Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen on 351 N Mulberry Street is a must-try spot

By Diana Lichtenstein || Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of lancasteronline.com

The vast amount of incredible and unique restaurants that Lancaster has to offer always amazes me. It also amazes me that it has taken a year and a half for me to try or even hear about certain restaurants that will now forever be a part of my restaurant rotation. One example of this is the Trinidadian restaurant called Callaloo located not too far from campus. I went for the first time a few weeks ago and, unbeknownst to me, this restaurant was already a fan favorite among many students. When I was telling my friends that I was planning to go, almost all of them raved and gave dish recommendations. Some even said that it was their favorite restaurant in all of Lancaster. 

After all of this high praise, I could not wait to give Callaloo a try. When I stepped into the restaurant, I was consumed by delicious smells of spices wafting over me. The interior was so quaint and inviting. It felt like I was in someone’s home. When I was seated, I glanced over the menu and everything looked delicious. The staff was so welcoming and helpful in choosing what to order. My friends and I decided to start with the aloo pepper roti—a crisp roti filled with cheese and spicy potatoes. It reminded me of a Trinidadian quesadilla. It was loved by the whole table. This would have to be the menu item that I would most recommend. For my main entree, I ordered the coconut jerk chicken, which was accompanied by jasmine rice, and was the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. My friends ordered the buss-up-shut specials which each consist of a curry dish that comes with this wondrous flatbread that is very popular in traditional Trinidadian cuisine. This flatbread was unlike anything I have ever tried. It was very flaky and addicting.

I enjoyed this meal so much that I decided to go back a week later when my aunt and uncle were visiting me. I was concerned because they have such sophisticated palettes and high standards when it comes to restaurants, so the pressure was on for me. Upon arrival for the second time, I decided to switch up the ordering. We started with the doubles—fried flatbreads topped with chickpeas. The flatbreads were surprisingly light and the chickpeas were so flavorful. In addition, we ordered the fried chicken bao buns, which I was told were big hits at Callaloo. There was a good reason for this. The buns were soft and the chicken was crispy. There was a delectable sauce that coated these mini sandwiches that I am still dreaming about. My aunt and I ordered the same thing as our main dish: the chicken curry buss-up-shut special. The curry was filled with large chunks of chicken perfectly cooked alongside potatoes, chickpeas, and pumpkin. It was tasty, but the real star of the show was that flaky bread. For dessert, we tried the ginger and lemongrass crème brûlée. I am usually not a huge fan of crème brûlée, so the fact that this was so over the top delicious affirmed my notion that everything on this menu must be delicious to some extent. 

I was so happy that my uncle and aunt not only complimented me for choosing this lovely restaurant, but even noted that it was the best place they had been to in months. Maybe that was just to flatter me, but either way, I was content. Please, students, faculty, or anyone reading this, try Callaloo. I swear that I would not steer you wrong. Even notorious picky eater, sophomore Savannah Familo said she would potentially try Callaloo if it weren’t for her peanut allergy. 

Sophomore Diana Lichtenstein is a Staff Writer. Her email is dlichten@fandm.edu.

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