We keep meaning to check out this Jamaican carry-out spot's amazing breakfast menu--plantain porridge? butter bean and saltfish?--but its belly busting dinner options keep elbowing out the brain space that tries to remember to have Caribbean cuisine for breakfast. Instead, Judy's pitch-perfect jerk chicken--not too spicy, not too tangy--and whatever variety of fried fish is being offered is what the nose informs the tummy it wants. Throw in some sides of callaloo and rice, roasted yam, and fried plantains, and you're set for a splendid evening.
Charles Plaza is seeing more foot traffic lately thanks to the much-needed Superfresh. Hopefully this will mean an uptick in business for the low-profile, but high quality eateries in the food court. Among them is Mango and Coconut, which serves familiar Caribbean favorites and fresh vegetable and fruit smoothies. The ubiquitous jerk is significantly cooled down, presumably for folks who need to head back to the office after lunch, which allows often-masked flavors like thyme and allspice to emerge. Even the usually anonymous bed of beans and rice have pleasant texture and are well-seasoned.
This homey little corner pub in Ridgely's Delight serves alcohol and conversation up front and cheap, delicious Jamaican fare in the back. Staples such as jerk chicken, tilapia, and ox tail adhere to the long tradition of good Jamaican food served under this roof. The veggie medley, a hearty mix of okra, carrots, and other veggies in a coconut-milk base, is great. Grab a ginger beer, order some coco bread, some plantains, and start sampling.
Step into this Indo-Caribbean carry-out and you're awash in compelling aromas, a result of the East Indian cuisine by way of Trinidad and Tobago that's served here. "Bus-up-shut" (slang for "busted up shirt," describing its appearance) is roti, a huge flatbread enclosing potatoes, peas, and your choice of stewed, curried, or jerk meat, while dhalpouri roti is made with ground chickpeas; the fillings explode with flavor and are perfectly cooked. Horizon-expanding specials include cow foot soup on Saturdays, and they carry locally made ice creams that specialize in West Indian flavors. Spicy means mega-spicy here, FYI.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201