Cheap Eats 2011: Muffin Man Caribbean Cafe

This Caribbean cafe is livened up with citrus-hued walls and tropical trees, but mostly with a case of two dozen varieties of colorful, moist muffins. With such flavors as sweet potato–its spicing evokes a pie–German chocolate, and white-chocolate/macadamia, many of them seem closer to cupcakes. While the muffins are tough to resist, the other food is reason enough to visit. Curries are the way to go. Try the chicken roti, a potato-studded curry wrapped in a flaky flatbread, or oxtail and goat curries, tender and aggressively–but nicely–spiced. Jerk chicken has lacked the dynamite heat that defines island cuisine, but the pepper-and-herb crust is still packed with flavor. If you shy away from heat, go for the satisfying honey-glazed Ziggy Wings.

Also good: Rum-raisin, carrot-cake, cranberry, and cream-cheese/streusel muffins; jerk shrimp; stuffed shrimp with fries and coleslaw.

Open Monday through Saturday 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 Petworth.