Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Daphnes Caribbean Cuisine (NY): An Ackee Goodbye

It was my last day in Gotham, I was there for a little over a week, meaning several awesome lunches, dinners...but no breakfasts! It was hard for me to wake up by noon, let alone breakfast time. You can blame the three hour timezone lag for that!

But on this last day, I broke my fast at 10:30 AM to the pleasures of the cooked egg-like fruit of Ackee and Salt Cod, the national dish of Jamaica.

ackee, bananas and dumpling
Ackee, Salt Cod, Boiled Green Plantain and Dumpling: Breakfast

It had always been on my "things to eat before I die" list since I first heard of this strange fruit. Literally--raw Ackee and its red tissue inside are actually poisonous if the shell is forced open.

The Ackee itself tasted and looked like slowly scrambled, moist eggs with a light vegetal taste of ripe avocado slices. The salt cod was still a little on the dry side and onion was apparent more than anything else, in spite of that, its small portion only made me savor it more.

I was surprised at the cost of the dish (around $17) but was determined! Daphne's sister was kind enough to explain that she only uses frozen-thawed ackee...not canned. And the stuff runs at a pretty expensive market price.

The plate is served with an option of rice and beans or a Dumpling and Bananas, being the lover of all things new to experience and carbs, I immediately opted for the latter! The banana tasted just like like a dried up, bland, boiled potato--straight up. While the dumpling was just a big blob of chewy, starchy goodness. No actual filling though.

jerk sample
Daphne's Jerk Chicken: Subtle and Very Pronounced

Noticing me snapping away at her food, she asked why I was doing so. I told her it was my last day in NY and I wanted Ackee! She asked me if I ever tried Jerk Chicken, I told her of course. Then she said "not mine"...

I was really happy to have chosen this place over the many other Ackee joints in town, inside was warm and comfy, peaceful, nice counterbalance to the rat race frenzy going on in the frigid temperatures outside.

inside daphnes
Warm Caribbean Hospitality

On my way out after paying, the cashier had asked me to take a bag of some of their imported Jamaican snacks to try on my flight home.

jackass corn biscuit
Jackass Corn Biscuits: MMM...Jamaican Me Hungry!

He chuckled when I asked about these, replying in a super-thick Jamaican accent "are you sure? they be very hard to chew, but we love them in Jamaica". That sold it for me, other culture's unique delicacies is what secretly fuels The Glutster.

And then I saw why, these reminded me of some opened ginger snaps I had stashed somewhere and forgotten about once, dense and barely penetrable by human mandibles. Nonetheless, packed with shredded coconut and ginger...I ate one whole one happily on my way back.

I'm going to miss New York.

Daphnes Caribbean Cuisine
250 E 14th St. (14th & 2nd)
(212) 228-6144


gourmetpigs said...

Ooo nice. Never tried Ackee before, now you got me curious!

glutster said...

I found out there are a couple of places around here that does it, its definitely "worth a voyage" ha ha ha :)

glutster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

So there's the picture of the jerk chicken, but how was it?

MyLastBite said...

"other culture's unique delicacies is what secretly fuels The Glutster"

Why we love YOU!

glutster said...

Aaron: Unlike many other blinding jerk experiences before this, this rub was a lot more tame. No flavor was too high above the rest, even nutmeg played fine along with the rest. Scotch bonnet heat was under control too.

She said that that is their most famous dish there, selling trays of it for catering delivery daily :)

let me know what you think if you ever make it out there--

Christina said...

Now I want to try some ackee! This restaurant looks great, and jerk chicken is always delicious.

weezermonkey said...

I've never had Ackee either! I'm going to NYC in August again. My husband tells me that I am supposed to pick "not crazy expensive restaurants" this time. ;)

Exile Kiss said...

Hi Teenage Glutster,

Nice! Sounds like a great place, and I've never tried Ackee before, either.