Foodie Find: Garifuna Flava July 06, 2014 19:30
Stewed Chicken, King Fish, Plantains, and Rice & Beans (Photo Cred: Ayana Tomeka)
Portioned plates of heaven cooked with heaping amounts of soul, that's what you'll find at Garifuna Flava! A non-descript Caribbean restaurant hidden on the southwest side of Chicago, the medium-sized establishment charms with a mom & pop feel and mouth-watering flavor.
I've visited here several times with my bff and I have to say the sauteed shrimp, sauteed king fish and stewed chicken are my favorites. The chef cooks the marinated meats down with hearty spiced sauces and veggies until it's fork tender. The OMG-factor is off-the-meter when it comes to taste. David, my bestie, sticks to the king fish or red snapper entrees. Being the little piglet that I am, I've coerced him into letting me sample off of his plate and both meals are equally as scrumptious.
Jerk Chicken, Plantains and Rice & Beans ( Photo Cred: Matt P, 2012)
I recommend you order an entree for two reasons: rice & beans and their plantains! Trust me, you've NEVER eaten rice & beans like this before. The slightly sweet & savory aroma, texture and taste transport you to grandma's kitchen in Central America. The rice & beans are not saucy. This maintains their texture. Don't fret tho, the chef serves them with a side cup of au jus if you prefer yours a bit more moist. The plantains are crispy on the outside and tender inside. Simply sinful. 'Nuff said. lool All entrees also come with a side salad! While their potato salad is delish, they only give you a small amount. Opt for the lettuce salad instead (bigger portion and healthier for you :).
When you're seated you'll want to try an appetizer and a drink or two. Most dishes are cooked-to-order and since it's a smaller place you may wait up to 30 minutes before your food arrives. The guacamole and plantain chips are fresh and by far my fave appetizer. I can make a meal of this alone, it's so yummy. For drinks, ladies... the "Bahama Mama" will get you there. lool
Garifuna Flava Photo Cred: Chicago Serious Eats
Overall, if you're feeling adventurous and want to try a restaurant off-the-beaten Chicago tourist path, head to Garifuna Flava. The prices are reasonable, averaging $3-$4 for appetizer, $6-$7 for a lunch special and $12-$13 for dinner entrees. The waitstaff is small, polite but a tad inattentive. And although the decor and ambiance are basic (older chairs and tables dressed with vinyl tablecloths), when the plates come you will forget the less-than aesthetic and savor a good time over good eats. Try it and thank me later! xo
2518 W 63rd St.
Chicago, IL, 60629
11:30am-2am Fri-Sat (Kitchen Closes at 10pm)
Blog written by Ayana Tomeka.