I don't expect good Caribbean food in a tiny restaurant in a dreary strip mall in El Sobrante. So I am pleasantly surprised by Caribee Island Cuisine. The chef/owner used to run a hot Caribbean restaurant in Berkeley...now he and his sweetheart are cooking some very good food in a hole in the wall in nowhereville. Lucky for his customers! We moved to El Sobrante in September...we had seen its sign...but the strip mall was really so unwelcoming, set way back from the road and kind of dark, that it wasn't until last week we ate there. Lucky for us we did.
The restaurant only has about 6 tables. Chef and his SO do everything. The menu is quite limited. But what we sampled was freshly cooked and delicious. We had all three on-menu appetizers (cooked while we waited):
Jerk Wings: About 8 good-sized wing drummettes cooked til falling off the bone tenderness with a nice spice. $5
Coconut Shrimp Fritters: A big pile of delicious, spicy fritters served with a mango sauce. Our fave of the night...it's worth a visit for these alone. $4
Fried Plantains: A huge platter, more than we could eat, and freshly fried. $3
After the apps, we were feeling quite satisfied (happily stuffed) and glad that we had opted to share just one entree, the Curry Goat. The saucy chunks of goat were presented atop Coconut rice and red beans on a large platter which also included a side green salad and 3 pieces of fried plantain. The goat chunks included bone but the goat was so tender it fell off the bone with the prod of a fork. This was a whole lotta food for $10.95 (the most expensive thing on the menu).
Other entrees include Jerk Chicken, Curry Chicken, and I have to return to try the Lambada Fried Fish with Sexy Rice. They also have nightly specials...that night Oxtail Stew and Curry Pork Ribs.
No liquor but they only charged a $5 corkage fee. (Luckily, I have an emergency cork screw in the car because they didn't have one!) Of course, they offer non-alcoholic drinks like Sorrel (Hibiscus flowers) and fresh lemonade.
If you like Carib food and you are in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.