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Delicious Veggie Jamaican in Bed-Stuy (Plus BBQ chicken)

Brooklyn Boy Jun 29, 2002 07:10 PM

This afternoon my wife and I tried food from two restaurants new to us, and located next door to each other: D ITA Shack and Royal Rib House. Being a vegetarian, the former was my assignment, while the latter went to my wife, the Southerner. Opinions are as follows:

D ITA Shack(305 Halsey Street; 718-573-3752): Great veggie Jamaican cuisine. HUGE portions. I actually had to stop the guy serving me because my take-out tin was overflowing. For a mere $8.50 I got generous helpings of stew chunks, veggie duck, calaloo, navy beans, macaroni and cheese (made with soy cheese), and rice, plus a whole-wheat soybean patty (tasty filling) and a soy drink sweetened with cane sugar. Everything was delicious, though the calaloo, and the smoky BBQ sauce on the stew chunks, really stood out. Service was quick and the staff was friendly and helpful with answering questions.

Royal Rib House(303 Halsey Street; 718-453-9824): $8 bought several pieces of plump, moist chicken flavored by a decent BBQ sauce. The potato salad was out of this world, but the macaroni and cheese was bland and disappointing. Service was quick, but some of the items advertised were not available.

For those interested in trying these restaurants, they are accessible by the B26 bus, which stops directly across the street, or the C train, to Kingston Avenue. Exit towards the front of the train and walk four blocks North. Enjoy!

  1. d
    DeeDee Jun 30, 2002 07:32 AM

    Wow, it's great to hear about a place that actually gives you such great value for your money. At the veggie jamaican place, do they have desserts or homemade drinks like sea moss or ginger beer?

    1 Reply
    1. re: DeeDee
      Brooklyn Boy Jun 30, 2002 10:36 AM

      Yes, they make their own sea moss. The man behind the counter said they also have fresh juices and can make any combination you want.

    2. b
      Brooklyn Boy Jun 30, 2002 10:35 AM

      The name of the Jamaican restaurant is D'Ital Shack (I forgot the 'L' in Ital in my original post).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Brooklyn Boy
        foodpimp Jun 30, 2002 01:13 PM

        I thought it was missing the L when you first posted. Ital, for those unfamiliar with the term, is the Rastafarian term for healthful eating, usually vegan. It is a diminutive of 'vital', and reflects how many words in the Jamaican Patois are altered by leaving off a letter or syllable. The place sounds great. I was wondering if the $8.50 you quoted is a fixed price for an array of dishes plus a drink, or is that just the sum total of everything you happened to order? Also, do they have the ital stew? This is the most famous of all the vegetarian dishes from Jamaica, and everyone makes it slightly different.

        1. re: foodpimp
          Brooklyn Boy Jun 30, 2002 07:54 PM

          The $8.50 is the grand total. The patty cost $1.50, the drink $1, and the tin of food $6. While I didn't see Ital stew on the menu, I'm sure that they have it. The man behind the counter said it's best to ask what they have available on any given day, and every answer he gave to my questions indicated that they are flexible and can tailor the order according to the customer's tastes. If you try it please let the board know what you think.

      2. c
        Champ Jul 1, 2002 07:18 AM

        I remember reading about DItal in a vegetarian guide. It sounds like it's worth a try. I also remember Robert Sietsema mentioning Royal Rib. As a transplanted southerner myself i have had trouble finding good ribs, so I'll have to give this place a try.

        1. e
          edgeveg Mar 24, 2009 09:16 PM

          I'm a bit mystified if these places are both still here. All the posts are a few years old but this area is not well documented even now, and there is so much turn over. I'm near the Nostrand A and planning to get both veggie and non-veggie yummy soul/carib takeout for a last-minute get-together with friends tomorrow. The next-door relationship of D'Ital and Royal Rib House seems ideal and would be an easy walk. Anyone know for sure or otherwise have a nearby delicious recommendation that would suit both the rib-eaters and the soyeaters? I always cook for my own household, so I really never paid much attention to restaurants or takeout unless I've walked past it! My searches tell me IMHOTEP is worth a visit, but I need to make one trip and pickup cheap good eats for meat eaters as well....

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