Wandering Wednesdays: Haitian Fried Turkey is the New Korean Fried Chicken

This Wednesday, I am wandering back up to the North-ish East-ish of Philly for  food I have NEVER tried before.  Haitian!

Today’s lunch comes from a truly serendipitous food wandering moment. While passing by, I saw Moonshine Cuisine’s sign for Haitian food and had to stop.  I have never even seen a Haitian restaurant before,  there was no way I could pass this opportunity for my mouth to learn something new.  While the decor suggested otherwise, this Haitian kitchen ended up making me very happy I stopped.

Our first moment of apprehension came when we were handed the menus. There was not much going on; a soup, a platter of fried things, a hamburger? Uhoh…

Apprehensions continued when I noticed the walls were accessorized with ribbons typically found on a wrapped gift.

And on the tables were centerpieces you might find at a child’s 5th birthday party along with napkin holders that proudly proclaimed what one might use them for.

Our waiter asked not what we wanted to drink, but if we wanted lemonade, how could we say no? We ended up being served large cups of iced yellow juice that tasted like liquid marzipan. I happen to love marizipan/rainbow cookies/almond extract, so my cup was long finished before the meal was up. But a saner person might have issues with this candy drink.

Our waiter told us that the  menu before us was outdated and they had various things in the kitchen they could make. We asked him just to bring us out some authentic Haitian food and left our fate in his hands.

When the first plate was brought out, we breathed a sigh of relief.  Little nuggets of juicy fried pork were accompanied by fried green plaintains, a salad of lettuce and a tomato slice, and ‘picklese’- intensely spicy and awesome coleslaw.

Next came a similar platter, with the pork replaced with three delicious crispy chicken legs. Clearly this restaurant knows how to fry things while keeping them juicy.

We were also given a platter of white rice with a particularly good bean sauce to pour on top.

Our last platter came with the most impressive meat of all- one we even had trouble identifying. Normally this would be a bad thing, but here it was only because we had never tasted turkey so moist before. Haitian fried turkey is my new favorite meat. The completely crispy exterior and meaty flavor, it was practically pork-like, except there were no layers of fat or tough pieces.  I can’t quite say its a better version of pork, because sometimes you just want to sink your teeth into some fat. But for a person who is squeamish about consuming visible fat or maybe just not in the mood for it, this is perfect.  I will be having lascivious thoughts about this turkey at my next Thanksgiving dinner.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I want to try Haitian food!
  • Haitian fried turkey is amazing

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I would like something not fried please
  • I require more clarity about what I am ordering at a restaurant

Moonshine Cuisine, 5706 N 5th St (@ 5th St and Chews Ave) , 215-549-1076



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