Food Porn: Doctor Bird Caribbean Rasta-Rant

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My previous experience with Carribean cuisine didn’t feel “authentic”.  Don’t get me wrong, our meal was really good and the restaurant (Curly’s) had an upscale “feel” that I wasn’t expecting (no offense to Lackawanna).  But what I really have been dying for was the exact opposite.  I wanted a secret hidden place that is closer to a “hole in the wall” then anything resembling fine dining.  Lets face reality, the majority of true “Caribbean” food isn’t eaten in  fancy 5 star restaurants.  The cuisine comes from more humble beginnings and can combine several cultures from all over the world.  I wanted that to translate into my meal, and eating with a plastic fork and knife and on styrofoam/paper plates actually can add to the enjoyment of the meal.

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And that is exactly what I got at Doctor Bird.

It wasn’t the best meal I ever had, and due to it’s location it’s actually a pain in the ass to get to and park (located next to Jim’s Steakout on Main street near UB South), so I probably won’t be heading back for a while.  But there were some things we ate that were quite delicious and worth the trip.

Walking into the restaurant you might not even realize there is a dining area (located past the counter).  You walk in and see a big lighted menu hanging on the wall in front of you, two large coolers filled with all types of crazy drinks (you can see what we ordered above), and a large selection of beef patties ready to go.  I ordered the Irish Moss Peanut Drink.  It was a rather hot day and the restaurant was fairly warm inside (on top of eating spicy food) and this drink really cooled me off.  Mike ordered the Ting Lime drink which he described as “carbonated lime juice”.

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The meal started with bringing out two “hot” Jamaican Beef Patties.  Now this isn’t my first experience with a beef pattie; in fact we showed two delicious patties in our Taste of Buffalo postings. Similar to how New York Style Pizza does it on Allen, you could tell these weren’t home made but they were cooked fresh and were quite delicious.

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Now, when going to a Caribbean restaurant and seeing Curry on the menu, one might be confused. Indians who traveled to the caribbean over 150 years ago brought their spices and cooking traditions/practices with them, and thus menu items like Curry Goat have become staples in countries like Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and that region in general.  So naturally, we had to try it.  So I ordered the Curry Shrimp (top) and Mike ordered the Curry Goat (bottom).  The shrimp dish was good, but nothing to really rave about.  The goat was good as well, and so tender that you could pick off the boat without using any force.  But the problem when meat has been cooked to that level of tender is that I think some of the flavor can actually be lost in the process.  Sure the meat fell apart in my mouth, but aside from some curry flavor, there wasn’t much else to enjoy.  I probably wouldn’t be in a rush to order either of those again.

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My final dish of the meal (this was another marathon Restaurant.com inspired meal, similar to Falafel Bar) were some fried Plantains.  They are rocketing up my favorite food list, right along Sweet Potato Fries and Lebaneh.  These were fantastic, and why shouldn’t they be?  It’s an incredibly simple concept and they were so sweet, I could have had this for a dessert (and I kind of did).  They were soft but not overly mushy and I highly recommend ordering these and for 2 dollars an order they were well worth it.

Overall, I would suggest to stay away from any of the more fancier items on the menu at Doctor Bird.  Our main courses were OK, but the most enjoyable parts of our meal were the smaller/cheaper items (the plantains/beef patties etc).  Go to Restaurant.com and get yourself one of their gift certificates and try something new (just try and go on a week day after the post-work rush).

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One thought on “Food Porn: Doctor Bird Caribbean Rasta-Rant

  1. Jillian

    I had 2 thoughts when I saw this post: 1) I always used to want to go to the rasta-rant, every time we drove by in college I wanted to stop so bad, and 2) I didn’t know they sold Ting in the states!! Lindsay used to bring it back for me from St. Kitts, apparently they use it down there as a mixer w/ rum and I love it.

    Also, sweet potato fries are really easy to make at home. I recommend putting cinnamon or even honey on top and it’s kind of like a dessert.

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