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Restaurant Review - The Dutch Pot

Caribbean queen: Taste of the islands at the Dutch Pot Historic Norcross reminds you that not all things 'burb are bad. A collection of quaint renovated brick buildings house shops and restaurants that attract locals and others in the nearby technology corridor. Soon enough, more intowners may seek out the eclectic array of offerings along the strip. Among them is a shop proffering Anglophiles sweets and trinkets, and Dominick's, a popular Italian restaurant. The newest addition is the Dutch Pot, offering some of the best Caribbean cuisine in the metro area. The restaurant is located in a long, narrow storefront. Inside the relaxed, tropical-inspired, casual decor includes a row of booths and tabletops decorated in pinks and greens, and a fake palm tree for good measure. DUTCH TREAT: The name of the restaurant refers to a traditional Dutch pot or Dutch oven found in most Jamaican households. According to the restaurant's management, the first settlers to the island introduced the round-bellied, three-legged, cast-iron pot. It has since been adapted from its original use over an open fire to the stovetop. (And here you were thinking of fine Amsterdam weed.)YOU JERK: A plate of jerk chicken ($5.95) includes a quarter of chicken heavily seasoned with jerk spices, along with a side of sauce packed with more spice. The spices used in the jerk fish plate ($7.25) are a little less heavy, but the flaky white fish still gives it a real punch. A real bargain, the plates include a choice of two sides. At dinner, prices rise a little (chicken for $9.95, fish for $10.50), but are still a bargain for the amount of food and the quality. Although the jerk pork chops ($8.95/$10.95) promised to be tender, the ones I sampled were a little tough. If you want your jerk between bread, there are jerk burgers ($5.75) and chicken sandwiches ($6.25). There are also jerk chicken wings ($6.50).A SIDE OF THIS: Among the dozen sides offered, you must try the fried plantains. They're sweet and moist — just the way they should be. The seasoned mashed potatoes are a good choice, as is the macaroni and cheese, which seemed to have a hint of nutmeg. Collard greens, unfortunately, weren't available. START ME UP: The cocktail patties ($3.95), a flaky pastry shell appetizer filled with seasoned beef, resembled curry puffs. The conch fritters ($4.95) — fried patties of breaded conch — were a bit on the greasy side.TALL TAILS: I tried to steer clear of the oxtails ($8.25/$10.75), but my friend just wouldn't let me. Such a turn-off at the grocery store, the long, bony appendages were chopped into manageable bits and prepared with a rich, dark brown sauce that turns the tail oh-so-tender. Turns out it tastes a lot like roast beef.