Palm trees aside, the dusty Las Vegas Valley is basically the geographic reverse of the shining Caribbean Sea. Nevertheless, many dining establishments here serve specializeds from that balmy basin– think Cuban ropa vieja, Jamaican meat patties and Puerto Rican mofongo. At Lally’s Island Soul Cafe in North Las Vegas, include an extra tropical meal to the list: Belizean stew chicken ($9). It’s a national classic that belongs to a local custom of simmered poultry entrées.
“Throughout the Caribbean, they have actually got stew chicken. Jamaicans do a brown stew chicken; Trinidadians do curry chicken. [They’re] cooked the very same method, they simply use various spices,” Lawrence “Lally” Nunez, namesake owner of the two-year-old restaurant inside Siegel Slots & & Suites, explains concerning the variation from his house nation of Belize.
As served by Nunez, who first transferred to Southern Nevada in the 1990s as a field engineer on Interstate 215, Belizean stew chicken gets here as hunks of bone-in bird slow-cooked in a sauce based upon achiote, a reddish-orange spice common in dishes from the Yucatán Peninsula. Blended with an aromatic mirepoix of celery and onion and green herbs like oregano, cilantro and culantro, the ground achiote provides an earthy, a little peppery tang to the tender poultry.
The sauce-lacquered meat is served with a mound of black beans and rice, in addition to fried plantains and a scoop of mayo-based potato salad. It’s a major plate, served daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. For a Caribbean-appropriate beverage, ask for a stylish ginger beer, then complement your fricasseed experience with a sweet piece of Secret Lime pie.
Lally’s Island Soul Coffee shop 5011 E. Craig Roadway, 702-643-6005. 24/7.