Although I will be the first to admit that Stuttgart lacks the same culinary variety as some of the larger German cities, I am consistently amazed by the high quality of the food that I tend to find at some of the smaller establishments in and around Stuttgart. One of those establishments is Patrick's Stop, a Jamaican Imbiss and Take Away in Möhringen. I think you'd be hard-pressed to find Jamaican food even in Berlin, and if you did, Patrick would definitely give any restaurant a run for its money.
I first heard about Patrick's Stop a few months ago from a close friend of mine who raved about their goat curry. She insisted that I had to try it, but that I had to go on a Tuesday when it was served. As my summer vacation is winding down to a close, I figured I'd better go before I return to the classroom, so my husband and I headed out to Patrick's Stop last Saturday to check it out.
I'd read the menu on their Facebook site, and it looked to me like on Saturday you could get jerk chicken or a half dish of any of the other weekly foods. However, once we got there I quickly realized that the lack of space between Saturday's special (jerk chicken) and the half dishes was not because they were all served on that day, but rather that you can get any dish as a full or half serving on the day that it's served. No big deal: Matt decided to get the jerk chicken while I opted to try the fried chicken. And in fact, I rather like the idea of rotating daily specials because then you know you're guaranteed a fresh meal.
We ordered from a very friendly man (who I assume was one of the chefs) who spoke to us in English. He kindly explained how the menu worked, we ordered, and then he told us to have a seat and he'd bring out our meals when they were ready. We didn't have to pay until after we'd eaten, which was nice.
It was a nice day, so we decided to sit on the covered patio just outside the shop with its long picnic benches, Red Stripe bottle flower vases, and other cheerful additions. About five or so minutes later, the chef appeared with two plates for us, silverware, and even those little wet wipes for our fingers. Once I saw those, I knew that I was given carte blanche to dig in with my fingers.
My fried chicken was delicious! The fried skin had the perfect crisp with a hint of spice to it, covering big, meaty hunks of chicken on the bone. I will admit that the chicken was a little on the dry side, but it wasn't a problem because the dish was smothered in the most amazing sauce that was both sweet and spicy. Matt's jerk chicken, on the other hand, was the winner of the two. It had a perfectly charred outer skin caked in spices and smothered in a finger-lickin' spicy sauce that had a real kick to it. I regret that he ate all of it before I could get a second bite.
Both of our dishes also came with a Caribbean-style salad of cabbage, carrots, peppers, and raisins in a very light, sweetish vinaigrette, as well as fried plantains and "rice and peas", which reminded me somewhat of Southern-style dirty rice with kidney beans. As good as the jerk chicken was, Matt kept raving about the rice and peas, and helped me finish my portion on top of his.
This being our first visit, I also wanted to try the "Festival" (fried sweet dumpling) for dessert, which came very highly recommended on one of the imbiss' Facebook reviews. The dumpling was made from a very thick dough studded with corn meal and fried in a thick batter with a very light sweetness, almost like honey. I really liked the dumpling as it wasn't overly sweet and provided a nice end to our meal.
Despite our delicious meal (or maybe because of it), I still wanted to try the goat curry that my friend had recommended. So, I messaged her and we set up a lunch date for this past Tuesday. She met me at the Möhringen bahnhof and we walked together to Patrick's Stop where Patrick himself was serving lunch that day. From what I understand, Patrick's a Jamaican expat living in Stuttgart with his family, and he decided a few years ago to quit his day job to replicate the food from his home country here in his small Stuttgart imbiss. My friend, having known Patrick for several years now, chatted a bit. We had just missed the lunch rush, he said, and so we had the covered patio all to ourselves to enjoy our meals while we chatted. Patrick was very nice, and just like on my Saturday visit with Matt, we were asked to have a seat while Patrick prepared our meals.
Both of us ordered the goat curry, of course, and after a moment's hesitation, chose the large portion. And boy, was it large! Patrick brought out our plates steaming high with goat curry, fried plantains, rice and peas, Caribbean-style salad, and even a half of a Festival for each of us (thanks, Patrick!). I've eaten goat on several occasions and love the flavor, which is similar to lamb, but it's still not exactly a common meat in Germany or even on the east coast of the US where I'm from, so lunch was a real treat. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender, and Patrick was kind enough to bring us an extra plate for us to discard the bones as we sucked the meat from them. The sauce was a thick, spicy curry which my Malaysian friend compared to Malaysian-style curry. And despite our concerns that we wouldn't be able to finish such large portions, we both at every last bite -- it was just too good not to!
After we finished our meals, I went in the shop to pay and to order a take-away box for Matt. Once again, Patrick piled the box full for me, proving that you won't get less just because you choose the take-away. While inside, I also started up a conversation with a very nice American expat who'd been living in Germany for 30 years -- he loved the country that much. He was so friendly and interesting to talk to, and he said that he just loved coming to Patrick's because it's one of the few places in Stuttgart where you know you can speak English.
Now after having been twice, I can say that I appreciate the considerate service, the pay after you eat practice, the ability to speak English, and the great food. Sadly, Patrick told us today that he's rotating the goat curry off of the menu. However, he's said he'll replace it with something equally delicious and new on September's menu starting next week. In the meantime, you can still try the chicken curry on Thursdays and the jerk chicken on Saturdays.
Patrick's Stop is located in Möhringen just a short, ten-minute walk or a five-minute bus ride from the main station. The shop is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 9 pm. If you're craving something new or different, or looking for a slice of home (wherever your home may be), then definitely stop by Patrick's Shop for a sit-down meal or for a plate to go.
Update (03/2016): Since the writing of this blog post, Patrick's Stop has since moved to a larger location in Böblingen at Im Zimmerschlag 6.