The other night a buddy of mine came into town from LA, and we decide to go down to 79th for some jerk chicken tasting, unfortunately time was somewhat limited so we weren't able to get to RST's much praise JR jerk hut on 79th & ashland but we did manage a couple places. At each we had a jerk chicken dinner with rice& peas and cabbage
First off was the sitdown tropic island, as has been said before this is great chicken and even better jerk sauce. My buddies who are haitian-american claimed the sauce was similar to one one of their aunt's made in haiti (Very high praise) cabbage was sweet but still firm
Next was B& B carribean traditions, slighlty further east, also sit down - very nice place, nice atmosphere, good tunes, moist and flavorful chicken, larger serving size than the 1/2 chicken dinner at T.I but the sauce was quite a letdown after tropic island, smoother, sweeter, less flavorful, like having bottled after homemade, in fact we went back to the car and snuck in some of the takeout containers of TI sauce to dip our chicken into.
Whereas we had washed down our tropic island with ting grapefruit soda, at B&B we spied one lone bottle of "mr. Vigorous Roost Tonic" - with a name like that who could resist - when we asked the proprietor if he had enough for all 3 of us - he said "No, that's good, we can't keep any around. The bottle, distibuted by Eve's Importing featured a large jamaican version of Mr. Clean showing off a Mr. Universe Style Bicep. among the ingredients: Chaney root, Sarsparilla, briar root, "Strong back", "4-man strength" --it was kinda good, very carbonated but with a flavor I can't describe - how do you describe something whose main ingredient is Chaney root? Cabbage was longer cooked here and rice mushier
We didn't get to Island Delite but both my buddies had been there previously and described it as similar in quality to B&B and not on par with tropic island
79th in general seems to be quite a worthwile earting zone, beside the places mentioned - Old world pizza has reopened quite close-by, there's Captain's Hard-Time dining and Izola's which both looked pretty interesting and slightly classier, orbit subs etc.
Tropic Island Jerk Chicken Restaurant
419 E 79th St
also at 1922 E 79th St
B & B Caribbean Traditions
716 E 79th St
2347 E. 75th