Shall we call it a West Indian Crawl? Yesterday I took a friend on her maiden voyage for West Indian food. (Yeah, call me a one trick pony.)
Ting is on sale at Tropical Foods on Washington Street (by Dudley) for around 59-cents each (though 99-cents if you buy a cold one).
Flames on Morton St., (just off Blue Hill Ave).: We sampled jerk chicken, not very spicy, which had a sweet sauce added after the fact (maybe tamarind in the sauce). The meat was fall off the bone but I prefer jerk to burn my face off. Also tried a tasty, tender oxtail - with extra gravy over rice and peas (which they make with coconut milk). Throw in a fried dumpling and steamed vegetable (cabbage, carrot, etc.). Flames is busy so everything is fresh. In fact, we had to wait a bit for the new batch of rice and peas and oxtail to come out. Everything is passed from the kitchen to the front counter where they have a built-in steam table (you can see whats available). They had a great looking shrimp pasta dish, stewed chicken, oxtail, goat, liver, plus callaloo, etc. Prices are about $6-$10 for a lot of food. Small just gets you the meat and rice, other sizes get you vegetables on the side.
Exciting news: At the Garden of Eden (on Norfolk outside of Codman Sq.) they advertise serving breakfast every day and the list was substantial: green banana, dumpling, provisions, festival, makerel, codfish, and bammy! The hours started at 7am during the week and were 8am - 12 noon on Sunday. What used to be a tiny room where you ordered through bulletproof glass now has a dining room with a big screen TV and an ice cream counter on the opposite side. Looks like expansion is still a work in progress. There is now a heated food case at the front - you can see everything: stewed beef, snapper, kingfish, ackee & saltfish, etc. We tried a small stewed shrimp w/ rice and peas (about $5?) and a stewed/fried chicken combo ($10 good for 2 meals) with rice and peas which came with a fried dumpling (better than Flames) and steamed vegetable. The food was dried out, perhaps a result of the new setup. I do plan to go back for breakfast soon but the food at Flames was better.
P&R ice cream on Blue Hill Ave. (Near Beehive Records.) Ordered a beef patty with coco bread and cheese and a small ice cream. What was meant to be one scoop of ice cream was more like 3 and would have cost about $5-$6 elsewhere. They had some great looking flavors (coconut, banana, ginger, lemon custard, rum raisin), we went with the grape nut. So good and creamy, not too sweet. The beef patty was piping hot, the coco bread soft and sweet and the cheese (we were offered American or Jamaican) is a wedge of orange-y processed cheese that just adds more saltiness - And it's damn good! We spent $5 for both.
Finally rotis at Alis on Blue Hill Ave. Friend had beef (I didnt try it), I got fish, other choices are goat, stew chicken, curried chicken, shrimp (they were all out). I forgot how much I love these. The roti skins are filled with curried vegetables (potatoes, chickpeas), steamed vegetables (cabbage, carrot) then the meat. The fish was fried, skin on and sweet, a bit fishy perhaps from the skin. Pepper sauce on the side is vinegary and HOT and addictive. Rotis were about $7.
Had a couple of beers at Breezeway Bar & Grill. Didn't look at the menu, but diners seemed to have regular bar fare, and we did see a whole fried fish pass by. Service was lacking, but it was a nice place to stop on the way home.
Oops, I almost forgot. Stopped at Pepper Pot for fish soup. Had it for lunch today and it was a bit of a let down. Not as good as usual and no dumplings (I didn't ask for extras like usual), though there was plenty of breadfruit. Still good for $3.