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Ortanique, Cambridge

Aromatherapy Feb 7, 2007 05:15 AM

The very good curry goat ($8 lunch) was perfect for yesterday's weather. Served with rice & peas, a little sauteed cabbage, a couple slices of plantain. A decent portion, no leftovers no coma. I'd say the heat was medium (speaking as a fire-lover) with a slow-building burn. There's hot sauce for fine-tuning.

Sweet little place, four 2-tops and three stools at a window bar. Order and pay, they bring food setup. Small menu but apparently they have specials--the owner was having a long discussion with another customer about a catering job, so I didn't ask. Oxtails on the menu, may have to go back soon. Seems like a great neighborhood home-cooking spot. Any other reports?

They've lengthened their hours--open until 8:30 Tues-Wed, Fri-Sat, until 7 Thurs, closed Sun-Mon.

  1. m
    midnightmorningglory Mar 11, 2007 08:51 AM

    The girls and I were looking for a good cheap eats last night, and after reading the reviews on here and seeing it mentioned on Boston.com we went to check it out. The food was quite good and I would definitely recommend it as a great cheap eats. The owners were incredibly friendly. He sat down and talked with us while we waited for our other two friends to arrive, about the ginger beer, another kind of tea drink they make (the name is escaping me right now), about jerk chicken and on. It was cozy and tasty. I had the jerk chicken, which I would agree was not too hot (but I preferred that) and tried some of the curry chicken which was also quite tasty. Everything was served with rice and beans, sauteed cabbage and other veggies, and a few plantains. They're open now until 8:30 on Saturdays too.. enjoy!

    1. okra Feb 8, 2007 04:29 AM

      I also went yesterday lunch, after reading these postings, and had the curried goat... Can't say that I'd ever had it before, and the taste was very reminiscent of beef, but good... I'd rate the heat as "mild", but then again I got it to go, and it was freezing out... I think the 'peas' mentioned are pigeon peas making that particular side almost an Arrozo con Gandules.

      Loved it. I'll be back! :) Thanks hounds for turning me onto a place I've been by hundreds of times, but wouldn't have ventured into otherwise!

      1. Bob Dobalina Feb 8, 2007 03:14 AM

        I stopped by yesterday based on this post. Had the oxtail stew - good flavor, mild, mixed well with the rice - did not see peas, but got some sauteed cabbage, which was fresh and delicious. The oxtail meat was very scant - three tail bones worth - next time I will wait for the goat.

        Try the sorrel drink - brewed with ginger - interesting flavor.

        1. beetlebug Feb 7, 2007 06:56 AM

          I've only been a few times, despite living in the neighborhood. I find that they are incredibly inconsistent in the preparation of the food. A few times, the food was clearly pre-made and barely heated through. The fish dish was dried out and lukewarm. Personally, I like my food steaming hot. Other times, even though the dish was pre-made, it was fresher (not dried out). For the price, the portions are too small. I never leave there full.

          The ginger beer is delicious though. And the owner/workers are incredibly nice and friendly.

          Generally, I prefer to hop in the car to Arlington Heights to go to Something Savory.

          1 Reply
          1. re: beetlebug
            Sgt Snackers Feb 7, 2007 02:03 PM

            I found the same. Our first visit there blew us away (you can probably find my post by searching for it). The next time around the jerk chicken was not as spicy, the rice and peas nowhere near as delicious, and the portions somewhat smaller. I'm hoping this was an aberration (possibly depending on who was cooking that day - both were on Saturday lunchtime). Going to head back soon for another try.

            I should say I still really like the food despite the inconsistency :-)

          2. c
            chilibaby Feb 7, 2007 05:45 AM

            I've only been a couple of times; found the food hearty and tasty both times and a nice alternative in the neighborhood. They also have homemade ginger beer that is incredible - strongly gingery with a refreshing, pleasant bite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: chilibaby
              Aromatherapy Feb 7, 2007 06:38 AM

              I noticed that on the menu taped to the counter, the ginger beer & sorrel were blanked out. I hope it's just seasonal. Next time in I'll ask. (At least they have Ting.)

            2. PaulB Feb 7, 2007 05:33 AM

              I go there a few times a month, usually when too busy/lazy to go to Dorchester or to Flames location in Brigham Circle. Portions are small compared to most JA restaurants, the rice and peas is just OK IMO and I have had burned food (patties, plantains) on occasion when the owner is not there cooking. Lately I have forgone their meals for snacks as beef and curry chicken patties and the fantastic coco bread, which they get from Lenny's Tropical Bakery. Late evening visits have disappointed as they were often out of food.

              JA curry is very mild, and oxtail is a regular menu item everywhere.

              I agree it is a nice addition to the neighborhood and I hope they stick around.

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