Caribbean Sea Seafood Market & Restaurant
This transportive seafood house puts out some of the best Jamaican cooking in the area.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published October 11, 2006
Caribbean Sea Seafood Market & Restaurant
Address: 6869 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD 20912
Phone: 301-891-3497
Neighborhood: Silver Spring/Takoma Park
Cuisines: Seafood, Caribbean
Opening Hours: Open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday noon to 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday noon to 10 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Takoma, Fort Totten
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Escabeche; brown stew fish; Blue Mountain-style shrimp; fish n' chips; Festival fritters; rice and peas; deviled lobster; housemade juices, such as pineapple-ginger.
Price Details: Appetizers about $3.50; entrées $8 to $25.

June 2006 Cheap Eats

Some of the area's most spot-on Jamaican fare comes out of the tiny kitchen of this fish market and restaurant popular with the Caribbean community. Everyone gets a warm welcome from owner Yvonne Edwards, who skips from kitchen to dining room to fish market and back with speed and grace.

Don't see any fish? They're buried in mounds of ice, giving the place an old-fashioned feel. The homey vibe carries on in the dining room, which is brightened with colorful fishnets and seafaring artwork.

Nearly everything on the menu is a keeper, with the possible exception of the bland steamed fish with okra. The Caribbean mainstay, escabèche--fried fish smothered with melting onions in a tart vinegar sauce--might be the most swoon-inducing. But the brown stew fish is a close second, the snapper hitting the palate with an intensely winy, briny flavor. The Blue Mountain style shrimp turns up the heat with a blast of red pepper and coriander, while fish 'n' chips, a nod to Jamaica's colonial past, crackles with a brittle, greaseless crust. That same clean frying shows up in the crispy Jamaican fritters called Festival, a sort of ultra-delicious hushpuppy. Even the rice and peas accompanying most plates are more flavorful, more coconutty, here.

Because everything is cooked to order--even the wonderful fruit juices like pineapple ginger are made in-house--and because the staff is small, waits can be long, which is probably why the place does a brisker carryout than eat-in business, at least on weekdays. But that feels authentic, too. In the Caribbean, things unfold at a slower pace. They call it island time.
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