I've been on a search for some really good Haitian food since I moved to the Bay Area. It's been a fruitless search, but I've run across a few great Caribbean restaurants. Sweet Fingers is one that I've just discovered. Join me for dinner and let's sample some Jamaican cuisine. We will be dining family style and sharing all dishes. If you are a little less adventurous or have a lot of food restrictions, this may not be the dinner for you. I'm thinking I'd love to try the curry goat and the oxtails and how I wish they had ackee and saltfish on their menu. Anyway, I'll see you there!
About Sweet Fingers:
East Bay Rastafarians don't have to head all the way to Jamaica to get that irie feeling. Instead, they can skank down to Sweet Fingers in San Leandro. Upon arriving at this bright-yellow restaurant, you will immediately notice that there's no way to get a glimpse inside — but don't be afraid to open the door. Hidden behind it is Chef Clive Barnes, a Jamaica native and the restaurant's owner, who will set you up at one of the tables covered with colorful plastic tablecloths. Chef Barnes' cooking pays tribute to his grandmother Lucy's way with food. Traditional dishes — curried goat, stewed oxtail, ackee and salt fish, escabiche, and savory stews — are well represented here, where the menu also includes a healthy dose of vegetarian choices, including curry, jerk, or coconut vegetables and stews. But the thing to order is the jerk chicken, tender sweet-and-spicy dark pieces in a rich sauce with the just-right amount of proper island spices. After ordering, be patient and unwind — it will be worth it. The entrées are full of rich flavors and come with a heap of rice and beans and plantains — making the prices more than reasonable. With a chill vibe and delicious cuisine, Sweet Fingers will always leave you much happier than you came in. For the full tropical experience top off the meal with ginger beer and, for dessert, pudding or carrot, bean, or sweet potato pie. Like chef Clive likes to say, "Sweet Fingers, food so sweet them lick their fingers!"
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