Today was such a bright and beautiful day it felt like a great day to hit the islands even if the temperature wasn’t quite tropical. With that in mind Jamaica became the country and Caribbean Hut restaurant the representative for the food. There are two locations in the Charlotte area and the closest to me is off Woodlawn and I mean off. Google maps pinned it but couldn’t quite figure out how to get there. It ran me past the location, indicated I should do a U-turn and then just gave up. The pin was an island on the screen Google couldn’t navigate to.
Fortunately for me the JROTC training kicked in and I was able to figure out the map and successfully arrive in the parking lot. The Caribbean Hut shares the lot with some interesting company, including a restaurant named Chubz, and the Gentlemen’s Club that I don’t believe is a habitat for gentlemen but I could be mistaken. In any case I reached the destination and it looked promising.
I walked in and was greeted by the sounds of Mr. Bob Marley, whose likeness also graced one wall. The staff and several of the restaurant patrons had accents than pegged them as being from the Caribbean if not from Jamaica. As I’ve said more than once it’s a good sign to me when people from the culture eat at the restaurant.
The menu wasn’t huge but did have a nice variety of items including some combos that came in small and large. I went with the small oxtail and curry goat combo that also came with rice and beans, vegetables and plantains.
I have never had oxtail at all or goat this way, which is of course why I got them. I liked them both but preferred the curry goat overall. The goat was cooked in a mild green curry that had a nice flavor and the meat was cooked tender and had a rich taste. If you are a health nut and you’ve never had oxtail keep it that way. The oxtail was about fifty percent meat with the other fifty percent being just about equal measures of fat, gristle and bone. I know some of you are saying “Yum” and meaning it while others probably fought back a gag reflex but let me assure you it was actually quite good. The meat was very tender and flavorful and the brown gravy was just a bit sweet and tasted like it had some of the same spices used in jerk seasoning in it as well. The rice and beans had just a few beans in it but did have other seasoning that went well with both the curry and oxtail. The vegetables consisted mostly of steamed cabbage with a can of veg-all thrown in. The cabbage was cooked thoroughly and not overdone so it was nice. The plantains were cooked with a slight glaze on the outside and soft on the inside while staying firm enough you could push food on to your fork with them.
They had a selection of other Jamaican foods and drinks including meat patties, island sodas and Red Stripe beer. I can definitely see giving the Caribbean Hut another shot to try some of the other menu items.
They don’t have a website but here’s a link to their Facebook page:
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