|Oxtail Platter at Ruthies Caribbean Kitchen in Vallejo.|
When I first moved to Vallejo, I noticed this place on Sonoma Blvd. called B&W Cafe. I never went there, and about a year or so back it closed. Recently we saw signs of a new place setting up shop, and right now, Ruthies Caribbean Kitchen is in Soft Opening mode. They've got a bunch of interesting juices (including Sorrel, Sour Sop and Sea Moss), but I opted for Gingerade, which tastes like a gingery lemonade.
We took a peak at their menu yesterday, so we already know what we wanted. Goat and Oxtail. I joked that they probably source their meat from our favorite neighborhood Carniceria, Mi Ranchito. Sure enough, after we placed our order, in walks the owner of Mi Ranchito, with two bags of Oxtail!
Here's the Oxtail Platter, with Roasted Vegetables and Red Beans and Rice.
Unctuous, tender, fall off the bone meat, with a sauce that tastes of Caribbean spices, though nowhere close to the aggressively spiced Chettinad Indian restaurants we've been to recently. It seemed like I could detect the faintest flavor of Allspice.
Roasted vegetables were perfectly done--softly sauteed but not hammered, very flavorful. Red Beans and rice done just right too, I loved that the beans were perfectly done, not too wet, so that they made a nice top on the rice. I recommend this dish to sop up the delicious flavors from the Oxtail sauce.
Here you can see Robin got the Goat Curry, Plaintains and Red Beans and Rice. Once I tried these, I knew this place wasn't based on the cuisine of any of the usual suspects. I've never had plaintains done this way by Dominicans, Cubans or Puerto Ricans. The Goat Curry was similar to the cuisine from Trinidad, but not quite spiced that much. This wasn't Jamaican cuisine either (though the menu does feature a sort of "Jerk" Chicken).
More shots of the delicious Goat Curry Platter.
Beef Roti. Tender, spicy & delectable.
So once we were done and I was paying for our scrumptious meal, I had to ask our hostess: where does this cuisine originate? St. Lucia?! Where the late great Poet Derek Walcott hailed from? We'll I'll be.
I highly recommend this new restaurant in Vallejo, and we'll certainly be returning for more.