Miss Lily's & Melvin's Juice Box | 132 West Houston St. (At Sullivan St.) | 646.588.3575 | misslilysnyc.com | | | |
AT MY AGE, IT'S DIFFICULT to find a decent enough reason to get up out of bed past my refrigerator. I was fortunate enough, though, to have plenty good reason a few days back. I was reuniting with old friend—and now, new client!—at a new spot right by her office. That spot was Miss Lily's, serving up popular and traditional Caribbean/Jamaican dishes such as ackee, jaquitos stuffed with callaloo, various curry and jerk protein dishes, and plantains.
Living in the ever homogenous Upper East Side, these are dishes hard to come by (with the exception of the excellent—and cheaper!—Yvonne's Jamaican Truck on 71st and 1st, which is still a timesome haul from where I live), and having pre-read the menu online, I was looking forward to a nice plate of stewed oxtails. I wound up at the storefront for Miss Lily's restaurant, booze sweating from my pores on an unusually balmy early Match afternoon, only to find the doors locked. The main restaurant doesn't open until 5 p.m., but I did eventually find Susan at the side shop for Lil's and Melvin's Juice Box.
After some quick nostalgia-waxing and shop talk with my friend, Susan, I dug into an order of oxtails—which Susan even sponsored—accompanied by some rice and beans and a side of slaw.
A successful dish all around, the oxtails were properly tender, flavor, and juicy, accented by the texture of its bits of barely toothsome cartilage and the slivers of fat that just evaporated on the tongue. The rice and beans were light, fluffy and aromatic, and the slaw was crisp, tangy tart with vinegar, and cool.
Susan, already a huge fan of Mr. Melvin and his array of juices, recommended that I try one to help me through my internal physiological repair. I opted for the "Jamaican Green", comprised of a fresh blend of kale, apple, lemon, ginger, and celery, making for a florally yummy and bright concoction that started to make me feel better almost immediately.
Meeting Mr. Melvin—and his funky cool, fun staff—as well as the overall meal, and catching up with Susan also gave me plenty to feel better on the suddenly not-as-long trip back home.
Bun Apple Tea!
Miss Lily's & Melvin's Juice Box 132 West Houston St. (At Sullivan St.) | 646.588.3575 | misslilysnyc.com | | | |