Caribbean Palm food truck has all the flavor you need
By Monica Peters
Candied yams, mac-n-cheese, collard greens, fried fish, oxtails, curry chicken, rice and peas, steamed cabbage…..
Are your taste buds watering yet?
Christine Benjamin, a 28-year-old with Jamaican roots, has been serving up delicious Caribbean and soul food for the past two years on her Caribbean Palm food trucks.
Whether you are in Center City or West Philadelphia, Caribbean Palm has got you covered.
Christine and her crew serve it up island and American soul food style each weekday 11 a.m to 5 p.m. at her two locations: in Center City at 18th St. between Market and JFK and in University City at 36th & Market.
Her tasty fare has food lovers city-wide flocking to her trucks.
Their barbeque jerk chicken, collard greens and yams was belly filling and delicious.
In fact, all of their platters and sides are phenomenal.
Even WDAS FM’s Patty Jackson has dubbed their oxtails the best in the city on her Instagram page.
Platter prices range from $8 to $14 dollars.
I spoke with owner, Christine Benjamin, asking her what makes Caribbean Palm one of the top food truck destinations in the city.
SUN: What inspired you to open a Caribbean food truck?
CB: Initially I thought ok I’ll just get a cart, a simple hot dog cart. Then I’m like, I’m not familiar with hot dogs. So, I might as well do something I’m familiar with which is Jamaican food.
SUN: What inspired your culinary style?
CB: My Grandmom and my Mom. They have always been cooking. I like to feed and serve people. When we are having parties or our friends are having parties, I will be the one always on the grill or always in the kitchen. But if you come to my house you would probably never get anything to eat because there’s nothing there.
SUN: Does your truck include American soul food?
CB: Yes! We have candied yams, one of our best sellers. Collard greens is another one of our best sellers. I would say everything is a best seller. But everybody likes our collard greens, yams and our mac and cheese. It’s similar to what they make (American soul food style) but I put my own twist and flavor.
SUN: Why do you think your Caribbean Palm food truck is so popular?
CB: We are friendly and our food is good. And, it’s consistent. You taste the food today and come back ten months from now and you’ll still get the same taste (good food) you had ten months ago. I make sure the food comes out the same. If I mess it up one day I won’t come out with it.
SUN: What is your most popular platter?
CB: I would say they are all popular. The oxtail and jerk chicken is our number one seller. We then started introducing people to the stewed chicken, the curry chicken and the fried fish. The collard greens, the mac and cheese and the yams; our soul food sides are also best sellers.
SUN exclusive: Caribbean Palm is also opening a restaurant in Northwest Philadelphia soon! We’ll keep you updated.
In the meantime, treat your belly right and go check out the Caribbean Palm food trucks in Center City or University City.
The Caribbean Palm Truck hours for both locations are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call in advance to place your order. Delivery is also available. Call # 267-474-0184
Follow on Facebook @ CaribbeanpalmJamaicanFood, on IG @ caribbeanpalm_jamaican_food and on Twitter @caribbeanpalm1