Cabbage and Oxtail and Goat, oh my!
Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II
by Jenni Eickelberg
Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II
400 N Richmond St Suite G,
Appleton, WI 54911
Wisconsin winters can be brutal. If you’re unable to escape to a tropical paradise this winter, consider visiting Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II. Their homemade Jamaican food will transport your taste buds on a vacation to the Caribbean.
Phill Brown started Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II as a food cart in downtown Appleton in 2016. He used original recipes from his grandmother, who had a popular restaurant in Negril, Jamaica (she was the original “Miss Brown”). Miss Brown’s food was so delicious that it has been celebrated in song lyrics, including Bob Marley’s song “Kinky Reggae” and the String Cheese Incident‘s song, “Miss Brown’s Teahouse”.
At the end of Jan. 2020 (right before the pandemic started), Phill opened a restaurant in his current brick-and-mortar location located on the first floor of Richmond Terrace in Suite G. The restaurant has two full-time employees: Phill and his mother, who is the chef that learned the savory recipes from Miss Brown herself. Phill is an eager student as his mom is passing down all the secrets to making delicious Jamaican food.
Ackee and saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica, and was the highlight of my dining experience. Ackee is also the national fruit of Jamaica and is considered poisonous until it ripens and opens. What a tomato is to fruit, Ackee is to fruit: it’s more savory than sweet. The Saltfish is stir fried with the Ackee, onions, peppers, and other spices. It has a savory umami flavor with bursts of mild fish taste in almost every bite.
I also tried Miss Brown’s callaloo, which is a popular Caribbean vegetable dish. It reminded me of collard greens, but with a lot more flavor. The main ingredient in callaloo is an indigenous leaf vegetable called amaranth. The additions of small pieces of tomato, peppers, onions, and seasonings are what brings so much flavor to this dish.
Many of Miss Brown’s Fine Foods’ dishes come with sides of steamed cabbage, “rice & peas” (the peas are actually brown beans), or fried dumplings. I normally don’t like cooked cabbage, but their steamed cabbage is made in a way that makes it tasty. The rice and peas remind me of dirty rice and go well as a side with the menu options. The fried dumplings have a nice biscuit-like flavor. Insider tip: the dumplings are great to use to push food onto your fork.
The curry chicken meal is served with rice & peas and steamed cabbage. The pieces of chicken are fresh, tender, and moist. The curry sauce is mild and bursting with flavor. I love that the extra sauce sloshes into the rice and cabbage sides which enhances their taste.
What would a complete meal be without something to drink? Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II offers many types of beverages, including Jamaican sodas. I tried three of the Jamaican Sof Drink brand flavors: ginger beer (non-alcoholic), cream soda, and kola champagne. While all of them were tasty, the kola champagne was my favorite. Its taste included hints of orange and vanilla and was really refreshing.
Be sure to save room for dessert. Their banana fritters taste like warm, fried banana bread. It’s like a warm hug of flavor.
Every meal I’ve ever had at Miss Brown’s Fine Foods II has been amazing. It is one of my top restaurants to visit in the Fox Valley.