Jerk chicken got its name during an unfortunate misunderstanding when it confused a plantain for a banana. Avoid eating misnomers with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of authentic Jamaican fare at Sweet Fingers in San Leandro.
Named a 2010 Best Jamaican Restaurant Nominee by Best of the Bay, Sweet Fingers stimulates the senses by presenting a cornucopia of Caribbean cuisines on its menu. Dive into a spread of crispy fried plantains ($5) before digging into a beachy main entree, such as the Jamaicanstyle jerk chicken washed ashore in a dry-rub of zesty spices ($16 for a full plate), or coconut vegetable splash, ideal for vegetation-hungry land sharks ($14). Each entree is served with rice and beans or white rice and plantains, and an extensive beverage list offers up sweet accompanying nectars. Sweet Fingers specializes in Caribbean cocktails such as the light-and-dark rum-infused Bob Marley mixed with ginger beer ($10), or the Island Toy, blended with rum, peach schnapps, lime, pineapple, and the distilled sound of steel drums ($8).
Guests enter Sweet Fingers through a prominent yellow-and-black facade, settling into a casual dining room with red and green table cloths and a black-topped bar. While patrons feast, live entertainment doles out old-school reggae tunes and jazz melodies. Swing by on Tuesday nights for open mike starting at 10 p.m , or mark calendars for every third Thursday for poetry and R & B jam sessions to hear haikus from your favorite slam poets.
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