After an appointment in the city, I decided to try takeout at two Black owned restaurants in Midtown Manhattan. You know, killing two birds with one stone and all. I started out at Voilà Afrique in Midtown East and worked my way west to Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine in Hell’s Kitchen. Check out my vlog and read below to learn more about my experiences at each restaurant!
Visiting Two Black Owned Restaurants in Manhattan
|Address: 844 2nd Avenue (enter through E. 45th), New York, NY 10017 |
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 12PM-8PM
Service: Delivery, Takeout
Contact: (917) 327-3510, voilaafrique.com
Voilà Afrique, a new West African fusion spot located in Midtown East, was already on my radar. I interviewed the owners for Black Restaurant Week and have been excited to try the food ever since.
I ordered one of the $9.99 rice combos: Jollof Rice and oxtail stew with a side of shito (Ghanaian spicy chili sauce). The cashier asked if I would like my oxtails spicy, and me–being the heat fiend I am–answered affirmatively. My food was ready in five minutes.
Overall, the food was good. It was fresh, well-seasoned, and a nice-sized portion. You could taste the fusion in that the Jollof Rice seemed to be seasoned with flavors often found in Jamaican cuisine such as curry and allspice; while the allspice was a little overpowering, the rice was still tasty. I was a bit disappointed that the oxtails weren’t falling off the bone tender, and would try out a different meat next time. 4 out of 5 STARS.
Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine
|Address: 371 West 46th Street (off 9th Ave), New York, NY 10036 |
Hours: Mon-Fri, 4PM-10PM; Sat-Sun, 2PM-10PM
Service: Delivery, Takeout
Contact: (646) 964-5337, jasminecaribbeancuisine.com
Jasmine’s Caribbean Cuisine is another one of the new Black owned restaurants in Manhattan. Located in Restaurant Row, the eatery is filled with island decor and intended to be a sit down restaurant. However, with the recent indoor dining shutdown in New York City, it has transitioned to delivery and takeout only. Even though I scheduled a pickup en route to the restaurant, I had to wait a little longer for my food to be ready. Thankfully, Jonathan, the staff member on duty, was quite friendly and accommodating; he offered me water, a seat, and great conversation as I waited.
I ordered the $28 escovitch fried red snapper with rice and peas. To be honest, I was quite taken aback by the high price point. I understand that the restaurant’s location more than likely comes with a lofty rent, especially since it is quite roomy. However, in turn, I think there should be more food given. Rice and peas as well as the cabbage they included are both inexpensive sides; filling the takeout container to the brim will make customers feel as though they are getting their money’s worth.
In terms of flavor, I loved the citrusy taste of both the rice and peas and the fish. The pickles also added a nice touch of acidity. My only qualm was that the rice was a bit mushy for my personal taste. All in all, I was quite satisfied. 4 out of 5 STARS.
Check out my review of two fantastic lunch spots in Harlem.
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