Caribbean Spice Cart Distinguishes Itself With Coco Bread & Roti
When the Caribbean Spice Cart popped up at the end of April on 46th Street btw. 6+7th it had a pretty tall order: to operate a cart selling Caribbean food just 5 blocks away from the Jamaican Dutchy- what I consider to be one of the best carts in Midtown. Sprung from the ashes of Caribbean Spice, a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant that had closed down at the beginning of the year, early reports from the cart were mixed. The first meal I had there was decent, but not great, and Danny from in Mouth reported that the oxtails were just mediocre. Now, with actual signage (when they first started it was just a cart with a piece of poster board) the cart is finally hitting their stride, and while it’s pretty clear they’re not going to unseat the Dutchy, there are two items on the menu that set them apart.
While the Dutchy and Caribbean Spice carts cover most of the same bases (oxtails, jerk chicken, various curries, ackee and salt fish, and escovitch) the one thing C.S. has that the J.D. doesn’t is roti. Almost identical to the Indian version (which is thicker than the Malaysian version), roti is a staple bread in many West Indian countries, used to sop up curries. You can order roti in place of rice & peas as part of the large order of anything, or buy it separately.
For $9 I got the large order of goat curry with roti, which is a little pricey for not getting rice and peas- but you do get a ton of roti, which while not the greatest of all time, was surprisingly good for coming off of cart. Half of the goat curry was fat, so if you’re not into bones and a lot of fat, you may want to go with the curry chicken. The little bit of meat there was in dish, was very tender and the curry had a nice (albeit tame) flavor, perfect for dipping the roti.
But even more exciting than the roti is the coco bread- which in and of itself is nothing special. A large piece of slightly sweet egg bread, it is pretty similar to the consistency of a doughy hot dog bun. It gets its name from how you split it open like a coconut and stuff it with a Jamaican patty! Always a fan of the carb on carb sandwich, I’m pretty excited that this Jamaican treat has finally made its way to Midtown.
$3 ($1 for the bread, $2 for the patty) is all it takes to secure this Jamaican beef patty sandwich. The oily spiciness of the patty is perfectly cut by the slightly sweet coco bread- creating my new favorite Midtown sandwich!
If you want the best Jamaican food in the Midtown, go to the Dutchy, but if you work in the high 30s/low 40s or have the craving for some roti or a Jamaican beef patty sandwich, the new Caribbean Spice cart will do you just fine.
Caribbean Spice Cart, 46th St. btw. 6+7th