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Island Spice - Great new Trini restaurant in Lefferts Gardens

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Island Spice - Great new Trini restaurant in Lefferts Gardens

Eddafed | Mar 14, 2004 03:36 PM

This place opened in late February on Lincoln Road - it's conveniently located about half a block down from the Lincoln Road exit of the Prospect Park Q station. There are a lot of wonderful Caribbean places in the vicinity - Trinidadian in particular - but this place is distinguished by the fact that it has extensive seating (although not table service) as opposed to the few stools and largely take-out only service that characterizes most of the neighborhood's Trini venues. They also have more expansive hours than many of the other local places, being open on Sundays and Mondays.

So far we have had the goat curry, goat roti, callaloo, macaroni pie, potato salad, peas and rice, and the special goat foot soup. The very friendly and helpful proprietor let us taste the goat foot soup on the house after I informed him I had never eaten any sort of foot before. This soup was delicious - a rich and flavorful broth (slightly yellowy and granular, so I imagine yellow lentils figured largeley in the broth) with dumplings and the goat feet. Calling these feet is a bit misleading as it apparently is more of a tendon cut from the back of the goat's heel. The guy told us that it is thought that this is the strongest part of the goat and that you can therefore derive some strength from eating it (perhaps this part of the goat is the Achille's tendon?). I did feel pretty fired up after eating it, but that could be me feeling full of myself for eating a new body part. Anyway, apparently this goat foot soup is a very sepcial dish which is hard to find in the area - while we were there a man called from Coney Island to enquire as to whether they had it that day and was on his way as soon as he heard that they did. Most people eating in the restaurant seemed to ordering large bowls of it.

The curry goat is delicious - this is the same goat preparation used in the roti. However if it's a Trinidadian-style roti you're after I recommend heading just over the road to Lennie's on Washinton Avenue between Lefferts and Lincoln, where the roti is superior. The qualities that make the Island Spice goat curry so outsatnding as a main dish - namely the richness of the gravy - really mask the channa and potato in the roti. They are also much more generous with the channa and potato at Lennie's, and the roti skin itself is far tastier (softer and fresher tasting). But for the goat curry on its own, go with Island Spice. It's especially delicious with the macaroni pie and callaloo.

Island Spice has a wide selection of West Indian sodas, including the delicious Peardrax. Prices are reasonable - $5.50 is the avergae price for a small portion of any entree served with two dies and a choice of rice, and the small is very generous.

Island Spice is in quite an ambitiously large space (by neghborhood standads) where most restaurants have thus far seemed doomed, so please do stop by and support them!

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