Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Island Vibes: Authentic Caribbean Food!

It's been too long since I blogged about my favorite restaurants in Nashville, so here goes...

I discovered Island Vibes mid-to-late summer. I stopped in alone one day for lunch to check it out for my Meetup group and indulged in the Curry Chicken. It was heavenly and "fell off the bone". If you can make chicken fall off the bone, then I am hooked...
Curry Chicken

This place is small and can easily be missed if you close your eyes. It's located on Antioch Pike behind Sam's Club, in a small house next door to the 1310 Plaza which houses equally exceptional Korean and Ethiopian restaurants. I love that Antioch is such a melting pot of ethnic cuisine.

I quickly became friends with Loverna Semple-Burnett and her husband Mark Burnett who are owners (along with Mark's brothers). This is truly a family owned restaurant. My friend Aubrey Dasilva is the chef. They are from the same village in Georgetown, Guyana. You really don't get much more Caribbean than that...

First visit: I opted for the curry chicken (see above). I took home leftovers (which I always do) and actually ate them later that night - which I rarely do. I eat out so often that most of my leftovers go to waste. These leftovers did not go to waste.

Second visit: I brought my Meetup group. They scheduled live music for us on a Saturday night - steelpan music. I opted for oxtails which I love. It's definitely a "finger food" but worth the effort. I actually got reprimanded by a Jamaican woman for trying to eat it with a knife & fork about two years ago. Lesson learned! Think of the most deeply braised beef you could ever imagine. I'm not much of a beef eater, but if you offer me oxtail, I'm in!

Third visit: Jerk chicken, only because the jerk pork wasn't ready. It was delicious, but I am still holding out for the pork. A member said it was the best jerk chicken she ever had. Another member, with family in Jamaica, had the goat curry and devoured her plate. She said she rarely eats red meat unless it's goat - and she gave the thumbs up. Several members said it was above and beyond JamaicaWay - the only other Caribbean in Nashville until now.
Jerk Pork

Don't miss the weekend specials on the board - including saltfish & bake and bullfoot soup. "Bake" is a type of bread. I am still trying to convince Loverna to make me "shark & bake" once I can get my hands on shark meat in Nashville. Otherwise, I will have to schedule a trip to Trinidad for my most expensive "fish sandwich" ever!

Island VibesAddress: 1316 Antioch Pike, Nashville, TN 37211
Phone:(615) 454-6085
Prices: $

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