Haitian restaurants are slowly becoming more popular in the United States. This is a unique cuisine, and it is definitely one worth trying if you want to expand your palate. However, since you're probably not overly familiar with the cuisine, you may be unsure of what to order when you sit down and look at the menu. Here are a few suggestions.
This is a dish you will almost always see on the menu at a traditional Haitian restaurant. It is a crispy pork dish made from marinated chunks of lean pork. The outside of the pork pieces is coated in seasoning. Griot is somewhat spicy since one of the ingredients is Scotch bonnet peppers. It is often served with bread or rice to soak up the juices and tone down the heat.
If you have never before enjoyed conch, which is a type of shellfish, this is definitely the way you want to try it. Lambi guisado is a sort of stew made with conch cooked in plenty of spices. In Haiti, it is considered a delicacy, and once you taste it, you will understand why. The flavors of the bell pepper, tomato, and red onion in the sauce really blend together nicely. Lambi is said to be an aphrodisiac, so this might be a good dish to enjoy on date night.
Kibi is an appetizer, so it's a great dish to order and share with friends. It is basically balls of ground meat — sometimes beef and sometimes lamb — coated in a breading and fried. The outside is crispy and delicious, and the inside is soft and juicy. Kibi is often served with lemon wedges, which you can squeeze over the meatballs for extra zing.
Mayi moulin is like a Haitian version of polenta. It is a porridge-like cornmeal dish, but it is typically seasoned with savory flavorings like garlic and onion. Some restaurants may include some greens, like spinach or kale, in the recipe. This dish is surprisingly filling and is usually meat-free, so it is a good choice for vegetarians. Some, but not all, versions are even vegan.
When you visit a Haitian restaurant, consider ordering one or more of the dishes above. They give you a good overview of the cuisine and will expand your palate. If you're dining with friends, don't be afraid to try each other's food.
For more information, reach out to a company like Fritai.