Two very good places. I think I prefer the smokier, spicier chicken at TI but Id give the nod to JRs thicker, more complex sauce. Both the sauce and chicken are top notch at both places however so its hard to go very far wrong.
In the last few weeks TI has started making their own ginger beer and its phenomenal. Yellowish and murky with bits of ginger peel floating and abundant sediment, its poured from old plastic milk jugs. Its sweet but not cloying, very gingery but not overpowering, and has a nice citrus tang. They also serve home made sorrell and Irish moss which I have yet to try.
Earlier this year I expressed doubt that Tropic Island on North (now 3-D) was under the same ownership as the two on 79th. I was wrong. Part of the reason I was skeptical was because in the several years Ive been going to TI the menu has listed only the 79th St locations.
In an earlier thread someone mentioned that TI sells food from a catering truck around Northwestern Hospitals. I was told by the TI people they have no such truck. Probably the truck in question is from Island Delights, no relation to Tropic Island.
If you havent been to these places, go!! Five bucks will get you half a chicken with hardough bread and sauce and is almost guaranteed to make you very, very happy.
1922 E 79th
J.R.s Caribbean Hut
7960 S Ashland