Monday, November 10, 2014

Da Reggae Cafe

Da Reggae Cafe was packed when my friend and I dined there for lunch last week. I'd never had authentic Jamaican cuisine, and when I walked in, I caught fragrances of spicy, sweet meats cooking, and possibly a hint of incense (I couldn't decide which smelled better). Service is friendly, food is reasonably priced and flavors are more exciting than what you're likely to eat any other day of the week. They're not kidding about their spice levels though, hence the frequent and appreciated water refills, so prepare your taste buds. (But they will thank you.)

Coco Bread is slightly sweet, and perfect to sop up the sauce that we were to about to enjoy. You can kind of peel off the bread in layers, and it's much thicker than Naan or Injera (the much-admired breads of Indian and Ethiopian cuisines, respectively). Plantains are much like bananas, but not quite as sweet, and "fun-sized." Though we ordered them fried, it seemed more like they were grilled, but I enjoyed the crispy char more than I would have batter anyway.

Jerk Chicken
I foolishly assumed Jerk Chicken would be much like Cajun cuisine. It's definitely got the spice, sweetness and tang that you would expect, but it's a different flavor profile than I imagined. The heat from the sticky brown sauce is serious business, but the chicken is tender, and you get a leg and a thigh. Entrees are served with rice and red peas, and the most insanely delicious cabbage I've ever tasted. I asked, rather, I begged, "what is the secret ingredient?!?" They wouldn't let me in on it. It could very possibly be butter, but it's tender, savory and rich. I didn't think cabbage could taste so spectacular. Oxtail is cooked on the bone, so the bites that aren't grissly are extremely tender. This brown sauce also contains high levels of heat, and is similar to the one served with the Jerk Chicken, but noticeably sweeter.

Oxtail. I spy Plantains!

Banana Coconut Cake

You'll want to save room for dessert. The combination of Banana Coconut Cake seemed too good to pass up, and this incredibly moist cake reminded me of a light banana bread, with a thick, slightly coconutty frosting. It was difficult to resist eating the entire piece in one sitting. I can only imagine how lip-smackingly good their other flavors are.
You were nice too, John!

I will most definitely return to Da Reggae Cafe. The Curried Goat is calling my name. I think what made this experience even more fantastic is how our table was noted on our check. It made our day.

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