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Get a Taste of Paradise @ Michelle’s Caribbean Cuisine

The Facts

346 Connecticut Street, Buffalo NY 14213   |   716-279-6988

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Hours: Tues- Thurs 11am-6pm; Fri-Sat 11am-7pm; Sunday-Monday Closed

 

The Dish

Michelle’s Caribbean Cuisine is a four month old restaurant in the Horsefeather’s building (Connecticut & Normal on the west side) where the The Pasta Peddler used to reside. It’s a small spot with just a few tables operated by three ladies from Trinidad Y Tobago. Food is prepared in advance and served cafeteria style. There is a good article from October on Buffalo Rising about who they are.

 

Recommendation

Looking for some real food, real fast? I can’t think of a better place than Michelle’s Caribbean Cuisine. This is authentic Island food that will make you forget all about winter, at least until you step outside. If you’re stopping in at the Winter Market at Horsefeathers, don’t hesitate to grab some to go.  It will heat up fine and taste great even the next day.

 

The Story

We stopped in for lunch on a Wednesday not really knowing what to expect, or what we’d find. One bite in and we knew we’d found a little taste of paradise, but I’m jumping ahead. At Michelle’s you go up to the food counter in the back and check out what they have. The food offerings vary by day. The pleasant calypso music is a constant.  See below for items/days according to their website. There aren’t any signs indicating what they have or what it will cost, so either ask or memorize the listing below. Generally speaking a plate of food is about $10.

We opted for a plate of Tamarind Chicken, lentils and okra rice and a plate of sweet ginger garlic rice, mixed vegetables and a beef pie.

Michelle's Caribbean Cuisine Beef Pie

Beef Pie

We also got waters with our meal before we noticed they offer banana, peanut, carrot and fruit punch as well as some juices. In the interest of discovery we would have felt obligated to check out the peanut punch…I think.

What amazes me about people that really know how to cook is how they take something as simple as rice and make it so good. Both rice dishes were delicious in a lightly flavored way that you barely notice you’re gobbling until it’s gone.  They drizzled a little chicken juice/stock over it from the stewed chicken –  hmmm.

Lentils – Nobody does beans, and apparently lentils, better than islanders.

Mixed vegetables – Cabbage and carrots stewed with some magic seasonings. A perfect accompaniment to the rice.

Tamarind Chicken – No idea how this is made, but I do know it was falling off the bone tender with a great tamarind flavor, not too spicy.

Beef Pie – At first taste, I wasn’t hooked, but after waiting a second to get the full combination of, albeit somewhat dry meat and flakey, buttery crust, I was hooked. The ground beef spilling out of the shell somehow worked for me.

What is Island food you ask? In truth there are probably 100 different varieties. Cuban rice and beans are different from Puerto Rican rice and beans. However, much of the spices and seasonings are common, and due to many historical factors they originated and meld with cuisines from Spain, Africa, India and the middle east. Like all other cuisines you’ll find what’s plentiful – chicken, pork, beans, plantains and rice.

 

What Else Looks Good

  • In truth everything but that seems a bit of a cop-out so…
  • Plantains – Not sure how these are prepared but they are always good
  • Curry Chicken
  • Red Beans
  • Saffron Rice
  • Potato Pineapple Pie
  • Curry Oxtails

You might also find interesting…

Menu

Tuesday– Doubles $2.oo

Stew Chicken, Curry Chicken – Sm $8.00 Lg $10.00+tax

Beef  Sm $10.00 Lg $12.00+tax

Spicy Rice, Calypso Rice, Red Beans, Potato Salad,

Macaroni Pie, Plantains.(sides and rice, of your choice)

Wednesday-Doubles $2.00

Tamarind Chicken Sm $8.75  Lg$10.00 +tax

Curry Chicken, Stew Chicken Sm $8.00 Lg $10.00 +tax

Sweet ginger garlic Rice, Ochro Rice

Lentil Peas, Mix Veggies, Plantains.(sides and rice, of your choice)

Thursday-Doubles $2.00

Five Spice ChickenSm$8.50  Lg$10.00

Curry Chicken, Stew Chicken.Sm$8.00 Lg$10.00

Fried Rice, Saffron Rice, Red Beans,

Potato Pineapple Pie, Plantains.(sides and rice, of your choice)

Friday– Doubles $2.00

Chicken Roti $8.00

Potato    Roti $6.00

Curry Chicken, Stew Chicken.Sm $8.00 Lg $10.00

Curry Oxtails.Sm $10.00 Lg $12.00

Spicy Rice, Seasoned Rice, Lentil Peas, Coleslaw, Callaloo, Plantains, Aloo Pie.(sides and rice,of your choice)

Saturday-Doubles $2.00

ChickenRoti $8.00

Beef Roti $10.00

Potato Roti $6.00

Curry Chicken, Stew Chicken,

Spinach Rice, Calypso Rice, Callaloo, Plantains

SIDES. Plantains,  Macaroni Pie, Potato pineapple pie, Potato salad (Extra sides $2.50)

Beverage Center         ($1.5 – $4.5)

 Peanut Punch      Sorrel Juice

 Banana Punch     Fruit Punch

 Carrot   Punch     Mauby Juice

Island Snacks – Currants Roll $2.5, Sweet Bread $3.0, Pone $2.0, Beef Pie $2.0, Fudge $1.5, Phlourie $1 for 5.

 

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