Has anyone tried Penny’s Caribbean café (2836 Sacramento St. Berkeley)?
I’ve been there 3 times (well actually more than that but that’s another story) and like it quite a bit.
The roti is layered and flaky and studded with crumbled chickpeas. It is huge and the filling is served over it Ethiopian style. One roti makes a very large lunch, I generally have some left over for later and I’m a pretty big eater. Leftovers are great straight out of the fridge and amazing reheated in the oven – a crisp crust on a reheated roti makes it better than the original.
Anyhow the curried goat is great. Gamy meat in a rich curry sauce that I could have sworn had a prominent mustard/mustard seed flavor, but penny assures me it is the flavor of peppers and that there is no mustard in the recipe.
The jerk chicken is also quite good, nice and spicy and tangy. But good goat is hard to pass up on the menu after driving across town.
The goat and the chicken must be roasted before going into the sauce as they both have a good crusty exterior although the meat is quite tender.
One warning – Penny’s is a one-woman operation and Penny is not the most punctual employee. I believe the sign out front says they open at noon but if you show up before 1PM there’s a good chance Penny won’t be there yet. Twice I’ve been by between 12 and 1 and there were no signs of life. Another time I was just turning to leave at 1:15 when Penny shows up, explaining the weather was so nice she decided to take a walk on the way to work and lost track of time.
Anyhow, it’s a funky joint that makes unique and tasty food and worth a try IMHO.