant we’ve had for 20 years. Brent and Zori, the leads here at Karibo, we all grew up working in kitchens together. We have a seafood chain that started with 2 locations, and within our chain we have seafood baskets with healthy elements.
With the multi-unit experience I've been working on for 8 years, I felt like I needed to tweak what I was doing. I personally eat a lot of plant-based food. Being conscious about what I eat, I want to show people that plant-based food can be really good & hit those spots that you need!
So what is THE DISH to have at Karibo?
It's really hard to say, we have a menu that really dabbles into a lot of areas. I personally really think it’s our BBQ sandwich. When you eat it, you really think you're eating a pulled pork sandwich. When we were talking about flavorful, comfort food, you wouldn't know that it is plant-based unless someone told you or you knew when you ordered.
Are there any specialties to how the food is made or just all served with deliciousness?
There is a process. For example, for our BBQ sandwich we use TVP (textured veggie protein), make our BBQ sauce in-house, marinate the TVP with spices, grill it and toss in the BBQ sauce. We make our homemade coleslaw with plant-based mayo and, down here in Jax, we add pickles. It tastes JUST like a traditional pulled pork sandwich.
How would the restaurant’s space and design to someone who hasn't been?
The front of the building is bright purple. It's a mosaic with lots of plants, both artistic and kinda funky. It's intimate, with a detailed ceiling, along with a red brick wall. We have a patio and we love the [5 Points] neighborhood and are glad to be here.
How major is it to connect to such a diverse community that continues to grow every day through good intention, love, and positivity? What do you want people to know about the Jacksonville community and how it can impact others?
Thats a big thing for us. 5 Points is a really eclectic neighborhood with lots of restaurants, bars, and boutique style shops. The people are individualistically stylish. It's a big small town. A cool place and It keeps growing more diverse, moore interesting. The city has a bright future and there is a lot of pride in the city. We're glad to get a taste of that energy, be part of the change and continue to be a committed contributor to the Jacksonville community.
As a special offer to our community and shoppers, visit our APB Jacksonville boutique with your Karibo receipt within 30 days of your purchase for 15% off your next purchase [Exclusions apply, offer valid only once per customer]
Be sure to follow Karibo at @karibo5points !