Unlike the other (way better) niche chain restaurants in Durham, Golden Krust Caribbean restaurant works under the hierarchy of hats. Having worked at Arby’s in high school, I think I can speak with some authority on the subject. When you walk into Golden Krust, your order is taken by a teenager wearing a blue baseball hat. The people actually assembling the food wear slightly less awkward visors, also blue, and neither the manager nor the guy from corporate is wearing a cap at all. No matter how nice that teenager is or how much the franchise owner hopes you come back, the food at places like Golden Krust and Arby’s is basically interchangeable, and I think it has more to do with the hats than people realize.
Golden Krust, which just opened in the North Duke Crossing shopping center, is technically a “grill and bakery,” but it’s hard to take a bakery seriously when almost everything is made and shrink-wrapped off-premises. I got a curried goat combination (which included beans and rice, 2 slices of fried plantains, and some cabbage salad), which was about $10, and a jerk chicken “patty,” which is their meaty take on the Toaster Strudel.
If there’s one food that should be overpowering, it’s Caribbean curry, but somehow the goat was both flavorless and, inexplicably, nearly 3/4 bone. The cabbage salad was essentially boiled cabbage. At least the rice and beans and plantains hit the spot.
Golden Krust Bakery is sort of a front for the vaguely charitable Golden Krust Foundation (one of their goals is to “develop and implement programs and services”), so in that respect it’s money well spent. But considering Durham’s size, why would you anywhere besides the incredible Caribbean Taste? Seriously, go there and get the jerk chicken and a festival as soon as you can. Unless you really like goat bones.
Golden Krust (map)
Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm