Saturday, August 27, 2022

Carribean Queen, Now We're Sharing the Same Dream

Trini Corn Soup - Split peas, coconut milk, corn and dumplings
We finally tried Island Shack, a newish Caribbean restaurant, for take out and it was well worth it, I think.  What was once incredibly cheap ethnic food in the neighborhood, is now the high-priced, authentic unaffordable treat.  I do believe the quality of the ingredients makes the food that much better, so it's fair we must pay.  However, now this is out of our price range to participate more than on a special occasion.  We split the entree in order to try the appetizers.  On the other hand, we had leftovers and I was able to make white rice for the shrimp the next day for a lavish lunch box meal. 

Island Shack take out - Chadon Beni Garlic Pepper Shrimp - I learned that Chadon Beni is another name for culantro, which is like Mexican Coriander.  
The chef uses Scorpion peppers at the Island Shack and the warm heat level in this will slap the goofy grin off any fool.  This is serious heat but its wicked lovely. 
The Jerk Chicken came with pure, undressed sauteed vegetables over rice, simply made to provide refuge for your tongue.  The heat levels are high, but it doesn't overtake all the fragrant spice flavor.  Unlike our friends at Mo's bar, she doesn't hack up the chicken pieces in unrecognizably, odd shapes.  At Mo's you get more than a few pure bones coated in jerk.  There is no bigger bummer than chomping down on bone, especially when trying to split an entree.  A bit of a dupe, Mo, even though your grill master is freaking magic. 

Back in the early 80's of Fresno, California and before I learned the luxuries of island food, you'd be surprised to know I was in a cover band who sang Billy Ocean's, Caribbean Queen late night in bars after my record store shift.  I would pack up my Volkswagen bug and drive out to small surrounding towns to join my band, Spank sing the hits of the moment.   I was the singer and rhythm guitarist but the drummer had the best voice, so he belted out this song. I was reduced to a back up vocal and some dance moves my lead guitarist managed to coerce me into performing.  
A Record Factory display I made using 'flats'.  Remember those??!
Later down the 80's,  I helped Billy reach #1 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles Chart at Leopold Records in Berkeley and got this cool plaque.  

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