Saturday’s Caribbean Carnival parade in Petworth (which I mentioned here) can be described in one word: HOT. It was another day of record-breaking heat, but that didn’t stop crowds of eager parade goers from coming out and showing their support. The entirety of Georgia Ave. was lined with spectators old and young: families set up lawn chairs and ice chests, groups of teenagers tried to act cool out on their own, and kids ran around and cooled off with water balloon fights.
The temperature wasn’t the only part of the parade that was hot. Bright, colorful floats, punctuated by scantily clad, feather adorned female dancers, solicited some hollers from the crowd. Reggae music blasted from the most ginormous speakers I’ve ever seen, pulsating through the street.
I was (literally) a hot mess by the end of the parade, but couldn’t leave without trying Sweet Mango Cafe’s infamous jerk chicken. Conveniently located across from the Petworth metro, residents tell me it’s hard to walk by and not to be seduced by the potent scent of jerk chicken wafting out of Sweet Mango Cafe.
I ordered a medium-size white meat jerk chicken with rice and beans and cabbage ($7.99) and a side order of plaintains ($2.00). The chicken packed a ton of flavor into every bite, due in large part to the fiery jerk seasoning that coated the exterior (and left me licking my fingers for more). Aside from the spice, the chicken was tender and moist, with just the right amount of smoke from the grill. My only bone to pick (no pun intended) was the bones; some of the pieces were mostly bone and cartilage and not a lot of meat.
The sides were also tasty. Rice and beans soaked up a lot of the chicken juices, which complemented the dish well. Cabbage was less than memorable, but the plantains–those were money.
The sweltering day ended with us collapsing on our couch, chugging down several glasses of water, and catching the end of the World Cup match. And to end this post, a video to sum up my feelings about the meal and that day in general:
Sweet Mango Cafe
3701 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20010
Posted in Food Events, Frugal Finds, Review
Tagged Bend It Like Beckham, DC Caribbean Carnival, Georgia Ave., hot hot hot, jerk chicken, Petworth, plantains, rice and beans, Sweet Mango Cafe, world cup
Two big events are on the horizon for this weekend (in between World Cup games, of course):
DC Caribbean Carnival: Get ready for beads, feathers, and reggae galore at the annual DC Caribbean Carnival. The parade will take place Saturday starting at 11, and will wind down the Georgia Ave. corridor. Once the extravaganza is over, head to the the international marketplace at Banneker Recreation Park (Sat. and Sun. from 12-7 p.m.), where food, crafts, and live music await. I’m also planning to make a pit stop at Sweet Mango Cafe, which I’ve heard serves the best jerk chicken in DC. Click here for more details.
Saturday and Sunday
Safeway’s National Capital Barbecue Battle VXIII: This sounds like it’ll be an event of EPIC eating proportions. Featuring free food samples, cooking demos, 30 bands on 3 stages, the national pork championship, and much more, Safeway’s Barbecue Battle won’t disappoint barbecue aficionados–or foodies looking for to score some smoky, succulent barbecue samples. The festival, located on Pennsylvania Ave. between 9th and 14th Streets, starts Saturday from 11:00 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Click here for more info.
Enjoy the fun, sun, and festivities!
Photo courtesy of DCCaribbeanCarnival.org
Not much going on in the realm of food events this weekend–perhaps because most people will be out on a seersucker bicycle ride, marching in the Capital Pride Parade, or drinking at home during the World Cup. (Or, in Dupont Circle, where they will be showing the games on screens on Saturday.) Nevertheless, here are a few events that caught my eye:
National Harbor Food and Wine Festival: The ticket price is steep (at $69 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday), but worth it for the impressive roster of chefs and food personalities that will be on hand. Top Chef finalist Carla Hall, Metrocurean’s Amanda McClements, and Belga Cafe’s Bart Vandaele are just some of the special guests scheduled to appear. Click here to buy tickets.
Bangers vs. Burgers at Againn: The World Cup isn’t the only sizzling rivalry between the U.S. and Britain. On Saturday during the U.S. v. Britain soccer match (which starts at 1:30), Againn will serve up bangers with your choice of three “Lions Shandies” (UK Shandy, Shandygraff, or Rick Shandy) or burgers with your choice of three “Yanks Shandies” (The Diesel, Dr. Pepper, or Snakebite) for only $15. This is one competition you (and your tummy) won’t want to miss! Click here for more details.
The Swim Meet at the Hilton Embassy Row: The HIlton Embassy Row hosts the first of its weekly pool parties this Saturday. Get there within the first hour–from 1-2 p.m.–and admission is free. Food, drinks, music, and towel service are included! Click here for details.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons