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Photograph: Alex Strada
Oxtail with rice and beans at Janelle's
Crown Heights
This brightly painted Prospect Heights eatery offers West Indian standbys like braised and curry goat, but chef-owner Russel Baptiste also delivers some harder-to-find specialties from his native Trinidad and Tobago. Any order should start with his excellent jerk chicken wings, which make up for their paltry proportions with a killer balance of sweetness and spice. Larger dishes reflect Trinidad and Tobago’s patchwork food traditions. There’s Trinidad-style chicken lo mein, as junky and addictive as it sounds, and roti by way of East India—ours was dry and mealy, but we pillaged the accompanying platter of mashed-up pumpkin, apple achar (similar to a fruit chutney), and curried chickpeas and potatoes. The place is low on atmosphere, but the upbeat waitresses keep diners in good spirits, and you can BYO rum to top up a glass of tangy house-made sorrel juice.
Venue name: Janelle's
Address: 671 Washington Ave
New York
Cross street: between Bergen St and St. Marks Ave
Opening hours: Tue–Fri 11:30am–11:30pm; Sat, Sun 8am–11:30pm
Transport: Subway: C to Clinton–Washington Aves; 2, 3 to Grand Army Plaza or 2, 3 to Eastern Pkwy–Brooklyn Museum
Price: Average main course: $13. Amex, Disc, MC, V
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