Lunch’er Danny Reports: Caribbean Kitchen

I have no problem turning over the site to lunch’ers who want to write about favorite places of their own.  Lunch’er Grace put together that awesome list of Midtown Soups, and Lunch’er Kayoko introduced us to the Out of Bounds Chinese food in Midtown East.  Now, I’m excited to introduce the newest contributor:  Danny from the blog Food in Mouth.  He works near Madison Square Garden and is checking in with a report on Carribean Kitchen, a hidden fast food place in a Midtown South alley.

Carribean Kitchen

“You look like Harold.” Wait, what? My name is Danny. “You know, from Harold and Kumar.” I chuckled along with the friendly cashier lady at Caribbean Kitchen, but really all I wanted was to pay for the jerk chicken and be on my merry way. Actually what I really wanted was a substitute for the Jamaican Dutchy Cart because for those of us who work in the Southern part of Midtown it is out of the way sometimes. No worries though, Caribbean Kitchen to the rescue. Semi-hidden from foot trafic, Caribbean Kitchen is located in this alley in between 7th and 8th ave. You might think an ‘alley’ sounds shady, but as you can see from the map, it’s really quite close to Macy’s and Madison Square Garden.

The menu covers all the common Caribbean dishes like curried chicken, curried goat, oxtail, jerked chicken, jerked pork, stewed chicken, and escovitched fish. They have small portions ($7 to $8) or large ($8 to $10), but unless you have munchies like Harold and Kumar, you can probably get by quite nicely on the small. You get the standard option of white rice, or rice and peas, a little bit of vegetables, some plantains, and the meat of your choice. 

Carribean Kitchen

First time in, I ordered the jerk chicken and was very satisfied. At Caribbean Kitchen it has a spicy kick that keeps you digging in bite after bite. They actually spoon some sauce over your plate at the end (if you want it), but I think you can skip it and won’t miss much. It detracts from the awesomeness that is the jerked chicken. If you want sauce/gravy, putting it on your rice may be the better option. While in line, some other guy requested ox tail gravy to go on top of his rice, which sounded like it may be the best choice. But if you like oxtail gravy, why not get the oxtail? What a great idea! (pats self on the back… what? Stop looking at me like that, I’m not Harold)

Carribean Kitchen

The oxtail is probably going to be one of my go-to lunches for lower Midtown. The meat is not ‘falling off the bone’ but it is tender enough and super yummy.  Oh- and make sure you get the extra oxtail gravy on your rice. I could drink that gravy for days. Flavor wise, I still like Jamaican Dutchy more, but Caribbean Kitchen is right up there.  And if you work in lower Midtown, it’s a great substitute.

THE +

  • Jerked Chicken and oxtail are bangin
  • Good substitute if you do not work by Jamaican Dutchy
  • Slightly better deal than Jamaican Dutchy
  • If your co-workers don’t like Carribean food, there is a burger place in the same store
  • The cashier lady might think you’re an Asian actor

THE -

  • If you love Jamaican Dutchy, this will not unseat the champion
  • Slightly out of the way for many Midtown Lunchers

Carribean Kitchen, One Penn Plaza (but actual location is between 33rd & 34th St. in an alley between 7+8th Avenues), 212-290-2864

Photos and post by Danny from Food in Mouth

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