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Pennsylvania Caribbean Soul Food

Tony's in Wilkes-Barre: Caribbean soul food

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Tony's in Wilkes-Barre: Caribbean soul food

Guy | Apr 6, 2004 12:16 AM

This place on South Main St. was written up in the Times Leader a few months ago and I mentally filed it away for future investigation. The article told how the proprietor quit his job and cashed in his IRA to open a restaurant in this particularly gritty part of Wilkes-Barre. I drove by a few times, parking looked impossible and the exterior showed little promise.

I finally stopped in recently. The space is very bright and clean, but no customers were visible the 2 times I was there. The menu is very limited but the interesting part consists of some tasty chow indeed. As I waited for my takeout order of jerk chicken, rice and beans, collard greens ($7 for a small plate, $8 for a large), I re-read the article on the restaurant wall. It spoke of uncompromisingly spicy food cooked with pride.

I think perhaps the spicyness has been toned down, but the food was outstanding nonetheless.

So I'm issuing a call-to-arms to all NEPA chowhounds. Go, taste, report. I'm no expert on this style of chow, but it seemed mighty flavorful and well made. Be sure to get the rice and beans (which they call rice and peas) instead of plain white rice, and either vegetable (collard greens or steamed cabbage) is outstanding.

One warning about chicken bones--the chicken is cut in an unusual fashion and bones (or pieces of bone) show up in unexpected places. There's also fish and goat on the menu, but I've only tried the chicken prepared with jerk spicing and with the brown-stewed preparation.

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