Good Caribbean in Town?
Trying to get excited for an upcoming trip to St. Lucia, so we thought about heading out for a Caribbean dinner... at which point I realized that I didn't know of a single carribean restaurant in town. Any suggestions? We're in Roxborough, so anywhere from Conshy down to the Main Line, and on into Old City is in play.
Something tasty without completely breaking the bank woudl be ideal (as always).
Blue Bananas on South St is Caribbean. I've never been there but always wanted to try it... Yelp reviews look promising. If you try it, please report back.
When in South Jersey, I highly recommend the Star Fish Caribbean on Broad Street (NJ Rte 45) in Woodbury, NJ.
This is authentic homestyle Jamaican cooking. And it is really good. There are Caribbean standards like Curried Goat, Oxtail, Ackee and Saltfish and Calaloo on the menu. Being the first time there, we went with the "safer" fare of Jerk Chicken and Curried Shrimp.
While we were waiting, Ron, the owner, brought us samples of the Chicken Red Pea soup. Imagine a hearty beef stew with coconut milk and dumplings. Excellent. I ordered a bowl. This was a meal in itself. The Shrimp were huge, many and very good. The curry was very tasty - and you can order mild. The Jerk sauce is homemade and fabulous - just the right amount of everything. The portions are huge. We got the "Small" portions and we had plenty left over for lunch the next day. The meals come with cabbage and carrots (nicely spiced), peas and rice, and fired plantains. A couple of ginger beers were the perfect complement.
Some tips before you go. The Star Fish is right in downtown Woodbury, but is small and set back from the street, so easy to miss. The best landmark is that it is across the street from a good Chinese restaurant (name?) there on Broad Street. Look for the little flags, and Caribbean flag. The Star Fish is set up as a take-out place. There is one small table for two and a bar along each wall with 3 stools if you choose to eat there. Food is served in take-out containers with plasticware. It WILL take time to cook the food. Remember it's real homecooking. so if you are in a hurry, order ahead. The fish takes 20 minutes, but so did the jerk chicken. The good news is that the owners are very friendly, so while waiting. ask what the various dishes are. They'll let you try some samples.
I grew up in the area, but when I go back I see South Jersey as the culinary equivalent of England. (i.e not very interesting or adventurous). I'm thrilled to see a place like Star Fish Caribbean pop up, especially across the street from a pretty good Chinese restaurant in Woodbury.
Wow, thanks for the Star Fish review! My fiance's podiatry office is just near there on Delaware Street and I keep passing by this place and wondering if it's any good. I will totally stop in the next time I'm over to work a shift in the office. Do you know if they had Ting soda for sale, and also roti on the menu?
I work across the street and ate there a lot after it opened, I haven't been back in a few weeks, but I'll check on the Ting and the roti. Looking at the latest menu I have from them, they have Ting on there, actually! They don't specify "roti" but say they have Jamaican "patties." I don't know if it's the same.
I usually get the "mini" platter, since I don't even need as much as the small has for lunch. The curry chicken has been my favorite and go-to. Not too much spice, but lots of flavor. I really want to try the fish, but I'm rarely here for dinner (when the quantity and price would be justified).
When they first opened, I told Ron to get some tables on the street! People need to see the activity going on there! I hope they make it.
On a side note, schnackhunt, I have not had great experiences at the Chinese Restaurant... everything is incredibly bland. Like the Chinese food I remember from the midwest as a kid.
Thanks for the input all.
I unfortunately don't have anything good to report, because we decided, based on the cost of the trip, we were better off trying to cook some dishes at home instead.
Having eaten for a week in St. Lucia, I am now sure that we were better off going out because our efforts at Chicken Roti and Calaloo Soup missed the mark. I couldn't even find a scotch bonnett pepper!
But I did love the food there, so I will make an effort of test driving a few of these recommendations and report back as I do.