“I picked the kind of food that I enjoy,” Alade said. “I grew up around a lot of West Indians and Caribbean individuals, and also, I’m of Nigerian descent, so [there’s] a lot of the similarities between the culture.”
Alade’s food business started years earlier as a mobile operation, a food truck catering events and festivals. But as the business grew, he said he knew it was time to find a permanent place.
“[Business feedback has] been really good,” he said. “People are so excited because what happens is a lot of people go on vacation to the Caribbean, but they can’t get the food when they come back here.”
Modern Caribbean food comes from a fusion between the African flavors that were brought to the area in the time of the Atlantic slave trade and the local flavors employed by Indigenous tribes on the islands. Alade described the dishes as combining tangy, sweet and spicy flavors that create a “tropical” palate.
“It hits a lot of different notes from a taste bud standpoint. It’s very colorful,” Alade said.
Among his most popular dishes, he said, are the jerk chicken platter, the jerk pork platter and the calypso shrimp bowl. Alade also said his wings, which were the first item on his menu when he started out, are a classic. Alade said he has not let the road construction on nearby US 377 or the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of business, which he said is booming right now.
“I’m a person that takes so much pride in what I do that I want to be the best,” he said.
Doc's Street Grill is located at 200 James St., Roanoke. 682-237-7714. www.docsstreetgrill.com Hours: Mon.-Fri. 4:30-8:30 p.m.; also open Tue., Wed. & Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; closed Sun.