Miss Ollie's - Cal-Caribbean - Oakland

Went last night for the first time in a while. This is one of those places I always recommend to visitors and when I go myself I always wonder why I don’t go more often. (Probably because there are too many of those places.)

Phoularie ($8) are crisp, fragrant, savory beignets, last night with spit peas and okra. I liked all three of the dipping sauces that came with them (shadon beni, tamarind, and chile vinegar).

Jerk wild Gulf shrimp ($17.50) were huge and insanely good. Came with a generous helping of cabbage salad that was a nice foil for the spicy food.

Fried chicken ($24.75) was as always the best I’ve had anywhere. It put the Front Porch on the map and has only gotten better over the years. Came with a big bowl of complexly seasoned potato salad and a big helping of greens, which between crunchy chard ribs, smoked paprika, and a lot of salt was one of the least vegan-seeming vegan dishes I’ve had.

Summer succotash ($7) with fresh black-eyed peas, corn, okra, and tomatoes was great.

Drank a nice bottle of Revolution Chenin Blanc ($34).

Despite the modest tab that was way more food than we could finish. We took home a piece of chicken and maybe half the vegetable sides.

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Went for lunch / brunch yesterday. Nice weather, sat outside.

I didn’t take a photo of the chicken empanadas because we’d also ordered the beef ones. Luckily they were out of those, two each would have been way too much food. They were pretty much Jamaican patties, deep-fried, and served with a slaw that was very close to Salvadorean curtido. Great dish.

Better photo of the greens than the one above. We’d already taken two big helpings.

Two big helpings also gone from the salad. Great combination of textures and flavors. I particularly liked the slightly underripe mango. Buttermilk cilantro dressing was like a lighter Green Goddess.

Plus two fried chicken thighs and an order of wings (two), food came to $36.50 for two. Given the quality and quantity that might be the best value in Oakland. Took home about a third of the greens.

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Love that place! Especially their salt fish and ackee dish.

I love salt cod but I didn’t understand that dish.

Miss Ollie’s remains one of my favorite restaurants. Although, when I went for lunch a few weeks ago the fried chicken did not have the herbs tucked under the skin like they usually do, which moved it from the best fried chicken I’ve ever had to one of the best. Hopefully it was just a lunchtime anomaly. Sometimes they do a dirty rice entree that is heavy on the chicken liver - really good.

Got some fried chicken takeout last week. I was surprised how busy the place was. There was even one person sitting at the bar having a cocktail. That felt really weird.

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cow-heel soup with cassava

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Last day at 901 Washington is today.

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Sarah Kirnon is raising a small amount of money for her next venture. Anyone interested, contact me.