Best Haitian Restaurant (2006)

Chez Madame John's

There is a good reason steady streams of Creole-speakers come into this nondescript joint. Six to eight dollars buys a massive serving of stewed meat or fried chicken or fish, served with rice, beans, and a boiled plantain on the side. A sixteen-ounce champagne soda costs an extra dollar. Tasty sauces with the perfect spicy/sweet balance complement the unusually tender goat. There is not much atmosphere except for the friendly banter of customers and staff, but the efficient service and authentic food make it a great alternative to touristy sit-down places and bare-bones take-out joints. Although most customers take their meals to-go, the sun-filled eating area of little Formica tables is pleasant enough. One customer, who says he's been going to Chez Madame John's since it opened in 1999, reveals the place is kind of a secret among the Haitian community. "You're the only white guy I've ever seen in here," he says to a New Times reporter. Prices range from $4 for a breakfast item to $16 for a special lamb dish. Most meals are between $6 and $8.


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