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Dine @ Taloula Mango's

847_dine~Dining Caribbean-style~

My girlfriend and I decided to go out somewhere to dine. Nothing fancy, nothing too expensive, just a nice fulfilling dinner. We did, however, want to put a Caribbean twist to our meal, since we have fallen in love with this beautiful region. While walking down the boardwalk, Taloula Mango's, promoting itself as a Caribbean Café, caught our eye.

Taloula Mango's, named after the Golden Retriever puppy of the owners, is one of those places I could easily pop in for drinks. I try to avoid touristic hotspots when I want to go out for dinner, as I get the sense that some owners of restaurants in touristy areas don't even bother to try to serve good food anymore. Wholeheartedly I would like to say that Taloula Mango's is an absolute exception to this rule: the food is not only fairly priced, but is delicious.

My first impression as we were seated at our table was a positive one. The restaurant was exactly what we were looking for, nothing too fancy; a restaurant with a nice Caribbean atmosphere. What is more Caribbean than having dinner at the boardwalk, while looking at a white beach and the deep blue sea? Service by a kind waiter came straight away. To stay in the right mood, I ordered a Jamaican beer while my girlfriend ordered a Vodka Lime. We then took some time to enjoy our drinks, look at the menu and enjoy the music which was provided by a DJ on the boardwalk. The latter was perhaps a little too loud for some people, but didn't bother us; a young couple with the whole Friday night ahead.

The menu is very diverse, from pizzas to tapas and spareribs. Because of this, I was a bit wary: I regularly have experienced that such diversity doesn't benefit the food served. In my humble opinion, a chef should focus on his specialties and ensure that these taste exquisitely. For the second time this evening I was wrong, the food we ordered was really good.

We dismissed the Italian and Spanish dishes on the menu and decided to order the Haitian Voodoo Wings for a starter. The food was placed before us in no time at all; the dish was simply garnished and looked tasty. There were at least a pound of jumbo chicken wings covered with a Haitian hot sauce, celery and carrot sticks. As I am crazy about spicy food, I found the wings perfectly flavored. The chicken meat itself was very tender and could easily be torn from the bone. Alongside there was a bowl of dipping sauce.

Having feasted on our appetizer, we chose our main course; Jerk Chicken and "Good Ass" Baby Back Ribs. We decided to share our meal, how else could we get a taste of everything! The Jerk Chicken was roasted and the jerk marinade excellently seasoned. The chicken had a distinct smoky flavour and the meat was once more remarkably tender and not dry at all. The Baby Back Ribs were superb. A big fan of ribs, I can honestly say that they are some of the best ribs I've ever tasted. The marinade is moderately spicy, but easy to handle for piquant-rookies, and the meat from the ribs was incredibly tender – it falls off the bone. The crispy curly fries, which were served with the Jerk Chicken and the ribs, tasted very good and topped off the meal.

With portions being quite large, we shared the dessert. We chose the Blueberry Mango Cobbler; a mixture of blueberries and mangos nestled in a batter with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top of it. This simple dessert was quite tasty.

We lingered a little longer, enjoying the music (mostly Caribbean sounds like Soca and Reggae) and having tequila nightcaps. A big plus for us was that an accidentally dropped glass of tequila was immediately replaced without charge. This was in line with the entire evening: the staff was very friendly, fast and willing to chat. At the end of the evening, the DJ came to the tables to ask for request songs and a small party arose - even the staff began to dance. To summarize, Taloula Mango's advertising as "one delicious slice of paradise" - we can verify this wholeheartedly!

And, oh yeah, for the smartphone addicts out there: free WIFI was provided.

Caribbean Café Taloula Mango's

Beach Boardwalk, Philipsburg

Phone: 542-1645

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cuisine: Caribbean, Italian, Spanish, International.

Price range: $7-20

Reservations: Not required

Vegetarian dishes: Salads

Ratings:

Staff friendliness: 5

Service speed: 4

Restaurant cleanliness: 3.5

Food quality: 4

Value for money: 4

Ambience: 4.5

Total 25/30

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