Palmas de Caribbean (821 N. Miami Blvd) is where Doctor’s Cove Caribbean used to be, but despite having the Caribbean in common the two restaurants are very different. For one thing, there’s been a major makeover inside:
If you ever went to Doctor’s Cove you’ll appreciate the difference.
The menu at Palmas de Caribbean is Dominican and offers some options that I haven’t seen on a menu in Durham before. I was especially excited to try mofongo (a mashed plantain dish). I will eat and love any form of plantains imaginable.
You can choose from a few different kinds of meat and/or cheese to be mixed in with your mofongo; I chose pernil (roast pork) and cheese. The dish was awesome. I loved the pork’s flavor, though I might not get it next time because it was a bit dry. I would love to hear how this compares to other mofongo from someone who’s had mofongo before (TSQ, I’m looking at you!) but all I know is that I couldn’t stop eating this or thinking about it later.
Our second entree was the bistec salteado (sauteed steak), which was good, but not much more exciting than an above average fajita. The more exciting part of the meal was the two sides that came with it. We of course chose maduros (fried sweet plantain), which was amazing–you can’t really go wrong with this, the best dish on earth, but these had an especially good balance of mushy and crispy and were nice and rich.
We also got yucca; this one was a surprise because it wasn’t fried, as it so often is, but was the best yucca we could remember having in the area. It was just boiled, but the saltiness and texture were ideal.
Our waitress (one of the owners) suggested a couple of times that we come back for their breakfast (they open daily at 6am). We’ll definitely be back at various times of day, I’m sure, because there are so many delicious-sounding options on the menu. The actual menu is much more extensive than the one on their website, but they don’t necessarily have everything every day–at least the sides and possibly the entrees vary by day. I know I’d eat anything they made for me.
The restaurant is new and it was quite empty–please check them out, I’d have to have my mofongo source dry up!