Sep 28, 2008

The Flavor of Reggae...

In the 1970's, while I worked in southern Mississippi, I had a black roommate named Charlie Carter.  He introduced me to a whole lot of American culture that I probably would have missed, including the delight of barbequed goat.  Today, for reasons unknown, I had a craving for Caribbean food, so I went on a goat quest.

I'm staying in Farmingdale, New York and remembered seeing a couple of Caribbean restaurants a couple of miles south of here in Amityville, so I headed in that direction.  The first one I spotted was the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill at 777 N. Broadway in Amityville.  There was no turning back; I smelled the sweet fragrance of Jamaican cooking!

I was welcomed by the heavy beat of a Reggae band played way too loud on a Wal Mart stereo system.  Soon, Jimmy Cliff was wailing "Many Rivers to Cross."  It brought back recollections of a rare (1973) but wonderful film, "The Harder They Come."  The Golden Krust was decorated in early spartan with three tables surrounded by chairs.  The menu was a plastic illuminated affair like you'd see in any fast food establishment.  It seemed evident that a lot of their business is carry out.  There was one customer, a young dreadlocked fellow in a hooded sweatshirt who had already eaten and was apparently smitten by the attractive young lady who asked me what I would like to order.

It only took a second to see the magic words -- CURRIED GOAT.  I ordered my entree.  Would I care for fried plantains?  Rice and beans?  Steamed vegetables?  I answered, "Yes, yes, and yes."  The total cost, including a soft drink, was under $10.  I got my drink and proceeded to a table.

The amount of food was overwhelming.  And, the goat was fabulous, as was the rest of the meal.  As I ate, several dozen customers came and went, all with carry out orders.  Charlie Carter would be proud.  As when he used to take me out, I was the only white face in the crowd.  I shall return.

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