Saturday, July 07, 2007

Yellow carrots and painted parrots

A friend and I went out to the Painted Parrot for dinner and libations. Well, libation - a single mango mojito on my part. A very large, very strong mango mojito.

What? Shut up.

Anyway - When we walked in , I wasn't quite sure what to think. The bar is on one side of a wall down the middle of a long room, the restaurant on the other. The food is Caribbean; the atmosphere is a bit Bob Marley-meets-Jimmy Buffet-at a roadside bar. Think REALLY bright primary colors for everything, including very cool multi-colored plates. Murals on all the walls - abstract parrots, island scenes and the like. It seemed too much like a college bar hangout to have decent food. We opted to sit on the east-facing patio, which is shaded from the worst of the afternoon sun.

Grace had the "Half-Ass" Nachos and a salad. Fully loaded nachos, and enough to feed at least four people. Apparently, a full order comes on a garbage can lid. I had the We-Be-Jammin' platter - spicy marinated chicken, blanched fresh veggies and fried plantains.

At least, I was sure the fried strips were plantains. The waitress got a little confused when I asked what the coin-shaped yellow disk-cut veggie was - it tasted vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it. It turned out to be yellow carrot.

Who knew?

The chicken was great - just hot enough to make the mango salsa (more like a mango puree) a welcome addition. The entire meal was incredible; fresh ingredients, flavorful spices and tasty combinations made my mouth very happy.

The large tables and casual atmosphere make this a perfect place for a party, or a night out with the girls. The picnic tables on the patio (like I said, very casual) will seat eight comfortably.

We may have to take the gang there sometime this summer.

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