Pam’s Kitchen brings the heat

I had oral surgery on April 20, but that didn’t stop me from going to Pam’s Kitchen, a Caribbean restaurant in Wallingford, the day afterward. It probably wasn’t the smartest idea, but my dad invited me and offered to pay, so I decided to go.

Pam’s Kitchen is owned by a lady named Pam Jacob, who we had the pleasure of meeting while we were there. She has been the head chef for the last 12 years, and the food she makes all stems from her upbringing in Trinidad.

I attended with a large party. This enabled me to indulge myself in a variety of unique dishes. The first appetizer I tried was the spicy jerk wings, which were more tangy than spicy, and as far as wings go, they were among the best I’ve ever had. They were small, and my least favorite of the three appetizers I tried, and that’s saying something.

I also tried sweet fried plantains. I don’t think I had ever eaten plantains before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They were fantastic. They were the cheapest of the appetizers, but they certainly delivered on flavor. The aloo pies were easily my favorite, despite not being much of a potato-lover. For the curious, aloo pies look like something between pot stickers and egg rolls in Asian cuisine. Instead of being filled with meat or vegetables, aloo pies are filled with potato patties and seasoned with a mango chutney. They were savory, and had I eaten nothing else during my meal, I would have been satisfied.

In terms of actual entrees, I chose the spicy jerk chicken, as was recommended to me by a friend. The menu listed it as “fall off the bone tender,” and it sure lived up to its description. You could pull the leg bone right out from within the chicken. It was delicious, too. It was everything I expected from high quality chicken and had just enough spice to really make it

taste like authentic Caribbean food. It came with a side of rice and an apple tomato salad, both of which really added to the authenticity of the dish. The rice actually surpassed the enjoyment of the chicken for me, and I would have happily traded the salad for more rice.

Even the drinks and sides fit the uniqueness of the experience. Our table probably ordered four or five orders of paratha roti, which is a style of flatbread akin to naan bread in Indian cuisine. It was fluffy and delicious, although I’ll warn anybody who goes that the bread will fill you up fast. I also tried an interesting drink called mauby bark juice. My dad’s gotten me used to strange drinks, but it’s an acquired taste. If anything, I would recommend it for the experience over the actual taste of the drink.

It’s always fun finding delicious food close to home, and I think the experience of going to Pam’s Kitchen was well worth the cost of roughly $30 per person. It is definitely something I would recommend to anybody looking for a nice authentic Caribbean experience.

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