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“Caribbean food done as it is in the islands!”

Tropical Island Coffee & Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Jamaican
Restaurant details
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
226 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 179 helpful votes
“Caribbean food done as it is in the islands!”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

I was in town for business and had several local people mention how good this place was. My husband and I love Caribbean food, so I knew I had to make a stop here before heading home. This small place is located on a corner in historic downtown Winchester. When I arrived around 3:30pm there were a handful of people who seemed to be ordering coffee/beverages. When it was my turn, Lloyd, the Jamaican owner, greeted me with his pleasant island accent and answered my many questions about menu choices. I told Lloyd he better get a pen to write down my order; it’d be a big one for just two people. I ordered two jerk chicken meals $8.95 each, an order of fried plantains $1.50, a curried chicken roti, a beef patty, a chicken patty and a vegetable patty. Lloyd walked away and assisted with my order; he reappeared a short time later singing to me with my to-go bags in hand. If it weren’t 30 degrees outside on a blustery, frigid March day, I could have easily forgotten that I was in the United States. The aroma of West Indian cooking, the huge selection of Caribbean sauces and beverages along with Lloyd’s genuine hospitality took me away. We spent a short time in pleasant conversation expressing our views of our Caribbean experiences. Funny, before heading to this place, I was in a hurry to get back home; dreading the two hour drive and was hoping for a quick in and out trip. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Lloyd and suddenly lapsed into island time. Surprisingly, this food withstood the car ride home and even stayed warm. Two hours later and the moment of truth-taste time, would this be as good as it smelled? The jerk chicken was spicy, but in a medium way. Those who prefer more heat may wish to ask for it to be heightened. It was perfect for me; I don’t like over spicy food; though my husband said it could have been hotter. Even without the additional heat, we both agreed the flavor was perfect jerk and the moist, tender chicken fell off the bone. The two pieces of chicken were served atop a huge portion of rice ‘n peas along with another hefty portion of a warm slaw dish. We found the rice ‘n peas much spicier than the chicken. OMG, the patties were outstanding! The beef was spicy with excellent flavor; the chicken a spicy curried delight; and the vegetable had no spicy heat, but certainly not lacking in great flavor. The generous order of fried plantains were lightly browned and cooked to perfection. The curried chicken roti was gigantic and took up the entire to-go box. With huge chunks of tender curried, chicken along with potatoes and carrots the roti did not disappoint. We got all of this food for $34, which I thought was a bargain. My only let down was that I thought I had a cold Ting in my fridge at home to wash it down with, but when I looked there was none. Even though Winchester is two hours from our home, should the craving for Caribbean food set in we would have no problem driving that distance for island food done right in the States! Not only was the food delicious, but having Lloyd as the host made the experience even more memorable.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank kribbean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Winchester, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Take me to the Caribbean”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This place is a little it of Jamaica right here in Winchester. The food is very authentic, and the cafe is owned by a Jamaican national. Curried Goat is out of this world, as is the Jerk Chicken. The ox tail is also classically Caribbean. The funky atmosphere makes you feel like you are in the streets of Kingston. Very casual, very laid back, very Jamaican. this is my go-to for casual lunch with friends, or alone!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Yes-I-am-a-foodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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