This is it, AGAIN?… with all sincerity, Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine, E. 38th St. and Bloomington Ave S. in Minneapolis is amazing. This hole in the wall puts out some of the fullest flavored foods I have ever had the pleasure to taste. I thought I knew Jamaican Jerk, but was I wrong. I can’t get its amazing taste out of my mind. I want to be there now!!
The menu starts with “ Marla’s uses the freshest ingredients to ensure that you get the best tasting food. Each meal is cooked to order, so when we are busy please be patient. We want to keep giving you the best meal, and service whether it’s for one or one million. Thanks – Marla”
Entrees are ordered in five categories of spice; Mild – Savory, Medium – Kicked up a notch, Hot – Nose Running, Indian Hot – Bring Tissues and – Marla’s Hot, Cry for your Momma! I consider myself of above average in ability to tolerate and enjoy hot/spicy foods. When ordering three entrees on my first visit I asked if Hot was like Jalapeño hot, my server smiled and said “no its like Habanero and Ghost Pepper Hot”. I ordered Hot and was painfully pleased with my selection. Beginning with the Caribbean Curry, beef, Marla’s special blend of imported Trinidad curry and exotic spices with cabbage, carrots and bell peppers | Stew Brown Down, vegetables and tofu, a sweet caramelized sauce with cabbage carrots and bell peppers | Jamaican Jerk which only comes hot or at a hotter level (yikes!) chicken,with a traditional dry rub/marinade made from Scotch Bonnet Peppers served in a Jerk Sauce cooked with cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. “The Jamaican Jerk is completely out of this world great!” Each entrée is served with your choice of red beans and rice, white rice or upon request flat bread, Dhalpourie. On a subsequent visit I selected a few different options, all Mild to please my beautiful, wife, Barb and daughter, Jacqueline, Stew Brown Down with Oxtails, this falling off the bone delicacy is wonderful | Caribbean Chowmein , vegetarian, julienne vegetables mixed with Carab-Asian spices and wheat noodles | Caribbean Fried Rice, vegetarian, Carib-Asian spices sautéed to create a unique fusion. Both Carib-Asian dishes were undeniably spectacular. We finished with a “Customer Fav!”, Fried Plantains, caramelized and salted.
Marla’s is tiny with limited seating and preparation takes some time so be patient and be amazed and go there!
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, Delaware
Unfortunately not available in MN but an easy summer drive to your favorite Wisconsin border town. I give you three of my favorites!
60 Minute IPA | 6.0% ABV | 60 IBU
Notes from the brewer: “60 Minute IPA is continuously hopped — more than 60 hop additions over a 60-minute boil. (Getting a vibe of where the name came from?) 60 Minute is brewed with a slew of great Northwest hops. A powerful but balanced East Coast IPA with a lot of citrusy hop character, it’s the session beer for hardcore enthusiasts!”
90 Minute IPA | 9.0% ABV | 90 IBU
Notes from the brewer: “Esquire Magazine calls our 90 Minute IPA “perhaps the best IPA in America.” An imperial IPA best savored from a snifter, 90 Minute has a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate. 90 Minute IPA was the first beer we continuously hopped, allowing for a pungent — but not crushing — hop flavor.”
120 Minute IPA | 15-20% ABV | 120 IBU
Notes from the brewer: “Clocking in at 15-20% ABV and 120 IBUs, it’s easy to see why we call this beer THE HOLY GRAIL for hopheads! 120 Minute IPA is boiled for a full two hours while being continuously hopped with high-alpha American hops, then dry-hopped daily in the fermenter for a month and aged for another month on whole-leaf hops. We brew 120 Minute IPA a few times a year, but it goes fast. If you find some grab a few bottles — some to enjoy and some to age.”