Reggae music was playing, sandals were flip-flopping by, and with the sun beating down, a breeze blowing and views of long, white sandy beaches I actually – for a second – felt like it wasn’t lunchtime in Lancashire but barbecue time in Barbados.
OK, Friargate isn’t exactly Fort Cay and those views are murals, but the little gem that is Coco’s Soul Food provides a little ‘shack’ of authentic Caribbean atmosphere.
Popular and well established, Coco’s offers ‘flavours from around the world’ with dishes ranging from South American seafood paella to Jamaican curried goat, ribs, steaks, wings, ‘rasta pasta’, burgers, wraps and salads – plus Mexican street food courtesy of Mexicoco’s.
There’s quesadillas, chimichangas, nachos and any kind of sauce you can wish for to dip them in.
Wanting to try everything on the menu, but only having an hour’s free parking, I reluctantly had to make a decision and opted for African chicken skewers with red skin potato fries and a corn on the cob on the side. My dining partner and Significant Other meanwhile, went for the soul burger.
The lunchtime rush caused a little wait, but I was quite enjoying the atmosphere and when it came the food was well worth it.
My two skewers were filled with large chunks of tender chicken and the obviously secret ‘special marinade’ packed plenty of flavour and a hint of chilli.
It was surprisingly filling, but I could have made room for more of the fries however, which were slightly sweet, crispy and had an almost burnt flavour – a tasty alternative to your average chip. The corn on the cob was tender, buttery, barbecued and deliciously drippy to eat. Perfect!
The behemoth of a burger opposite was “amazing” – a good quality beef patty topped with a delicious piece of barbecued lamb, cheese, salad and an unusual pickle.
The special sauce was tasty and hot – a slightly creamy version of hot pepper sauce – and while his onion rings were good he also thought the red fries were exceptional. His “new favourite place”.
The bill came to £21.10, which for the amount and quality of food was well worth it.
We ate in, but it’s open until 8.30pm Monday to Thursday, 9.30pm on a Friday and 5pm on Saturdays, so grab a takeaway and take some sunshine food home with you – it’s good for the soul.