I don't often make it to the E. Bay, but I'm taking a Saturday morning class there now, and wound up going to Tropix for lunch this past saturday.
It's a little, family owned Caribbean restaurant on Piedmont. Cheap, delicious, and really fun, amiable service.
First we ordered Bul - a gross-sounding but really tasty concoction of beer, fresh lime juice and sugar. Refreshingly light, it was kind of like a margarita without the "bite".
My Cuban steak sandwich was really tasty. I was trying to decide between that and the pork, but it wasn't pulled pork & had ham on it... the waitress recommended the steak. It was marinated in lime and jerk rub, and the bread it was served on was divine - soft, doughy, cloud-like without the hard crust which often makes steak sandwiches so hard to eat. The mixed cabbage salad that came with it was really refreshing, with a light vinaigrette.
My friend had the Caribbean curry - mushrooms, tofu, and plantains in an indian-style curry. No coconut milk here, but still quite tasty. the plantains were different and a delicious addition. The rice it came with was lightly spiced, too.
We also ordered a basket of their red fries. Chows, THESE ARE THE BEST I'VE EVER HAD! They were addictive. Long after dessert, I was still munching on them. I already crave them again, three days later! they are lightly spicy with a red "jerk" rub, and served with a delectable, light "aioli" - I couldn't tell what it was flavored with, but my goodness, the flavor! And the way the fries were cooked... mmmmm. Crispy outside, soft and tender inside. I'm swooning!
Finally, we ordered carmelized plantains with vanilla bean ice cream, which were OK, but not spectacular, and the blueberry bread pudding. Again, just OK. Desserts are NOT their strong suit.
Anyway, tasty, delicious, and cheap. This huge lunch, for both of us, was $37!