Man, it’s cold outside. Now that may not be news to you and if you know me at all, it won’t be news to hear that I hate cold weather. So I must confess that it was a most pleasant surprise to venture into Caribbean Legacy and sample food that carries you straight to the tropics.
Caribbean Legacy is located in Discovery Plaza in the old Chef Raymond’s location. The walls were painted in the bright colors of the Caribbean and the place was dotted with tropical plants which put a smile on my face as soon as I walked in the door. I immediately started wishing for the days of swim trunks and sandals. And to add to the atmosphere, a fine piano player, Rodney Bell, was tickling the ivories and crooning some Nat King Cole. Man, now that’s cool!
So with a Cheshire cat grin on my face, I sit down and scope out the menu. Now ordering from the menu was an adventure in itself. It contained several exotically named dishes that required some explanation. Dishes like Dhol & Rice, Cassava Balls, Roti & Channa and Black Eye Peas Cook Up Rice. Since I didn’t have it on my fist visit, I still don’t know what Cook Up Rice is, but I love the name.
While my dinner companions and I pursued and discussed the menu, our waiter, Tyson, brought us a basket of fried plantains. If you’ve never had a fried plantain, you have missed out. That basket was consumed quickly and more were ordered. All of us opted for a different culinary route that ranged from Shepherd’s pie to fish curry. I wisely decided that since my knowledge of these exotic foods was limited, I would leave my taste buds at the mercy of the cook. I told Tyson to bring me the dish that he thought I would enjoy the most. I was brought a plate of jerk chicken with fried rice and carrots. I’m glad I asked Tyson to pick for me, as it was very good.
After dinner, I chatted with Jackie Trim the chef that prepared these fine foods. We were joined a short time later by Jackie’s husband, Paul. Jackie, Paul and their two sons, Tyson and Al, make up this family business that sprang out of a catering business. They still do the catering and they offer free delivery in a 10-mile radius. Jackie explained the feel of Caribbean Legacy as a family friendly, healthy place to eat. All the recipes are from their home country of Guyana. These are the foods that she grew up with and the same foods she fed her children.
With this steady diet of healthy foods and juices, doctor visits were a rarity around the Trim home. In Jackie’s own words, spoken in the accent of her homeland, “What you get here is what we ate back home.”
In addition to an exotic menu, Caribbean Legacy also has an extensive drink menu. Including mango, pineapple, passion fruit, Malta and orange juice. There are also many juices that require more explanation than I can give you. Drinks such as Mauby, Sorrell, Five Finger and Ginger Bear. The one type of drink that is completely absent from the menu is any form of alcohol. All of these exotic foods and drinks are healthy, family friendly and alcohol free.
Caribbean Legacy is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Monday. In January, they will be expanding their drink menu and opening the celebration room for parties, meetings and banquets.
We live in a world of fast foods. and chain restaurants that cover almost every food under the sun. But what the Trims have put together you just can’t find under a familiar neon sign. No, this is a little off the beaten path. This is a uniquely ethnic food cooked with the care and handed down for generations. Brought from the tropics of South America to the good people of Murfreesboro by some truly nice people. If you are so blessed as to get to sit down and have a chat with Jackie, Paul, Tyson or Al, you will see what I mean. And more importantly, although they may be transplanted, they are local residents trying to get a excellent local business up and running. For me, that’s the kind of businesses I want to support, I hope you feel the same way. I will be supporting them again as soon I need another break from winter