Full Mi Belly is a new Jamaican restaurant in the Albany, NY area. They have some of the best oxtails in the area. Their prices are fair, and their portions are generous.
And believe it or not – it’s located in the mall. In the food court. Woah!
Still there? I know, I felt pretty mind-blown upon eating some of the best Caribbean food I’ve ever had, and having it come from a vendor in Crossgates Mall’s food court.
I’m gonna blow your mind again – their prices aren’t over the top either. They’re very affordable.
This is the large platter – their menu board says it’s good for two, or a very hungry person. It cost $9.99. This beautiful behemoth of beef is probably good for two hungry people, or three people who are just a little hungry.
There is a smaller serving available for $7.99, and in all honesty, that will feed two people. That’s the size Albany John first got and we split that one. And you know how we eat.
It’s got collards (the green upper left hand corner), plantains (bottom left golden blobs) as sides. All along the right hand side are the beautiful wee oxtails. And providing a tasty bed for them all are the rice and beans (they also offer white rice, but why would you order white rice when you can have delicious rice and beans????) topped with extra sauce.
First off, I love the girl behind the counter for offering extra sauce. I didn’t even think of it, but when offered optional extra sauce, I take it. Especially when it’s as good as theirs.
Ok, confession: I haven’t taken a bite out of this platter yet. Not even an eensy nibble or a finger lick of sauce. I had to temper myself on the wonderful aroma (consequently, I think that’s why one or two of these pictures looks a little more faded than others – these were steaming hot) of the oxtails.
I have no idea how good the collards are. I don’t normally like collards, but these look mouthwatering to me. They hold a lot of promise. I can tell you, though, that the oxtails are fall-off-the-bone good. The sauce is just sticky enough, almost like a stew. And the cartilage is also melt-y and unctuous. UNCTUOUS OXTAILS!!
Actually, it makes sense that Jamaican/Caribbean food would do so well in a food court. Most of their dishes are stewed or slow cooked, and they’re really not harmed (heck, even helped) by being on steamtables.
But no. I’ve not gone off the deep end. I am steadily anchored on the bow of the S.S. Consideration and I bought these especially for my father. He came up a bit ago and Albany John and I hyped the hell out of this place, and when we got there, Full Mi Belly was all sold out of them so we settled for their chicken (it was also insanely delicious, but they were no oxtails).
This weekend I will be visiting him en route to a wedding downstate, so I’m bringing the oxtails down to him. I haven’t told him yet, so they will be a surprise, but I know they will be a hit. I don’t think he’s ever had Caribbean style oxtails before, and the last time I brought them down for him, I bought a large (which was closer to a medium compared to here) meal from First Choice in Troy, NY for $12 and there were a whopping 3 medium-sized oxtails in it and it was mostly rice. But I was hoping it would taste well enough to merit the price, since they do season their meat plentifully there. Right, but price-size aside, I trekked to NYC with them, managed not to spill anything, and then my Yeh-Yeh ate it. And you can’t fault your Yeh-Yeh (especially when they gave me that sushi feast when I went down there).
So this time, the oxtails are going directly to pop’s place.
Now all I have to do is protect them from getting eaten the entire car ride down from Albany John and his friend.
I think I’m going to need a lock for the cooler.