As Caribbean Flavors demonstrates, not all Caribbean is Jamaican, and not all Caribbean is created equal.  This is a Virgin Islands joint, not something easily determined from the outside. It’s located one block north of the intersection of Webb Ginn Road and Scenic Highway (Highway 124), a block past Poblanos and Bonefish Grill. It’s in the same strip mall as Lavender Asian Bistro. Inside, it’s pretty, clean and neat, with a nice yellow and orange color scheme (that seems loud I know, but the colors are well coordinated and muted) and there are a few tables surrounding the kitchen area.

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One thing that’s just true about Atlanta food writers, professional, blogger or just aggregation site fan, is that Caribbean restaurants are seriously underrepresented in their writings. People either don’t talk about them, ignore them, or forget to talk about them. Jamaican and Caribbean stores and restaurants abound on Memorial Drive and Covington Highway, and how many of these can even be found in the discussion of best Caribbean in the city? Even in other places where these eateries have expanded into, they’re not well represented. People would rather talk about the new bar in Grant Park, or a new paint job in Two Urban Licks, than find the next hole in the wall while headed to Stone Mountain.

I’m guilty of this too. I saw this restaurant while reviewing Lavender and then waited a while to check this one out. And wow, was I in for a surprise. For one, no frozen patties shipped in from New York here, and microwaved. The patés, as they call them, are hand made:

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That’s true of all the food here. It’s made from scratch. As this is a Virgin Islands restaurant, there is no jerk chicken. Dishes are things like rotí, or conch stew. Oh yes, and Johnny cakes, can’t forget those. These are a kind of fried donut, and Caribbean Flavors has good ones.

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They have a decent sized salad if you eat in.

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The conch stew is quite good

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But the chicken rotí is heavenly, bliss wrapped in a chickpea tortilla.

as served.

as served.

opened and half eaten

opened and half eaten

And they do a nice dessert too. This is made from scratch rum cake. They don’t fly in their desserts either.

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I took patés home, and when my daughter tried one, her response was,

“Oh my god, this is really good.”

And the words aren’t as important in gauging her response as the pitch of her voice, which drops when she wants to emphasize a point. It seemed as if my daughter’s voice dropped an octave when she was talking about Caribbean Flavor’s patés.

If I had any advice for those near Snellville, I’d say you have to try this restaurant. For those a bit further out, I can’t gauge what you should drive for. A great Caribbean restaurant could be around your corner. You won’t know until you look.

Service here is good and relaxed. The chef is in on nights and weekends and approachable.

Verdict: Good to excellent from-scratch Virgin Islands food. Very highly recommended

Caribbean Flavors
1195 Scenic Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30045
(770) 978-6800

Caribbean Flavors on Urbanspoon

Notes: easiest way here from, say, I-85, is to exit at Pleasant Hill and head east. Go to Ronald Reagan highway. Head to Snellville. Exit on Webb Ginn Road and take a left. At the intersection of Webb Ginn and Scenic Highway (Poblano’s will be on your left), turn left and go one block. At the the gas station, turn left and immediately enter the strip mall-gas station on your right. You won’t see Caribbean Flavors at this point, but this is the right place to turn. Head to the far end of the strip mall.

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