Our stewed manicou ($8), as it's known in Grenada, really didn't need any sauce; it was very juicy just as is. The flavor of the meat was hard to pin down. What seemed to be a foreleg was gamey, the ribs were sweet, and the tail (our serving included one segment, the oblong at lower right) was surprisingly substantial. A prehensile tail does a lot of work, so some musculature made sense, but the overall impression was fatty and rich, not to mention tasty — hardly what I expected from opossum.
For a few more photos from the 2016 event, see the EIT page on Facebook. Additional photos, from 2014, appear on Flickr; skip the first few photos in the set and start with the soursops.
Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique Day Field outside Old Boys and Girls High School, 736 Rutland Rd. (Troy-Schenectady Aves.), East Flatbush, Brooklyn www.Facebook.com/GrenadaDay (The 2016 festival was held on July 17)
Bread pudding "GT style" ($1.50) — in the fashion of Guyana's capital and largest city, Georgetown. Though paler and less potent than the Caribbean nation's celebrated black cake, this corner slice was every bit as moist.
Fried turkey with Haitian trimmings: plentiful green banana, pale yam (not sweet potato, certainly not candied), wilted onion, lots of (chicken) gravy. Juicy, tasty turkey, my dining buddy and I agreed (light lunch for two, $7 total).
Bebe Fritay 82B East 18th St. (Church Ave.-Albemarle Rd.), Flatbush, Brooklyn 718-484-0244 Also 826 Rogers Ave. (at Church Ave.) 718-676-1636 www.BebeFritayInc.com
(This venue is closed.) When the portion is so generous, sometimes the presentation suffers. To be sure, the Guyana-born owner deposited his kale greens into the top of the clamshell container, where they retained their brightness and snap; the bulk of the sampler (small, $8) was piled high in the bottom. It included a combo of rice, lentils, and peas; curry eggplant; okra and tofu; red kidney beans, and what the sidewalk menu board described off-handedly as "stew chunks" (also shown below) — ruddy-looking pieces of textured soy protein. Yes, a heap, but even for a meat lover like me, also a delight.
H/T Katie R
Strictly Vegetarian 2268 Church Ave. (Bedford-Flatbush Aves.), Flatbush, Brooklyn 718-284-2543
"Sauces contain seeds, caution." Given the vibe inside this Trini storefront — during my initial visit, in late afternoon, a patient but determined knot of customers obscured any decent view of the steam table — I counted that handwritten warning as a plus, not a minus. The sign also added substance to a second, otherwise pedestrian notice, "all baking done on premises."
On a return visit at midday I found a seat, one of the few, tucked against a side wall, where I had elbow room enough to dig into a plate of curry goat atop rice and peas ($10). (I also had the incentive, given my itinerary, not to plow all the way through at one go. Plastic zip-seal bag, my backpack lining thanks you again.) In this particular batch of curry I didn't happen upon any seeds, though in all fairness I was occupied with nibbling around goat bones — in my book, also a plus.
Grace Before Meals 3113 Church Ave. (fittingly enough; Fairview Pl.-Raleigh Pl.), East Flatbush, Brooklyn 718-282-4035 Closed Sunday (as you'd imagine)
Flatbush "has had many different groups moving in and out over the years," observed Louis Delsarte, the artist who created this series of glass mosaics. "Now it's predominately Caribbean, and I wanted to freeze a moment in its history." Frozen here, on a detail of one panel: market-goers and a produce display.
The name "stew chicken," like "shave ice," is an example of apocope (a-Pah-co-pee), the omission of the last sound, syllable, or part of a word. Though these clipped forms may seem like nothing more than sloppy pronunciation and spelling, sometimes they reflect underlying differences. Shaved ice (with the final -d), for example, includes a wide range of desserts whose ice may be either shaved or crushed, sometimes coarsely, but aficionados of Hawaiian shave ice (without the -d), which is never crushed, are quick to point out that confection's snowlike consistency.
Compared with many prosaic stewed chickens, Trinidad-style stew chicken has a glowing color and a pervasive sweetness. Both come from brown sugar, which dances the reel and jig with seasonings such as garlic, ginger, black pepper, and thyme. The side dishes are distinctive, too: This stew chicken combo (small — yes, small — $7.50) was accompanied by curry potatoes and callaloo. Fall-off-the-bone tender? Count on it.