Saturday, April 06, 2013

Caribbean Food!

What better way to celebrate rising temperatures than by eating a new Caribbean restaurant?  I love Caribbean food - I think it does a fantastic job creating meals that taste good and that are "hearty" but not "heavy".  Plus, I'm trying to retrain my tastebuds to be able to taste fruit again, and there's plenty of fruit in Caribbean food to practice on.

Which is to say that I was pretty happy when Danielle recommended it for our every-other-week dinner on Friday afternoon.  Unfortunately, Danielle had something pop up at the last minute and couldn't come, but Justin and I decided to go and eat anyway (and get some takeout for Danielle).

So, off to Midlothian, in what Justin described over the phone as "the sketchy part of town".  I harumphed when he said that, although I have to admit when I first pulled into the parking lot and saw the giant (and incomplete) "CHECKS CASHED" sign over the restaurant, I did start to wonder.  A restaurant that cashes checks?  wtf did I agree to?  It took a solid minute to figure out that the restaurant shares the building with the pay-day loan shop next door.

Anyway, once you got past the sketchy loan shop, it was actually pretty awesome.  Great atmosphere, friendly people, and really REALLY good food.  We started with fish cakes as an app, which were pretty much perfect: lots of chunks of fish, light breading, a good fry on them.  For my entree I got pineapple chicken with rice & beans, and steamed cabbage.  The rice, beans, and cabbage is pretty much the perfect example of what I mean by "hearty" but not "heavy" ... it's a great side dish that fills you up, it's really flavorful, but it's also very light and doesn't sit like a brick in your stomach after you've had it.  In other words, the perfect side for hot weather.  The cabbage was great too - it's really easy to overcook cabbage, but this was done perfectly, and still had a good crunch to it.

The pineapple chicken was fantastic.  The chicken was cooked really well, lots of chunks of pineapple and peppers, and the whole thing was covered in a pineapple sauce with a little bit of curry in it.  Delish!  There was a good bit of it, and the fishcakes were pretty filling too, so I brought home about half the dish.  I polished that off for lunch this afternoon, and it tastes just as good the second time.  Justin got the jerk chicken; I sampled a bit of that and it was fantastic too.  (And no, I don't know why Justin is reaching out with his knife in the middle of the picture.  Sometimes he's just Justin.)

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