Lunch In @ Island Frydays

If you're looking for a change up - a new food option with big flavors has been open on Short Vine in Clifton for about a year now - it's a Jamaican spot called Island Frydays and it does not disappoint.  I had spotted it a while back, but just got to lunch there earlier this week.  Here's a quick post about the food, which I definitely recommend.

The Food:  Lately, I rarely choose what I'm going to order.  Instead, I ask the server/proprietor to give me the best thing on the menu.  Sometimes I'll add that I want the thing with the most flavor.  Sometimes I get a rambling answer, but usually I know I'm on to something when there is a quick, unequivocal response like, in this case, "the jerk chicken."  I often push a little after that - "you're sure?"  When they stick to their guns, you can usually tell you're about to eat something good.  They do ask if you want dark or white meat, to which I replied - whatever has the most flavor.  I started out as a white meat eater, but slowly but surely I've learned that there is no comparison - dark meat is clearly the winner, and they did not lead me astray.

There is a large for $10, but for $8 the small plate is plenty for one person.  Rice and beans, steamed veggies, plantains, and chicken all come stuffed in a styrofoam container for take out.  Let me start by simply saying this is some of the best chicken I've had period, in quite a while.  And it was the best jerk chicken I've eaten in years.  I've had jerk chicken that's been too dry, but this was moist and very flavorful - spicy from the pepper, sweet, salty, and blackened, adding up to well rounded bites every single time.  I usually don't eat the skin, but this was too flavorful to pass up.  The only thing I'd do differently is ask them not to chop it (or to chop it as little as possible) because there were a number of little bites of bone I had to be careful of.  But this chicken was so good, I was intent on eating every possible morsel.

A UC News Record review on Island Fryday's website suggested to ask for gravy on the rice and pinto beans, and it was definitely the right move since they were pretty bland standing alone.  With the sauce, they were quite tasty.  The vegetables included cabbage, green beans, peas, corn, and carrots.  With enough salt and butter to have some flavor, these did not match the chicken's star power, and settle for being unobtrusive.  The plantains were standard - if you want a lot order a side with a small, because it only comes with a couple bites.  I like them more crispy, so I personally wouldn't bother.

I'm excited to go back to try the oxtail and a number of other dishes at Island Fryday's - if they are anywhere near as good as the jerk chicken, I'll be very happy.

The Ingredients:  Nothing about local or organic on the menu.  I was quickly in and out on this trip, but plan to ask more about where they get everything on my next trip.  And the next trip won't be far away.

The Story, Setting, & Service:  This was a quick trip in and out for a to go order, so not much to say on this front.  The staff was friendly and quick, the space was bright with sun, and the yellow exterior seems to glow all the way to the inside.  There are a few seats if you want to sit down and enjoy your meal while you listen to some reggae on the radio.

Just up the hill from OTR, this is a quick hop, skip, and a jump for me at lunch time.  There's no need to call ahead, the food is ready so fast.  I look forward to my next trip to Island Frydays - you should try it too.

Island Frydays on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice review