Garinagu Grillers Hot

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Garinagu Grillers


Metro Area
175th Street on Southern Boulevard
Zip Code
I made a mental note and moved on, vowing to return, but not certain whether to expect much. You won't be finding dharasa, a kind of Garifunan tamal made of green plantains, or hudut, fried fish poached in coconut milk with mashed plantains, much less the traditional mortar and pestle with its elongated stem. What you will find is carneada, or grilled steak. Each vendor—the north grill manned by three women, the south by a husband and wife*—prepare platters of typical foods. (This is not, however, the Honduran plato tipico.) Each ($13) consists of a large serving of steak chopped up by a cleaver, with several sides. The mom and pop tack on chismil, a salsa of chopped bell peppers, tomato, cilantro, and white onion marinated in lemon juice and spread over the steak, and mixed into the rice to great effect. After trying both platters, I found the south grill to be the better. While the steak from the north grill tasted as of I had been drowned in Worcestershire sauce, the south grill's meat exhibited more restraint. (Unsurprisingly there were no traces of sour orange juice.) Cosmis was ladled on top, and out came the pickles: slices of jalapeño from the peanut butter jar, shredded cabbage, and rings of onion. These were not your typical magenta, but a bright and lucid orange (here my interest was piqued.) The flavor was bright and sweet, with a little citrus, but I couldn't get an answer on what went into making them. In each case, the meal is rounded out by homemade plantain chips that cry out for a crisp lager. As exciting as it is to stumble upon Garifunan cooking, nothing especially interesting is happening here. Is the food worth recommending? It's rather conventional fare, but satisfying stuff, and for those nearby and in need of a big meal, the food will do you right—even though the company is the best part of the meal. I'm happy to find these people who are doing a wonderful thing for their community. But, alas, we haven't found Garifuna yet—at least not the culinary heights we know it can reach. For that, we'll have to wait patiently until April.


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