Column: Highlighting heritage months through Marin businesses


Dylan Carson

The house juices (mango on the left and passion fruit on the right) offer a sweet flavor to complement the spice of the entrees.

Disclaimer: While Heritage Months are effective in celebrating unique cultures within our society, it is important to note that cultural traditions are constantly occurring, not only during heritage months. This column is an opportunity to highlight specific businesses in Marin County depending on the Heritage Month at the time of publishing. For each heritage month, we will review a business owned by someone of that heritage.

Black Futures Month

Located on 4th Street in San Rafael, the Haitian restaurant Caribbean Spices mixes traditional French, Spanish, and Taino cuisines to create a vibrant menu. Each dish is authentic and flavorful, with large portions and classic sides such as beans, rice, and sweet plantains.

The interior is lively and colorful, with hip-hop and reggae music playing along with festive music videos.

Various works of art hang on the walls of the restaurant, honoring the diverse cultures of Caribbean nations, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, and Barbados.

The restaurant offers two housemade juices: mango and passion fruit. Each was cold, crisp, and sweet. Along with the juices, soft drinks and Island Lemonade made up the cold beverage menu.

To start off the night, they served a house salad. The bed of lettuce was topped with cranberries, beets, tomatoes, and carrots, and dressed with a sweet yet tangy fruit vinaigrette. The salad was refreshing and light, balancing out the spicy and filling main dishes. We ordered three entrees; the Jerk chicken, Creole pork sandwich, and Calypso prawns. All entrees were served with sides of sweet plantains, beans, and rice. 

Instantly, the tender jerk chicken fell right off the bone. Marinated in jerk sauce for 24 hours, the seasoned chicken was salty and tangy, with the right amount of spice. 

Jerk Chicken entree is served with a side of rice and beans, sweet plantains, and a tangy coleslaw. (Dylan Carson)

The Creole pork sandwich blended the classic brioche bun with pikliz, a traditional spicy Haitian sauce, sweet barbeque sauce, and fried griot (pork). For anyone who loves a meat-filled sandwich with combatting flavors, this is perfect. The contrast of the pikliz and barbecue sauce added an extra dimension to the classic pork sandwich.

The calypso prawns with lemon citrus sauce tasted spicy, the shrimp had a thick dressing that had a similar consistency to the peanut sauce. Mixing the rice with the peanut sauce created a delightful texture and taste. The prawns were cooked beautifully, an inclusive option for pescatarians. The menu offered the Calypso prawns in a medium or large serving, appealing to all appetites. 

Overall, the restaurant Caribbean Spices has an intimate, lively atmosphere that perfectly matches the diverse food options, earning itself 4.5/5 feathers.