Cheap Eats 2007: Caribbean Sea

From the reggae-rap on the sound system to the laid-back vibe, this fish market/carryout/restaurant has the feel of a family-run eatery on some sunny island.

Brother/sister owners—Yvonne cooks, Auley runs the place—have fashioned a menu of seafood stews, curries, and fried fish evoking the tastes of Jamaica and the West Indies. Brown stew dishes made with shrimp, conch, snapper, and lobster are king—the long-simmered sauce is a soulful gravy you’ll want to soak up with thin wedges of fried cassava called bammie.

West Indian–style fish curries, thinner than Asian and Indian varieties, are done well. A small salad and rice-and-peas fragrant with coconut come with each entrée. And don’t miss the crisp little cornmeal fritters that are aptly called festival.

There’s no alcohol, but you may not miss it with such house-made juices as the tart ginger beer, an ideal foil for the spicy cuisine. Dessert can be iffy—sometimes it’s available, sometimes not. Chalk that up to island charm.

Open daily except Monday for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.