Best Caribbean Restaurant
East Bay Rastafarians don't have to head all the way to Jamaica to get that irie feeling. Instead, they can skank down to Sweet Fingers in San Leandro, the latest undertaking of Jamaican-born chef Clive Barnes. His cooking pays tribute to his grandmother Lucy's way with food. Traditional dishes — curried goat, stewed oxtail, ackee and salt fish, escabiche, and savory stews — are well represented here, where the menu also includes a healthy dose of vegetarian choices, including curry, jerk, or coconut vegetables and stews. But the thing to order is the jerk chicken, tender sweet-and-spicy dark pieces in a rich sauce with the just-right amount of proper island spices. For the full tropical experience, dive into fried plantains and a vegetable medley, and top off the meal with ginger beer and, for dessert, pudding or carrot, bean, or sweet potato pie. Like chef Clive likes to say, "Sweet Fingers, food so sweet them lick their fingers!"