Caribbean Grill – Arlington

30 01 2011

“I now work for a finance company in Luxembourg with projects in South America and the Caribbean.”– Mathias Rust

Caribbean Grill Exterior

Plantain City, U.S.A.

I don’t know why it has taken us so long to write a review of the Caribbean Grill. We’ve eaten here before, some of us rather frequently (Heathcliff) due to proximity to our residence. The first thing we should have reviewed at Caribbean Grill probably should have been their rotisserie chicken (because there aren’t enough chicken places in Arlington). Their chicken is rather good but this isn’t a review of their chicken, it’s a review of their Cuban sandwich.

Cuban Sandwich
Fidel would be proud

The Cuban sandwich was somewhat of a let down. It looks fantastic and incredibly appetizing if you’re as hungry as I was, but it’s lacking in the flavor department. I was surprised how something that looked so good could be so bland. The bread they used was fantastic, perfectly toasted and crispy. The ham and pork that made up the sandwich was of fine quality as well. It just seemed as if it hadn’t been spiced at all. I also expected more robust flavor out of the mustard, which was also a let down. I even used the available yellow and green sauces on the table, but they appear to be watered down in comparison to their peers at El Pollo Rico or Crisp & Juicy. To sum up the Cuban: great sandwich in every aspect but flavor.

The fried plantains seemed to contain all the flavor that the Cuban Sandwich lacked. Perfectly fried and caramelized, these were the highlight of my meal. On a cold night, these plantains warmed me up and were a great compliment to the sandwich. They made a great “dessert”; sweet but not too sweet. The one thing I really wish I had was a bowl of vanilla ice cream to add them to. These are a must have at Caribbean Grill–just make sure you order the chicken as an entree.

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Note: The image of the exterior of the restaurant is not my own. Clicking on it will take you to the source.


Mr. Smith’s – Georgetown [Update]

17 12 2010

“Hoya Saxa” – Georgetown University Chant (Latin “for these eggs are cold”)

Mr. Smith's
Original photo from original article

One Saturday we set off in the pursuit of having brunch at this place called EatBar. EatBar promised cartoons and brunch, a winning combination. Great concept, poor execution on EatBar’s part (There was no audio for the cartoons and atmosphere was too boushy for us anyway — Heathcliff). So we promptly exited the establishment and set off to find an alternate dining location. We ended up in Georgetown going to the good, reliable Mr. Smith’s.

Spikes and I ordered the coffee which was fairly solid. It wasn’t amazing, but it hit the spot and augmented the large cup I drank at home. Heathcliff ordered a milk. With respect to the entrees, we all possess of a particular love of hollandaise sauce that resulted in all three of us ordering variations on Eggs Benedict. I opted for the classic Benedict, Spikes went with lump crab meat, and Heathcliff went with a “Louisiana Style” chicken breast.


Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benaddicted

The breakfast certainly looked excellent and I ate every bite, but it felt like there was something missing; Temperature. The breakfast was lukewarm. There’s one thing I’m really big on, and it’s that my food be warm. It wasn’t just an isolated incident, both Spikes and Heathcliff’s dishes weren’t warm either. The lack of warmth in my food really impaired my enjoyment of the dish.

The eggs were poached in the traditional manner rather than in a cup, however they let them cook a bit too long since the yolk was slightly hardened and not properly runny. The ham was well grilled and the English muffin was well toasted, so no complaints there. The potatoes were properly fried, but because they weren’t warm they were fairly mediocre. The hollandaise sauce was another component of the dish that was really impacted by being lukewarm. I wanted to like this meal, I really did; it looked great and I was certainly very hungry, but it was just wasn’t warm. (Also, where was the Cajun spice? My chicken was inadequately seasoned and probably not worth the relatively low price tag of $8. — Heathcliff)

This wasn’t the first time Heathcliff had been there, so thanks to his recommendation this would’ve really turned us off of Mr. Smith’s. The most disappointing thing about this meal was that we knew it could fulfill it’s potential with very little effort. Mr. Smith’s is a very relaxing and casual atmosphere which we all really appreciated. We know their food is normally better prepared than this, but on this Saturday Mr. Smith’s just couldn’t bring it.

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