Nyammin's Karibi Kafe
332 N. Charles St. Hours: Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to midnight, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. (410) 783-1533.
There are days when one more hamburger or turkey sandwich is enough to push a bored palate over the edge, days when you can't be sure how many pencils you've eaten before realizing they aren't french fries. These are the days for Nyammin's Karibi Kafe.
Asterisks on Nyammin's neon-green or orange takeout menus warn upfront that some selections are "Hot and Spicy." They mean it. Unless you can eat jalapenos straight or like Tabasco sauce on your ice cream, you might want to shy away from the jerk wings ($4.50) or other starred items. Not that the jerk seasonings don't have a good flavor, but the spice made even this hot-sauce aficionado sniffle. A good bet, with a taste to put any burger to shame, is the patties ($1.50), flaky-crusted turnovers filled with seasoned ground beef or vegetables and served piping hot.
Divinely flavorful but not biting is the saffron shrimp ($8.25). In this light and filling dish, eight medium shrimp come in a curry sauce with sauteed red bell peppers and onions and topped with julienne squash. Also on the mild side are the Chicken Irie ($5.95), a fricassee, and the hearty Arawak Chicken ($6.25), seared boneless breast in a curry raisin sauce. Each entree is served with a fresh salad and a side order of rice and peas. Though wonderful, my rice had only two or three peas (most Americans would recognize the peas as kidney beans).
The dessert menu is limited to bread pudding and apple cobbler ($2.75 each). However, you might try the fried plantains side order ($2). Though they're a little greasy, the plantains are mellow and buttery sweet enough to make a nice dessert stand-in.