Restaurant Review: Doctor Bird Caribbean Rasta-Rant

The Spectrum

"Try new things" - such a commonly heard phrase nowadays, it's easy to hear someone say the words and not even think about them. "Broaden your horizons" - another one of those sayings that gets stated and re-stated so often that it seems weightless and insubstantial.

But when it comes to food, this is advice you should not only listen to, but you should use it until those taste buds of yours have taken you on a journey across the globe.

One of those stops should be Jamaica. Luckily for UB students, all they have to do is take a stroll down Main Street to Doctor Bird Caribbean Rasta-Rantand they can cross the island off their culinary world map.

About a 15-minute walk from South Campus and a 13-minute drive from North Campus, the Caribbean restaurant is a simple solution for students who want to expand their culinary palate.

Compared to the pizzerias, fast food joints, and fried chicken places found on Main Street, the Rasta-Rant gives its customer something different. Instead of eating the same greasy or fried food, opt for something carefully cooked yet still delicious.

When you first enter the small, modest building, you're overcome by the scent of alluring foodand the faint sound of Reggae music jamming in the background.

There are two sections to the restaurant. They have the takeout area, where people come in, order, and then wait until their food is finished. Unless they direct you toward it, you probably wouldn't have even noticed that they have a pleasantly comfortable and inviting dining room.

Along with the Reggae music, the restaurant's dining room really helps get you in the Rasta mood. Caribbean posters line the walls, portraying beautiful scenes like a sunset over a beach with pink sand, a landscape covered in vines and vibrant flowers, and pictures of Bob Marley and Haile Selassie (the leaders of the Rastafarian movement).

For less than $11, you can get a small curry chicken dinner (which is not very small at all), a beef patty, and a bottle of water.

Their patties are mouthwatering. While you are waiting for your main course, they are a perfect tease to get your taste buds ready. Although beef is the most popular, the Rast-Rant also serves chicken, vegetable, and soybean. After one bite, you'll need utensils to catch the escaping meat (or vegetables) trying to force its way out of the buns.

The curry chicken meal comes with chicken that is so tender and seasoned that it melts in your mouth. It's on the spicy side, so if you're not used to eating hot foods, opt for the Brown Stew Chicken meal. This meat has a sweeter taste, but it's still cooked to be tender and tasty. On the side of both meals, you're given rice and beans with a pile of cabbage on the side. Yes, cabbage.

If you're thinking, "Ew, who in their right mind would eat cabbage?" think again. This stuff is so tender and delectable - especially when mixed in with the curry sauce - that it's hard to put your fork down. It's a great source of vitamin C and it's low in calories.

Underneath the counter, customers can buy some of the Rasta-Rant's ingredients, allowing you to make some chicken in the comfort of your own home.

The drink selection is also notable. The Rasta-Rant has the normal things, of course - Arizona teas, Poland Spring bottles, and offbeat soda brands - but there's also much more. Tiger Bone, an invigorating herbal tonic - "invigorating" because it's a sexual stimulant that boosts libido - can be bought for $5 a bottle. This may seem like a lot for a tiny bottle, but the drink makes, among other things, a good hangover remedy.

All in all, Doctor Bird Caribbean Rasta-Rant should be added to your list of must-try restaurants in Buffalo, especially if you're in the mood for something convenient, different, and delicious.