NY Bajan Restaurant
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Culpepper's Restaurant

Bajan (Barbadian) Cuisine in Brooklyn

By Carolina Gonzalez
29 Apr 1999, New York Daily News
Boro Bytes, Page 6

1082 Nostrand Ave.
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn, NY

CUISINE: Caribbean
PHONE: (718) 940-4122.
PRICE RANGE: Appetizers, $1-$4; main courses, $6-$8
2 1/2 Stars

Daily News ratings from zero to four stars are based on the total dining experience, food quality, atmosphere, service and value.

COMMENTS: Once you go east of Flatbush Avenue or south of Eastern Parkway, there is no shortage of West Indian eateries to satisfy a yen for jerk or roti.

Culpepper 's, a Barbadian or "Bajan" place open for a couple of months, blends in easily with the other shops along busy Nostrand Avenue But its food is a couple of notches above the rest.

As with many of the lunch counters lining major thoroughfares in Latino and West Indian neighborhoods, one does not go to Culpepper 's for its genteel setting, at least not in the daytime.

During the day, the eatery primarily does take-out business, with only a few stools around a counter available for a sit-down meal.

At night, however, there is a prim and pretty dining room for the after-work crowds. First-time visitors can be easily drawn into the conversations around them, either by regulars or by the friendly staff.

While Bajan food is similar to cuisine from the more familiar Caribbean islands Jamaica and Trinidad the dishes at Culpepper 's seem to be prepared with a lighter hand, making for subtle but tasty variations on standards.

The version of roti served here is the most straight-ahead. The fillings of meat and chick peas are generous and juicy, impossible to eat out of hand.

The codfish cakes are small and fluffy, a perfect starter, especially when doused with some hot sauce.

The rice and peas, prepared with coconut milk, are dense and a perfect catch-all for the thin but flavor-laden sauces in the meat, chicken and fish dishes.

Oxtails more than reward the trouble involved in digging out the meat from the bone with the spicing that has soaked in. Curried chicken is fragrant and delicious.

The fish plates mostly come prepared in a cooked escovitch-like sauce full of tomatoes, onions and Scotch bonnet peppers. The flying fish is well-presented, boneless and firm.

Seafood comes with a cornmeal porridge with okra called cou-cou. Okra-haters can rest easy. The much-maligned vegetable makes the side dish creamy rather than slimy.

There are no alcoholic beverages available, but ginger beer and sorrel are appropriate thirst-quenchers for the simmering heat in the food.

Desserts are best purchased elsewhere, in one of the many bakeries nearby.

CREDIT CARDS: Cash only.
HOURS: Mon-Thu 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
HANDICAPPED ACCESS: One step up to dining area.
PARKING: Street parking.
NEAREST MASS-TRANSIT STOP: 2 Train, Sterling St. station.

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Culpepper Connection. The origin of this restaurant's name is unknown, and we'd appreciate hearing from you if you know it. Please see Sending Us Information.

Last Revised: 02 Jan 2015


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