Last Sunday we were in Crotona Park having our first taste of food from the Garinagu/Garifuna. We were a few among many gathered in the park for The Honduran and Central American Parade. When we arrived at about two o’clock, the parade appeared to be over, (I was not able to find out exactly what streets for the parade route) but we were just in time for the food. We headed to the tent with the longest line and smokiest grills.
We sampled a plate of grilled steak (a bit tough, but nicely flavored), red beans and rice, crispy fried plaintain, pickled onions (red, sweet and vinegary–nice condiment) and a crunchy side salad like a slaw (also nice). And we had fresh lemonade (ahhhh).
The Garinagu are the offspring of the Black Carib people from the island of St. Vincent. In 1797, the Black Carib were deported to Roatán, an island off the coast of Honduras, by the British and from there, after tiring of Spanish rule, eventually sailed to Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. I came to learn that the Bronx, unofficially, has a larger Garifuna community than Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua and the Honduras (which has the largest concentration) combined.
I asked one of the women serving us for the name of a Garinagu restaurant in the Bronx and she said “La Orquidea on 149th St and Brook Avenue opposite the Burger King”. We intend to try it. And we’re open to other places too. Anyone have other recommendations?