East 79th Street in Chatham is a richness of spoils for fans of Caribbean and African cuisines. A few rise above the rest; one of them is Tropic Island, nestled in a small storefront on east 79th Street near King Drive.
If you do plan a trip to Tropic Island, don't go there expecting four-star tableside service. The dining room, with its no-frills booths and seating, can be used as a photographic definition for "greasy spoon."
What makes Tropic Island worth the trip is the jerk chicken. Its version is hands-down among the most addictive jerk chicken in the city and quite possibly some of the best this far west of the Caribbean. It comes steaming off the grill, redolent with spices and healthy servings of red beans and rice and your choice of a variety of classic soul food sides (we recommend the mixed greens).
Tropic Island also has a selection of curries, jerked goat plates and seafood available for order. Lunch specials are evenly priced at $7.50, while dinner plates don't go above $12, making Tropic Island one of the more affordable Caribbean restaurants in the city.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Chuck Sudo