Thursday, November 4, 2010
My friends have heard it time and time again. Jerk Chickennn!!! In fact, the brunt of my mid-day cravings fall on my colleague Jimmy, who hails from Tobago (and unfortunately sits behind me therefore he gets bugged alot). Incidentally, he's an amazing cook and gave me a taste of his homemade breadfruit oil-down with salted pig tail which I love love love. Breadfruit, as Jimmy informed me, is native to South East Asia....so why haven't I had it?! As far as I'm concerned, it resembles jackfruit. Well, when I did try it, I thought it had the consistency between a yam and potato. On its own, it had a sweet fragrance and was delicious neat. Alas, it is not readily available and Jimmy only got his after 5 locations in Brooklyn, Nyc, so a girl can only hope to get some.
Anyways, my obsession with Jamaican food started early this summer when I visited Tiffany A. in Nyc (See my Nyc Grub Crawl Day 1 and 2, here and here). On day 3, I visited this hole-in-the-wall Jamaican place in Brooklyn called The Islands. This place in NYC which has the BEST JAMAICAN FOOD I HAVE EVER EATEN AND WILL CONTINUE TO COMPARE TO. It is so glorious, it makes me want to make a trip to NYC to have some of it and take it back home with me.
657 Washington St
(between Lithgow St & Euclid St)
Service (4.3/5.0)-can't be beat because of animated chef and server interaction :)
I was actively seeking Jamaican food in Boston after my Jamaican food cravings started when I returned from Nyc. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a Living Social Deal for Lorenz and made plans to go with Billy, Cristina, and her friend, Joe. The food we had, while appetizing, was not up there with The Islands in Brooklyn, Nyc. I knew going there, that Jerk Chicken and Mac N Cheese would be ordered. It was my cardinal request. Everything else like fried plantains, Johnny cake and patties were things I wanted to try and with 4 tummies and a groupon, I would meet my aim. I expected enormous portions and ordered 3 plates but as an afterthought, we put another order in for salted cod after our first service. Surprise! the salted cod turned out to be the star of the night. Our very very friendly server recommended the dumpling-green banana combination and I must say kudos to him because it was our unanimous favorite of the night. In terms of dessert, I picked the only one that was Jamaican, which was the bun and cheese, which disappointed me, frankly. Somehow, I should have paid more attention to our waiter's micro-expressions and eager recommendation for the chocolate cake. Oops. The executive chef, Michelle was very sweet and came over to talk to us and we had a great time discussing their reggae events and other Caribbean foods.
Veggie Patty-was described as a Chicken pot pie without the chicken-I thought the pastry was a little dry and the filling to pastry ratio was too little as all I got were mouthfuls of tortilla-like crust.
Beef Patty-I don't eat beef. No one really commented on it but visually it looks buttery and moist (?)
Oxtail with rice and beans and Johnny cake (sweet, fried dough). Joe, who ordered this, waxed lyrical and mentioned how it was "fall-off-the-bone" so it must have been tasty.
Goat Curry with rice and beans and fried plantains-The gravy was ok but the meat was a little too tough. My favorite part was the fried plantains.
Jerk Chicken with rice and beans and mac n cheese-I found this entire dish too dry, from the chicken, to the rice, to the mac N cheese. Even after I drizzled jerk sauce over it. :( Cravings not satisfied.
Salted fish with dumplings and green banana. Nicely salted, flaky and tender baccalà made an interesting combination with sweet green banana and bouncy (although a little too dense) dumpling. Table Favorite!
For dessert, Jamaican bun and cheese. I should have done my research properly because I had no idea what I was thinking when I saw this. Breakfast/Lunch sandwich much? Cranberry/Raisin bread (?) sandwiched with Jamaican (lol, processed) cheddar cheese while good in its savory-sweet combination, did not satisfy my sweet tooth nor live up to my expectation of a dessert. Even if I I did appreciate our waiter's plating attempt of a cheery red syrupy sauce on the rims of our plate.
*I spoke to Jimmy this morning and he said that desserts aren't a huge part of Caribbean cuisine because the meals are usually so starch-heavy that people are usually too stuffed to have dessert. Although rum cake, blackfruit cake, sweetbread, Cassava Pone (like bread pudding) are taken for breakfast or in between meals as a snack. I'm also lucky because Tiffany and A. just returned from the Bahamas over the weekend and brought us some authentic rum cake back! Whooppee!*
In all, would I be back? Hmm considering I have another Group-on for Lorenz, I will be sure to redeem it. We were informed that Lorenz now delivers to Boston so I'm lucky! Also, we weren't able to sample Michelle's mum's rum cake so if that's available on takeout, I'll be sure to order some next time :)