Glady’s, a Caribbean joint in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, screams cool when you walk in. It’s definitely a place to be, trendy but with tradition. There’s a date night feel with an interior that’s been designed with a lot of thought. It feels as if you’re in some fashionable Caribbean dinner, but still get to enjoy delicately prepared comfort food.
First off, the drinks reach that near-impossible goldilocks level of not too sweet and fruity, but just right. I like the Canchanhara Rum Punch, which tastes like a sophisticated version of what you would make for a summer party. The Dark and Slushie is a great take on the Dark and Stormy.
For the heavier mains, the Curry Goat, the classic Jamaican dish with origins from India, is exceptional here. The meat is tender and delicious, with a flavor profile that is not gamey as might be expected if you haven’t had goat. Worth trying and enjoying.
Additionally, the Jerk Chicken is some of the best I’ve ever had, with evenly distributed flavors through every bite, which is something I’ve personally found rare when I order Jerk Chicken at many other places. There are a variety of other jerk items on the menu, such as pork, seitan, and lobster, but I haven’t been able to not order the Jerk Chicken every time I’ve gone.
The last meat-heavy main I like is the Oxtail. Once considered a throwaway meat, oxtail has become hipster trendy but has long been a staple of Jamaican cooking, as well as in other cultures around the region. I’ve been sad to see it fall off many menus because it’s gotten too expensive for many mom and pop restaurants, but I’m glad to eat it prepared here with style. The meat is fall-of-the-bone tender and every piece melts in your mouth like it was braised with love.
Reflecting the influence of Chinese cooking in region, the Guyanese Chow Mein appears to be a variation of Hakka Chow Mein, but with local ingredients and has a much sweeter flavor profile than other Chow Meins that brings out the fresh produce taste of the veggies rather than just a meat sauce taste.
For sides, get the bok choy and plantains. The boy choy has a heavier soy sauce component and is a bit more crispy than you’d get at a Chinese restaurant and balances out the heavier dishes. Of course, you can’t go wrong with the plantains here that have that butteriness and caramelized sweet without feeling too greasy and guilty.
To top it off, once you get your bill, you’re treated to a complimentary dairy-free Coconut Ice Cream that’s worth going for alone.
Pro-tip: Come right when they open to get seated right away. Even on a Sunday evening, you’re in for a wait at this popular restaurant. Plates are perfect for sharing.
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