February 25, 2005
5600 North Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19141
I don’t get to the Olney Transportation Center in Philadelphia too often, but had the occasion to be there twice in the last few weeks. The first time I noticed the White Castle was gone and there was a new place, The Golden Crust Caribbean Bakery and Grille. The second time I decided to check it out and boy was I impressed!!
For many years I ran restaurants at all levels from dishwasher to Grand Poo-Bah. Flawless operations are the main goal of most restaurateurs, but the thing lacking in most restaurants is heart. They assemble product instead of preparing meals.
I walked in to the small restaurant around 7:10PM, it was cold and there was snow on the ground, but I was suddenly transported to Montego Bay. Decorated with colorful tiles, the air thick with Caribbean spices and loud dancehall style Jamaican music bounced off the formica and stainless steel. The smiling faces behind the counter noticed my wow’d expression and let me take it all in before asking for my order.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Caribbean accent I encountered as I ordered a small Jerk Chicken meal for $6.99 and a bottle of Ting. The plate included a nice portion of Jerk Chicken, a good 12 ounces of rice and peas with cabbage and calloo, all of which was generously covered with a fantastic Jerk sauce.
My original plan was to take my meal home, but watching her fill my plate and the aroma in the air made me decide to have a taste before I left. That taste became non-stop wolfing down of the entire plate. I’ve eaten in many Caribbean restaurants and paid twice as much for food half as good! The chicken was spicy and juicy. The rice and peas were perfectly prepared, flavorful and not dry. I washed it all down with an ice cold Ting, a rare find here in the states. I even called my buddy Nick, also a seasoned Negril traveler, just to gloat about my fantastic meal.
I give it 4 out of 5 halos on my Heaven on a Plate Scale!