Veteran chef Gladwin Jarvis has opened La Tropicale Cafe in the former My Sister’s Kitchen building on Highway 55 near RTP.
A native of Antigua who grew up in the US Virgin Islands and has managed or owned restaurants in New York, Texas and Virginia, Jarvis moved to the Triangle in 2005 with his wife, Doris, to be near the couple’s grandchildren. He most recently operated a cafeteria and catering business in the basement of the NC Mutual Building in downtown Durham.
With the opening of La Tropical Cafe, Jarvis returns to his Caribbean culinary roots. The entree list offers a tour of the islands, from jerk chicken to Trinidadian style curry, with “Cantonese” sweet and sour chicken among the handful of dishes reflecting the region’s multicultural influences. Separate categories devoted to sandwiches and quesadillas further broaden the offering.
Tempting extras include Jamaican patties, piña colada bread pudding, and the popular island soft drink, Ting.
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Prices cater to the lunch crowd, with most entrees (which come with rice and beans, steamed cabbage, and plantains), sandwiches, quesadillas going for around $8.
Chef Jarvis will continue his successful catering business out of the restaurant. He’s also offering introductory cooking and baking classes for adults and for “junior chefs” aged 10-16.