Ram's Roti and Peppa's
Yesterday, in search of some good trini or jamaican food (or a combo) but too tired to go all the way to liberty ave., my family and I tried Church Ave and Flatbush. First stop was Ram's Roti, where, despite mind achingly loud music and a surly server, I got a potato roti, a beef curry roti, a veggie plate, and some jerk chicken.
Then, heading down flatbush, looking for doubles (since Ram's was out of them) we passed Peppa's, which I have heard has the best jerk in brooklyn, if not in the city. So, even though I had already gotten some jerk, being a true hound I got some more. (never found the doubles, though. Even Ali's was out of them.)
Brought it all home to have a big feast with kiddies and grandma and grandpa. Here's the rundown:
Ram's rotis are excellent. Didn't try the potato, as that was for my kids and they ate it up, but the beef curry, which has the potato in it as well, was delicious. The rotis themselves are nice--good texture, tasty and pliant.
Ram's veggie plate (okra, squash, and spinach) was also good.
The big surprise, though, was the jerk chicken. I hadn't held out high hopes for Ram's jerk chicken, but it was in fact, excellent. Charred but still somehow juicy, and the sauce was good. It had that "jerk" flavor and was spicy, but not sweet. The chicken came with rice and peas that were just okay, definitely the low light of all the Ram's food.
I was psyched about Peppa's because when I went in, all I could hear was the thwack thwack of cleavers hacking up chicken, a sound that reminds me of the people chopping barbecue at the skylight inn in NC and that I think always augurs good food. Got the chicken with the sauce on the side.
The chicken was great, grilled but moist. The sauce was good, too, but not what I think of as jerk sauce. It was too sweet, almost a cross between jerk and barbecue sauce.
So, given the sauce issue, Ram's won out for me. I prefer a jerk sauce that isn't on the sweet side.
I would definitely go back to peppa's and be happy. But i thought Ram's was a real find. I hadn't heard about it before and was very happy with it.
I too was in the neighborhood yesterday. I went to Nio's instead for roti and doubles. The roti was okay, but I was very impressed with the doubles there, the green sauce they put on them was the best part.
I also went to Peppa's for jerk chicken. Had planned to go to Danny's (which in the one time I've been to was really good), but it was shuttered, so I had to settle. The sauce I used at Peppa's wasn't too barbeque like, but there were a couple of squeeze bottles on the counter, so maybe one has more of a barbeque flavor.
where is nio's? good doubles in that neighborhood would be nice to know about.
which sauce did you use? I didn't mean that the sauce I used tasted exactly like barbecue sauce, but only that it was on the sweet side for a jerk sauce.
I only saw two sauces on the counter. One was very red and was either a hot sauce or a real barbecue sauce. The other was a lighter color and had jerk seasoning but was sweetish. This was the one i used. It's just that i like my jerk sauce not sweet at all.
If you know of or have ever had walkerwood jerk seasoning, which is not sweet at all, that is the kind of jerk sauce i like.
I've been curious about Danny's, but heard that Peppa's was actually better. However, if Danny's has better sauce that would the deciding factor for me.
Nio's is at 2702 Church Avenue (Corner of Rogers Avenue), so it's pretty close to Peppa's. We might have used the same sauce. My wife doesn't like it too hot, so I didn't put that much on, so I didn't even notice the sauce by the time I brought the chicken home. I didn't like it as much as Danny's, but that may have been because I didn't eat it fresh. But of course you should try both and let us know what you think.
Incidentally, there is also a place on Flatbush that makes fresh aloo pies to order, which was pretty good (doubles there weren't so great though). I unfortunately don't remember the name, but it seems like you have to go to different places to get the best particular food item.
Indeed, Peppa's has different sauces in the bottles. One is std. issue American barbecue sauce, which for all I know is considered an exotic treat in the Islands but does nothing for me. The other sauce is actually pretty good--vinegary & peppery--but I'm not convinced the chicken needs improvement. Anyway, since one can't tell which is which, I put them both on the side.
Thanks for the great post! Made me really hungry...may try Ram's this weekend, despite the surly service...