We recently had a Caribbean restaurant in Frederick, Maryland recommended to us by a friend, so we went there for lunch to check it out.
Caribbean Soul Restaurant & Bar
This restaurant, though only at this point open for a month, has been steadily gaining popularity through word of mouth. The food is incredibly tasty, with traditional carribean dishes such as curry goat, curry chicken, jerk chicken, brown stew chicken, and oxtail stew. They also feature several soul food dishes, such as meatloaf, ribs, and fried chicken. Appetizers include the soft, sweet, doughy "coco bread", which nearly makes a meal in itself, but is also offered to wrap fish or jerk chicken sandwiches, and the traditional Jamaican Beef Patties, which are a fabulously flavorful fried pastry, perfect for a quick light lunch or snack. The spices at Caribbean Soul are probably marginally toned down to cater to the American palate, but the food still explodes with flavor. The curry goat falls off the bone, and it and the curry chicken are both cooked the traditional way, with the bones chopped up to add flavor. My husband used to be invited to his friend Winston's house in south London when his mother was cooking Curry Goat (a process which took 3 days). He hasn't had it in nearly 20 years, and said it was, while not quite as spicy, still very very good. They sell Red Stripe lager, of course, as well as D&G Sodas, both from Jamaica. The waitress recommended the rum pound cake or lemon pound cake for dessert, but we were so stuffed we could hardly move. They also offer several seafood dishes, including Red Snapper Escovitch (with vinegar, onions, and spices), Red Snapper & Bammy (bammy is a Jamaican bread made with grated cassava and coconut milk), king fish, fried whiting, or Jerk or curry shrimp. I think I'll try one of these next time. For kids, they offer chicken fingers, meatloaf, or ribs, with cornbread.
The music that was playing sounded very odd to our ears, but then we're not young Islanders. It was . . . sort of a rap style, in that they'd play about 15 seconds of music and then start talking in a rapper style, which had a profound echo effect. It was like a guy phoning into the radio station with his radio playing, you know? But very obviously on purpose. It added to the experience, but if I had to work there I'd probably put a bullet between my eyes. lol
The only true complaint I think I'd have is that the tables and floors were sticky, but that might just be due to the low number of staff and the fact that they've only been around a month. I'm sure that given time, they'll get it together on that score.
There's also only a "coming soon, Caribbean Soul" banner out front, that they haven't yet replaced. But again, that'll change with time. And if they continue to serve amazing food like they do, I'm sure they'll be around for a good while. The prices were very very reasonable, and there was a steady stream of carry-out customers while we were there.
Their menu notes that they cater, and offer happy hour on Thursdays and Fridays, an Open Mic Night & Oldies but Goodies R & B for the Grown & Sexy on Fridays, Rock Steady Saturday nights, and Sundays are buy one meal, get one 1/2 off (dine in only). They hold poker games on Wednesdays at 6 and Saturdays at 3 and 6, and there is a box of dominoes on every table. There was a group of four soldiers (possibly from Ft. Detrick or the military recruiting station next door) playing dominoes and lingering over lunch the whole time we were there.
<message edited by Jennie on Thu, 02/25/10 3:31 PM>