The first thing to know about Angie’s Bikkles, located south of downtown Fort Worth near the Hospital District, has nothing to do with the menu, the decor, or the service. It’s this: What in the world is a bikkle and is it a good thing knowing that Angie has more than one of them?
According to Jamaicanpatwah.com, an online dictionary of Caribbean slang, “bikkle” refers to either food or a meal and, in this case, it turns out to be a very good thing.
Angie’s Bikkles, a relocated and larger version of the original Angie’s that had been further south near Berry Street, serves authentic down-home Jamaican favorites in a friendly, casual atmosphere.
Unfortunately, your likely introduction to Angie’s — the cramped parking lot — isn’t the most welcoming. But once inside, and perhaps thirst quenched with one of the distinctively flavored and refreshing nonalcoholic beverages like the pine ginger (a pineapple-ginger blend, $4) or sorrel ($4), things brighten considerably.
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Its interior of black, green and gold, the chill-out reggae on the sound system, and the laid-back, yet efficient, approach to service help diners feel as if they’re closer to beachfront Ocho Rios than land-locked Eighth Avenue.
Of course, all the atmosphere in the world is useless if the food is subpar. But that’s definitely not the case with Angie’s, where the menu offers favorites like jerk chicken and curried goat along with other specialties that are less well-known to those outside the Caribbean, such as bammies (a type of biscuit) and callaloo (a leafy, spinach-type vegetable).
So, a group of us decided to mix and match for lunch and no one went home disappointed (in fact, Angie’s servings are big enough that at least one of us had enough left over to not be disappointed for dinner either.)
The jerk chicken ($8 for a small plate, $11 medium, $12 large) is merely mildly spicy until the accompanying sauce is poured and, then, bam, your tastebuds wake up. The curried goat ($11 small, $13 medium) was a bit chewy in spots but was mostly surprisingly tender and tasty. It doesn’t pack a lot of heat, though, so those looking to set their tongues on fire, be warned.
The oxtail ($13 medium, $15 large) was similarly flavorful and tender though the fried chicken ($10 small, $12), while perfectly adequate and well-prepared, isn’t particularly distinctive. It’s not the meal that will bring you back to Angie’s. By the server’s own admission, they don’t get many requests for it.
Each of the entrees comes with two sides, or you can order additional sides separately at $3 each. You can’t go wrong with the mac and cheese, fried sweet plantains, or the rice and peas. The bammies seemed a little greasy and the coco bread ($1.75) was rather unremarkable white bread.
But you can’t leave without trying one of the desserts, such as the cake-like sweet potato pudding ($5) or the dense Jamaican fruit cake ($5), which has little in common with the fruitcakes of stereotype. The latter is dark and smooth, unlike the American version with its cherries and nuts.
To top it off, Angie’s doesn’t skimp on the dessert portions. One slice can be split four ways and still leave everyone satisfied.
Angie’s Bikkles is just the latest evidence that North Texas — once bereft of much Caribbean cooking at all — is gaining some ground when it comes to satisfying the cravings for the foods of Jamaica, Cuba, and Puerto Rico.
That’s definitely a good thing. And, as a bonus, you can add a new word to your vocabulary.
1704 Galveston Ave.
Hours: 10:30 a.m.- 8p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; closed Sunday