Although many think of New Orleans as the northernmost city of the Caribbean, there is a surprisingly small number of Caribbean restaurants in town. If you’ve got a hankering for some authentic Caribbean cuisine look no further than Coco Hut on Bayou Road. It is hard to miss this tiny restaurant with the giant BBQ pit stationed right out front on the sidewalk. As soon as you smell the spicy, smoky aroma billowing out of the pit, you know they mean business.
Though they carry many interesting delicacies like goat and oxtail, Coco Hut’s number one seller is their jerk chicken. This super blackened chicken is marinated in a sauce made of habanero peppers, giving even the “mild” version of this dish a bit of a kick. But if you like spicy food, definitely order the spicier version. This habanera dish is unique, as you can detect more than just the spice in its’ seasoning. The chicken simultaneously creates a “mouth on fire” sensation, while maintaining its more complex smoky chard flavor and fragrance, a balance which is hard to strike with such a spicy pepper. Unlike the jerk chicken most people know and love, this version of the dish is missing that sweet tanginess found in most jerk BBQ sauce, making the spice even more intense, so beware.
The jerk chicken plate comes with traditional Caribbean rice and beans, smashed and fried plantains, a side of cabbage and a small salad, all for $8.50. Everything is made to order in their tight kitchen space behind the register. Their portions are huge, so you’ll definitely be leaving with leftovers, which is no problem since their food is served in to-go boxes.