TNT Diner

Caribbean food truck fills gap in Tacoma cuisine

Tacoma finally has another Caribbean restaurant, filling the gap left when Steffie’s Caribbean restaurant closed.

This time, it’s a restaurant that comes with a steering wheel.

Kerry’s Caribbean Takeout food truck is heading into its second month in the South Sound — operating four days a week on base at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but also Wednesdays at the University of Washington Tacoma campus. It had served at the Lakewood Farmers Market during the market season.

Truck owner Kerry Ramroop, mostly a self-taught cook, has a promising menu of Caribbean dishes. He landed here after his wife’s job brought the family to Washington from California.

I found the truck sold out of most of its menu during a recent visit, so check out the truck early in the day.

A chicken curry stew ($8) tasted heavy on turmeric, with bone-in chicken slow cooked in coconut milk and spices, served over potatoes, beans and rice.

A jerk chicken sandwich ($6.40) displayed the earthier side of that Caribbean spice mixture without much of the heat that can sometimes pepper that dish. What I liked best was the addition of plenty of vegetables — green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and red, green and yellow bell peppers. The menu lists three salads, a jerk chicken ($5.48), a garden or strawberry mango ($3.66).

You won’t feel guilty after eating this kind of fast food.

Take-out meals were expedient, and it’s obvious Ramroop and his assistants are aiming to accommodate business workers and college students who don’t have much time for lunch.

Ramroop said he will continue to expand his menu, adding even more Caribbean specialties. Be sure to try the Trinidad fritter called pholourie, served with a choice of several sauces. It’s an unusual find for the South Sound.

Find more information on Kerry’s at kerryscaribbean.com or 650-400-1087.

BARREL NO. 51 UPDATE

Since 2010, I’ve chased Barrel No. 51, the mobile barbecue sandwich and burger truck, throughout the South Sound. I first found it at American Lake and have written about multiple location switches that included recent rotations at Narrows Brewing.

Truck owner Paul Gardner said this week that health issues have caused him to reconsider running the business. He’s putting the Barrel No. 51 trailer up for sale and intends to shut down the business. For more information on the truck, contact Gardner at 253-224-7588 or barrelno51.com

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