Made my first long overdue visit to cafe Trinidad this past week. Let me start out by saying that this was my first experience eating Trini cuisine. Its always been high on my list of food i know I will love. I had planned to take a trip to T&T specifically for the food and other things
during my time in Jamaica
but they didn't have flights from Jamaica. I would of had to fly back into Miami and then from MIA to Trinidad and back.
So I'm no expert on the wonderful flavor combination's of Indian/Caribbean that make up Trinidadian cuisine but I am a new lover of it. The homemade hot sauce here is some of the best I have had anywhere and it goes so well with everything. Next trip I'm going to ask if I can buy a bottle for my fridge.
We started off with Caribbean boiled dumplings and chose the curry sauce on top (brown chicken gravy also available)
Since this was my first run in with trini food I felt the need to get the most signature items from the cuisine. Pelau is a Trinidad style stew (I think) that I imagine is made differently by people across the island. usually it consists of either beef or chicken which is simmered in rice, coconut milk and pigeon peas until it becomes dry. It was almost like a Carib version of fried rice to me.
Trini Pelau: What cant be seen is the perfectly tender shredded beef in there as well as some potatoes. When doused with sauce this dish was really good. A dinner size is easily enough for two or two meals and a great price at $8.
Oxtail with hot sauce on top and Trini style mac and cheese with roti
Oxtail was a nice size and again enough for two people or two meals with all the beans and rice and the choice of side. Another bargain at $10.
and last but not least was the Caribbean style burrito aka Roti. In the West Indies they take roti bread and make burrito by folding a curry stew inside of a roti skin. Curry stew normally contains potatoes and a meat of some sort like chicken, goat, beef or shrimp. I had the chicken and loved it. What a lunch it was. Only disappointment was the fact it took me this long to get there. The people working inside were warm and welcoming and gave me much food advice for when I finally make it to T&T. Not sure when that will be (next winter maybe) but I will for sure be back to cafe Trinidad before then. Great food, great people and great prices is what your going to get on a visit here.
557 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619