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Caribbean Eats at the Curry Hut in Margate

The chicken curry at Curry Hut in Pompano Beach reminded me of the cumin-heavy Indian food my friend's mother makes. Her family is from India by way of Guyana, which lends her dishes a Caribbean influence. At family gatherings, they eat a mixture of vegetarian aloo (potato), channa (chick peas), and roti laced with a paste made from dried lentils; plus Chinese-influenced food like fried rice, lo mein, and duck. Not only did the curry chicken taste like her family's but it came with aloo and roti made to order, and the restaurant offered side orders of chow mein, fried rice, and other Chinese dishes. This confluence of flavors could only make sense in a Caribbean restaurant.

The chicken curry was great -- spicy, meaty, and served on the

bone. I love meat on the bone, but when eating curry with roti, you're

supposed to scoop up the meat with the thin flatbread. That proves

difficult if you're busy picking bones out of chicken. I started

removing the meat from the bone before scooping it into the roti, and

that worked out better. (We also asked for plastic forks and knives, which don't automatically come with meals.)

The roti itself was amazing, though I think I

preferred it paratha-style over the dhalpouri, which is full of messy,

crumbly lentil flour. I asked the lady at the counter if she had some

hot sauce to spice the plate up even more. In turn, she gave me a vial

of bright-orange habanero sauce that was slightly chunky and tart with

vinegar. It was damned hot, all right. The whole plate, including the

excellent stewed potatoes, cost just $6.50.

My companion got a

plate of channa with mashed, curried pumpkin that was more sweet than

spicy, plus the paratha-style roti for the same price. To drink, I had a

dark Dragon Stout from Jamaica, and she had a syrupy orange soda called

Solo. The place also serves lamb, goat, duck, and even shark. The shark

comes with breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. There are daily specials

with stewed fish, red beans, and even crab. I can't wait to try those.

The Curry Hut
5416 W. Atlantic Blvd., Margate 33063

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John Linn

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