Best Caribbean Restaurant - 2012
Marla's Caribbean Cuisine
Aside from their glowing remarks about the authenticity of the jerk and their urging you to start your meal with a "double" (a sandwich-like creation that nestles richly curried chickpeas between disks of fried bread), Marla's regulars will tell you, "There's hot, and then there's Marla's hot." They are referring to the preferred level of heat of the restaurant's proprietress, Marla Jadoonanan, a native of Trinidad and Tobago and the sister of Harry Singh, another famous Twin Cities purveyor of ridiculously hot Caribbean dishes. For spice junkies, Marla's is a mecca, and if you recognize this Powderhorn eatery as a place you've driven by but never visited, move it to the top of your list. A whole world of flavors is represented here, from the strange-sounding but perfectly married Caribbean Chowmein to the Indian-influenced dahlpourie roti (a flatbread filled with ground split peas rolled up with any kind of curried meat you can imagine) to the slightly milder yucca with salted cod. Sure, a Red Stripe would be a great antidote to all this serious spice, but the one thing Marla's lacks is a liquor license. Order the refreshing and tangy sorrel drink, or experience the tropical cool provided by the peanut punch — both are made in-house.