The substantial charm of Marla’s is hard to summarize; the atmosphere is minimal, the neighborhood is humble, and the menu is like few other restaurants in the metro area. But this Trinidadian restaurant manages to capture the best of both Caribbean sunshine and Indian spice, serving up a parade of unusual and beautifully home-cooked dishes for prices that make its menu among the best values in Minneapolis.
Possibly most memorable are an appetizer known as “doubles,” two soft pieces of Indian bread wrapped around a fiery mix of onions and chickpeas. These little snacks are street food in Trinidad, and it’s easy to see how they caught on: They’re ravishingly spiced, warm, and easy to wolf down. A variety of fish, chicken and even goat dishes from Trinidad fill out a menu that is short on pretense and long on comfort and flavor.
BEST BET: The hot, Indian/Trinidadian “doubles” and the richly spiced, slow-burn Jamaican jerk chicken.
3761 Bloomington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407
STYLE: Caribbean in South Minneapolis
OWNER/CHEF: Marla Jadoonanan
VEGETARIAN/VEGAN: Yes and Yes
ENTREE RANGE: ($8-12)