I’m not out in Orleans very often, so when out that way last month, I had to make hay while the sun was shining and try some new-to-me food. Well, technically it was dark because we were there to see the Christmas lights on Taffy Lane, but the metaphor still holds.
Tipikliz is a Haitian restaurant, so when surveying the menu beforehand, there were a lot of items I hadn’t seem before on other Caribbean menus in the city – which got me even more excited to try them out!
After getting our fill of the impressive lights up the road, we placed a pick-up order. I went with the djon djon rice with griot, while my other half got the plantain burger with griot and pikliz. We had to round things out with something sweet, so we tacked on the pain patate.
I was impressed by the portion of my djon djon and griot plate ($13.99)! Djon djon is a type of black mushroom in Haiti, and the rice took on its dark colour, as well as a lightly earthy funk. Some beans beefed (or should I say beaned?) up the already hefty portion of rice even further. The griot was hunks of deep-fried pork shoulder, with an enjoyable contrast between the smaller crispy bits, and the larger, juicy pieces of meat.
The moderate spice of the griot made the side of macaroni salad and a couple of fried plantains welcome reprieves from the heat. Interestingly, the plantains were dry fried, rather than the sweet and saucy version at most other Caribbean places I’ve been to.
A side cup of pikliz, Haitian pickled slaw, brought a lightly tangy bite that balanced out the richness of the rice and pork quite well.
My wife’s two plantain burgers ($9.99) were comprised of the same fried plantains that I had, which acted as the “buns” for shredded griot and pikliz. It’s a fun concept, but its awkwardness makes it more of a knife-and-fork job than finger food. Tipikliz is here for your carb needs, with roasted potato wedges as crisp additions that doubled down on this dish’s starch factor.
The pain patate was a sweet potato pudding, rather than what I had expected from its literal translation. Creamy, sweet, and rich – it was a delicious finish for our meal.
It’s always great to see POC-owned and operated businesses spreading their food and culture, and it’s even better when it’s done as well as the food that Tipikliz is making.