The one trick pony strikes again...
Friends and I stopped into the new Flames in Brigham's Circle on Saturday to get some take-out. Obviously they are still not completely up and running, but they did have a fair amount of menu items available.
I tried to order stewed beef but they didn't have it. But they had steak. Okay, so it's stewed steak. Friend enjoyed it - ate the whole darn order actually, which NEVER happens. I got the whole snapper (only comes in a large) which was wonderful. The fish was fried and then rests in a tomatoey-peppery gravy with some peppers and onions. Great flavor, perhaps a bit too much clove for my tastes (popular in Ital cooking), and I picked the bones clean. Another friend had the oxtail, which looked great and reports were good. Got a couple of fried dumplings - here they do them in big round balls. Friend thought they were greasy, I found the flavor to be a bit metallic (from a new fryer?) Plus the insides were way too dense.
All food is displayed in a steam table for you to choose from. IIRC, here's the lineup: rice and peas, yellow rice (spanish), white rice, brown stew chicken, tripe with broad beans (looked wonderful, but I don't like tripe), a stew fish, steak, curry goat, curry chicken, cow foot, oxtail, whole snapper, perhaps one or two more. Lots of sides, some looked good some not so much (like frozen mixed veg with carrots and peas!?), also collard greens, steamed cabbage and carrots, mac & cheese, fried plantains, maybe some beans. Friend asked for a few things that were on the menu but they didn't have yet: festival, boiled dumplings, boiled yams, fish soup.
As I was paying I could see a fresh batch of fried chicken resting in the kitchen that looked FABULOUS. 'Course that's the trick with these places - making sure the turnover is fast enough that food hasn't been sitting out long.
I find that some of their dishes are a bit too sweet for my taste (from using browning or burnt sugar I would guess), like the stewed chicken which I've had from the Morton Street location.
What's wonderful about this location is that it's got about 4-5 booths along one wall and a bunch of tables - nice to have an eat-in type of place for Caribbean food in this city. I'm sure they'll do great business in that neighborhood and with the hospital right across the way.