should, start a meal with one of the
cocktails. Make sure to try those made
with Barbancourt rum, a Haitian specialty (see box on page 282). Also worth
imbibing are the Tet Fret (white rum,
coconut rum, ginger syrup, coconut
water), a refreshing alternative to a piña
colada; and the Bazilik Potoprens (gin,
basil syrup, lemon juice, sparkling wine).
In addition to akra fritters and marinad
(ask for extra pikliz because PAP is a little
stingy with the serving size), begin a meal
here with chicken wings, braised until
tender, then deep-fried, dressed with a
lime juice and garlic-spiked vinaigrette
and topped with onions. Lime supplies
the acid, and the onions o;er sweetness,
adding up to a satisfying starter. Plantain
cups topped with a mixture of flaked salt
cod and sautéed red peppers and onions
are on the stodgy side. Double-fried
plantain patties, similar to tostones, are
crispy and tasty, but they come with most
of the entrées, so there’s no need to order
them as an appetizer.
Among the entrées are bone-in
chunks of fried goat or fried turkey,
both marinated in hot pepper sauce
and then braised with onions and garlic
before being deep-fried. Turkey is tender
on one occasion, but dry on another.
Goat is tender and has a deeper, more
pronounced flavor than turkey. A must-have is sautéed whole red snapper with
onions and red peppers, its flesh moist
and lightly perfumed with a marinade of
vinegar, lime juice and thyme.
;e vegetarian entrée at PAP is a casserole similar to ratatouille and made
with eggplant, bell peppers, celery and
onions. It’s filling, especially with sides
of coconut-scented rice and black bean
purée. I’d happily make a meal of the
sides, saving room for a smashing nut-meg-scented pound cake that’s soaked
with Barbancourt rum.
Every other Saturday night the restau-
rant o;ers entertainment. I was fortunate
to hear the Cuerpa y Alma flamenco band
and marvel at the flamenco dancer. ;ere
is no cover charge but make reservations
early—the place is packed. Also packed
is Sunday brunch where crowds line up
at a bu;et for oxtail stew and hearty soup
made from joumou, a Haitian gourd sim-
ilar to pumpkin.
If you haven’t tried Haitian food, consider PAP your Silver Spring gateway. n
David Hagedorn is the restaurant critic
for Bethesda Magazine.
The restaurant’s menu,
which is short, includes
fried turkey (top) and