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Cafe Trinidad [Pictures]

Cafe Trinidad [Pictures]
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  • Cafe Trinidad [Pictures]

    Post #1 - September 4th, 2005, 7:49 am
    Post #1 - September 4th, 2005, 7:49 am Post #1 - September 4th, 2005, 7:49 am

    Had the pleasure of meeting MapleLeaf and family at the Purple Asparagus Thyme outing last week and, if you can believe it, the conversation turned to restaurants and food. As soon as MapleLeaf started to describe Cafe Trinidad I was hooked.

    Joined by ReneG and m'th'su, MapleLeaf, who, with his wife, has been to Trinidad, offered suggestions as to the menu, mainly stay away from the Mauby, a strongly astringent drink made from bark. Of course mauby was the first thing I ordered :) and, no surprise, MapleLeaf was absolutely correct, quite bitter and incredibly mouth puckering. ReneG commented mauby was particularly insidious as, even after you swallowed, it kept building.

    The waitress suggested mixing mauby with their Sorrel drink, which tastes quite a bit like Hibiscus, also called Jamaica in Mexican restaurants and on Maxwell St, which smoothed out the flavor.

    Of the dishes tried I especially enjoyed Jerk Chicken, particularly as the side rice and peas were liberally coated with habanero laden jerk sauce. I was given a choice of sides and opted for Potato and Chana, which is potato and chickpea in a mild curry sauce.

    Jerk Chicken w/Potato & Chana.

    Mapleleaf went with the Roti Wrap, nicely filled with shrimp, potato & chana. The Roti wrap is quite large.

    Roti Wrap

    MapleLeaf's cute as a button daughter went with Macaroni Pie.

    And Mrs. MapleLeaf with curry chicken, which was somewhat mild, but flavorful. I especially liked the side dish she ordered, cucumber chow, very refreshing.

    Curry Chicken w/cucumber chow.

    ReneG went with oxtail stew, which was my least favorite. Good flavor, but somewhat fatty pieces that seemed like they could have used another hour or two of braising.

    Oxtail Stew

    If the delicious curry goat is any indication of Cafe Trinidad's talent with braise/stew preparations we just caught the oxtail on an off day. Curry Goat was really quite good.

    Curry Goat w/plantain

    We also had a side of callaloo, a "creamy mix of spinach & okra" which I thought tasty, if a bit bland.


    We finished our meal with Banana Pudding, which seemed to be greeted quite enthusiastically. :)

    Banana Pudding.

    I very much enjoyed lunch at Cafe Trinidad, good food, better company, efficient, friendly service and very reasonable prices.


    557 E 75th St
    Chicago, Il 60619
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - January 8th, 2007, 12:34 am
    Post #2 - January 8th, 2007, 12:34 am Post #2 - January 8th, 2007, 12:34 am
    Inflation apparently hit this place harder than Reaganomics.

    ~$10 for that jerk chicken platter. 4 tiny pieces of chicken fluffed with too much jerk spiced rice. the well spiced rice is still making my entire apartment pungent 2 days later, but not the point.

    ~$6.25 for a chicken roti wrap overstuffed with potatoes and... 1.5 tiny pieces of chicken-on-bone. 6 bites of potatoes, 2 bites of chicken. bland potatoes, even blander chicken.

    for $10, i could've stuffed myself on Tropical Island's fine smoked jerk chicken 4 streets down and still had left overs.

    must mention the habanero? based neon orange "extra hot sauce" provided was sweet with a nice biting burn and unlike anything from other jerk/carribean restaurants i've visited:

    per edk's postthe house-made ginger "drink" is indeed very good. then again, i made myself something of the same about 2 wks ago to chase away my cold.


    no reason to return. "stewed" jerk chicken. bland curry. upset that i drove by Lem's twice enroute and didn't end up with any ribs in my stomach.
  • Post #3 - January 8th, 2007, 4:21 pm
    Post #3 - January 8th, 2007, 4:21 pm Post #3 - January 8th, 2007, 4:21 pm
    i have to say that i had the exact same experience at cafe trinidad. my gf and i got take out, and i wasn't impressed with one thing that we ordered. we tried all the sides (she got a veggie plate), and i had the jerk chicken. nothing stood out to me as good. i was particularly unhappy with the dumplings. indeed, they were dumplings as billed, but they were huge and had no taste at all. and they were rubbery. perhaps, as a southern, i had dreams of dumplings like the chicken and dumplings my grandmother would cook. or, since i am now a chicagoan, perhaps i hoped for polish "dumplings." but i certainly didn't envision what i received. i was disappointed in the roti, too. nothing special at all.
  • Post #4 - November 29th, 2007, 12:45 pm
    Post #4 - November 29th, 2007, 12:45 pm Post #4 - November 29th, 2007, 12:45 pm
    Had to laugh reading today's edition of "Dish" in my inbox, where they report on how "Check Please" has "discovered" Cafe Trinidad.

    Also, since the year is winding down, I'm putting in my vote for funniest unintentional sarcasm of the year from the same "Dish":

    Neither had we until the adventurous crew at Check, Please! uncovered this South Side BYOB.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #5 - October 8th, 2021, 12:12 pm
    Post #5 - October 8th, 2021, 12:12 pm Post #5 - October 8th, 2021, 12:12 pm
    Cafe Trinidad, the Avalon Park Trinidadian restaurant that attracted a devoted following from around the city after its 2005 appearance on Check Please and then broke their hearts when it closed in 2016, has returned. It is now Cafe Trinidad ToGo and operates out of the South Loop Food Company ghost kitchen ... -fall-2021
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard