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Caribbean in DFW

saw this question in another region and thought I try it here to see what responses there are....
has anyone found some good places for Caribbean in the DFW area? Now, normally, I'd exclude Puerto Rican and Cuban because I feel they have their own styles but since I really don't want to find limited responses in beef country, they can be included in this discussion.
Thanks and GO GATORS!!

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  1. Caribbean Cafe at Beltline and Webb Chapel is very good Cuban.

    1. There used to be a place on Lamar in the Dallas Metroplex. However, I was talking to a Carribean guy and he said that he has really looked and has not been able to find an authentic place. I don't know about Puerto Rican and Cuban. I love both, but have not been able to find a place. People keep recommending Cuba de Libre. LOL!

      1. This previous post give my recommendations, I have yet to try the place mentioned in Arlington.


        Your best bet is Taste of the Islands in Plano for an authentic plate of food.

        12 Replies
        1. re: LewisvilleHounder

          I second Taste of the Islands. The BEST curry goat!

          1. re: slewfoot

            I was excited to try Taste of the Islands this weekend, but left somewhat disappointed.

            While the jerk chicken was moist and flavorful, I found the stewed oxtails (which I had heard great things about) to be nothing more than a bunch of fat and bones with almost no semblance of meat.

            Maybe an off night for the oxtail? Maybe they aren't as good as I'd heard?

            LH, slewfoot or any other fan of TOTI - any recommendations for a return visit besides the goat curry?

            1. re: txram

              TOTI sells terrific Jamaican patties to go. I buy em by the dozen.

              1. re: CharlieKilo

                I'd like to start by saying I am NOT a fan of Taste of the Islands. Not that I know a better place in town but I used to live in a very Caribbean part of Brooklyn and my standards for Trinidadian food are very high. That said, of the two times I went to TOTI, the only thing that was acceptable at my table was the Curry Goat. Since you already are aware of it, I'll add one more item to the list. Order a Double. They are not good as far as doubles go but if you've never had one the rendition at TOTI will certainly impress you. Very cheap, very filling, and completely vegetarian (in case that matters somehow).

                1. re: demigodh

                  just a quick question...how can goat be vegetarian?

                  1. re: battman1_2000

                    To clarify, I meant that the Double is vegetarian. It is two pieces of fried bread (bara) with chickpeas (channa) and a few chutneys inside, frequently tamarind, mango, or just a straight pepper sauce.

                  2. re: demigodh

                    There are many types of Carribean cooking. TOTI does not serve Trinidadian food, but rather predominately Jamaica cuisine. Hence the excellent curry goat and patties.

                    1. re: CharlieKilo

                      False. TOTI might be owned by Jamaicans and it could be predominately Jamaican (though there is significant overlap) but they definitely have Trinidadian dishes as well. I'm thinking specifically of Doubles and Pholourie. Trinidad and most of the Caribbean make curry goat so I don't think that's the right litmus test. Patties are distinctly Jamaican though.

                      1. re: demigodh

                        TOTI is NOT owned by Jamaicans.
                        Curry goat IS a Jamaican dish exported to the rest of the islands.

                    2. re: demigodh

                      I don't see The Scarlet Ibis mentioned anywhere. In Addison, BYOB. Run by a family who is originally from Trinidad. I found the food to be very enjoyable. http://www.scarletibisrestaurant.com/

                      Scarlet Ibis Restaurant
                      14833 Midway Rd Ste 110, Addison, TX 75001

                  3. re: txram

                    Ever try to buy fresh oxtails at a market in Dallas? Just bones and, more bones with very little meat.
                    Best I've seen were at Fiesta. They also sell terrific (frozen) Jamaican patty's as well.

                    1. re: twinwillow

                      I've never tried, TW, but have meaning to do some experimenting with them. Maybe that was the issue at TOTI. T

                      hanks for the Fiesta tip!

              2. so i'm off to try Caribbean Cafe. I saw a description of their Cuban sandwich and I've never heard of one containing scrambled eggs. This should prove interesting. Next visit will be to
                Jamaica Gates in Arlington. Heard Diners, Drive-ins and Dives just filmed there

                1. Elaine's Kitchen in South Dallas. Yes, it's a dumpy hole in the wall with no a/c, but the Jamaican fare is great -- jerk chicken, curried goat, meat pies . . . I love it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Dallas Alice

                    Battman, if you haven't been to Caribbean Cafe yet, I'm not such a great fan of their Cuban sandwich. (It's okay but there are better things on the menu; their roasted pork is sometives overcooked). My favorite dish there is the oxtail and they have very good ropa vieja and picadillo. I would choose one of these over the Cuban sandwich. (I've always wanted to try the Valenciana paella for 2 but you have to order it ahead)

                  2. never made it to Caribbean Cafe. Decided on Jamaica Gates in Arlington since we were in the immediate area. They were wrapping up some scenes for Diner,Driveins, and Dives. We WILL be back to try some additional dishes. The services was great (sunday afternoon),
                    prices a tad high I felt ($44 for 2 and thats no alcohol). The food was very flavorful.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: battman1_2000

                      I checked out Jamaica Gates and had a wonderful meal there. Immediately noticed that Genroku's location in Arlington once occupied this building, but I guess that didn't last very long.

                      We started off with the 5 item Portland Sampler which includes 2 types of wings (sticky citrus and jerk), fried plantains, jerk shrimp, and cocktail patties. The citrus wings and shrimp were the highlights of this dish. The sticky citrus wings' marinade soaked into every bite, from skin to the meat off the bone. It had a hint of honey and eating these wings felt like eating candy. I think they're also supposed to be spicy but I couldn't really detect much heat from the sauce. The heat from the jerk shrimp doesn't immediately hit you, so be warned that it will suddenly pack a punch.

                      Our group ordered two entrees: Boston jerk pork and Red Stripe chicken. I loved the jerk pork. They rate it as one of their spiciest dishes and it is scorching hot. They do not go easy on the heat at all. The juicy meat is heavily seasoned with various spices, and I got a hint of smoke and vinegar too.

                      Coconut flavor was what really stood out in the Red Stripe chicken, which honestly didn't really seem to be affected by the beer. However I should disclose that I had sampled this dish after the spiciness had kicked in from the pork, so I know I should try it again.

                      Finished it up with an additional order of fried plantains and some rum cake. The rum cake was completely drenched with rum and I could smell it as it was being walked over to our table. We were planning to share this dish around the table and I only managed a few bites. Cake was real spongy and the caramelized bottom of it had a real heavy rum flavor.

                      Service was fast and attentive and it seemed to be a busier night though most folks were there to drink and watch the band.