Island fare with a price that's fair


Sweet T&T offers plenty of zip with tropical flair

August 24, 2005|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Need a jerk-chicken fix or a little curried goat? Sweet T&T could be your place.

The small eatery has been open for a couple of months now, turning out good Caribbean food for a steady clientele in Randallstown.

T&T stands for Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean island nation. The carryout occupies a strip-mall outlet that used to house a cellular-phone store, which explains the bland gray carpet that covers the entire space.

The walls, though, have been painted a sky blue that brings to mind long days on the beach. A couple of pictures of the great Bob Marley are posted, along with flags of a dozen Caribbean nations.

The menu lists all sorts of dishes, but during our recent visit, a piece of paper kept at the counter listed the dishes that were actually available that night, including several chicken entrees, goat and oxtail.

Our group of tasters was satisfied with dishes that were plentiful, relatively inexpensive and prepared with plenty of island zip.

The chicken dishes were particularly winning. Stewed chicken ($7.50) had a nice tang and jerk chicken ($9.50) had that familiar peppery jerk flavor. Both were served with delicious rice.

Oxtail ($9) also was cooked in a stew and reminded us of short ribs. Curried goat ($9) won kudos from at least some in our group, although we had to watch out for small bones in the goat meat.

We sampled all of the side dishes, which came with the main entrees, and particularly liked the kidney beans, fried plantains and callaloo, a Caribbean version of gumbo, heavy on the okra.

We also enjoyed a special that was not on the regular menu, Jamaican meat patties ($1.50 apiece), spicy meat tucked inside a fried pastry. Coco bread ($1) was a delicious roll that my grandmother in Alabama would have appreciated.

There were no actual desserts available during our visit, but we took our server's suggestion and tried the polouries ($1.50). They were savory, deep-fried dumplings that reminded us of undercooked hush puppies and came with a slightly sweet tamarind sauce. The combination of tastes was intriguing although not particularly dessertlike.

Sweet T&T is on Brenbrook Drive, off of Liberty Road. There's plenty of parking out front and in a lot to the side.

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Sweet T&T

Food: * * * (3 STARS)

Service: * * * (3 STARS)

Waiting area: * * * (3 STARS)

Parking: * * * (3 STARS)

Where: 3539 Brenbrook Drive, Randallstown

Phone: 443-426-7601

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

Prices: Caribbean-style appetizers and dinners, including chicken, goat, oxtail, fish and shrimp, from $1.50 to $9.50; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: * * * *; Good: * * *; Fair or uneven: * *; Poor: *

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