Cou-cou is a Caribbean porridge of cornmeal and okra, just firm enough not to slump into mush. In the photo, one end of the semicircular mass is visible at far left. Also largely concealed by sauteed onions are three tender fingers of mahi-mahi (all in, $14); kingfish and red snapper were also on offer. In Barbados, flying fish is traditional, but the counterman (as well as the proprietor of another Bajan eatery nearby) observed that recently these have been hard to come by.
Chips, soda, a roast beef sandwich. Lunch at this "North Philly" shop might easily have fueled my North Stamford bicycle expeditions, many summers ago, except that here the sandwich is called a hoagie — in Connecticut, and New York, other names are more common. My 6-incher ($4.99; also 12-inch, $7.99) included the Syd's toppings trinity of lettuce, tomato, and onion, plus sweet peppers (two bits extra).
Familiar tunes on the radio, too, though the new releases of yesterday have somehow become the classics, or oldies, of today.
I was seriously overstimulated at this year's West Indian Day Parade, and Obama fish cake was one of many delicacies that didn't pass my lips, or (except for the sign) even my field of vision. Was it made, perhaps, from fresh, new fish rather than old, pickled fish? Let's hope, in any event, that the same vendor will be proud to offer it next year, too.
The parade was a long time coming, and due to a scheduling conflict, I saw little of the procession itself and no sign of the street fair that reportedly would follow. I did snag a few bites courtesy of Kelso, perhaps the city's only Panamanian restaurant, which sits midway along the parade route; I also looked in on the Imperial Bikers Motorcycle Club, two doors down, which made its premises available to a catering operation called Celia's Kitchen (click on the photo for a better look). Worth a visit next year for the mellow vibe up and down Franklin Ave., and for the promise of a street fair that just might materialize by midafternoon.
Update: The compact, crowded, but congenial street fair is a block west, on Classon Ave. near President St. Not a huge variety of food, but good if you like frituras, skewers, and souse.
Panamanian Pre-Independence Day Parade Franklin Ave. and vicinity, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Early October