The Coop Rotisserie
Dominican born chef, Elvis Jimenez-Chavez considers himself a “citizen of the world”
“I was born in the Caribbean but raised pretty much all over the world. So when asked where I’m from I say ‘citizen of the world’.”
And after cooking his way around the globe, he decided to take all of that flavor back to his current hometown of Amesbury, Massachusetts.
“I didn’t want the restaurant to be specifically from one country. I just wanted to have a range of options from the Caribbean, South America all the way to Argentina.”
And you can find a true taste of Latin America at The Coop Rotisserie.
Situated in on Main Street in the heart of Amesbury, The Coop is a casual come as you are type of place with a laid back vibe and friendly service to help you navigate the menu.
“When I have to come out to the dining room and greet customers and they ask questions and I am able to respond whatever I know about what they are eating. It’s something that I grew up with…It’s very very flavorful. Â Crispy on the outside but nice and moist on the inside. It’s exciting.”
So Phantom tasted it all in search of THE PERFECT MEAL.
Appetizers range from crispy chicken wings slathered in a house made Caribbean chili sauce….
To beautiful arepas overflowing with chicken, aged cheddar, avocado and diced tomato….
And for something different, there’s the Coop Montaditas- a grilled corn tortilla stuffed with cheese, chicken and all of the usual taco fillings.
“That is a marriage between a taco and a quesadilla. All of the filling you would put in a taco- but instead of folded…it’s grilled flat like a quesadilla but it’s crispier than a quesadilla. And that is topped with salsa verde, salsa roja mixed chili sauce and pickled red peppers and cilantro. It melts in your mouth.”
But for a true taste of the Coop, you have to order some of Elvis’ empanadas- a treat he’s enjoyed since childhood.
“The ones that we have here are typical from the Caribbean. Just flour, white flour and they are deep fried. It’s a pastry you can stuff with pretty much anything you want. It’s flaky. It’s buttery. It’s a little spicy. A little sweet, not heavy even though its deep fried. To make it a more round appetizer we pair it with a nice light refreshing salad of greens that has been tossed with orange vinaigrette.”
The Sandwich section of The Coops menu should not be missed.
There’s a delicious crab burger- always fresh and served with plenty of sliced avocado….
And a Cuban that’s packed with flavor.
“Between the pork being marinated just right and roast to perfection, it’s a great marriage. It taste delicious”.
But you’ve really got to lay your lips on the Cariburger. Topped with green cabbage, cotija cheese, garlic serrano aioli and chimichurri, this burger brings the flavors of the Caribbean to an American staple.
“When you bite into the Cariburger, you’ll taste a little bit of garlic…a little tanginess from the chimichurri. A little spiciness from the garlic serrano aioli and a little crunchiness from the shredded green cabbage. Very good. Very very good.”
The handhelds also make their way onto the entree menu with an oversized, overstuffed Beef Burrito, a meal is so big, the kitchen has to cut it in half just so customers can pick it up.
“Look how big this thing is. It is big and therefore I thought that it was not practical to serve it whole because it would not be good to have someone eating a burrito that size so we cut it in half. With the size of this burrito, it’s obscene to put it all in your mouth. I eat a lot. I eat a lot and sometimes it’s not possible for me to eat a whole burrito.”
There are also tender marinated beef tips served with mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables.
But since you’re at the Coop, a taste of their signature dish, the Caribbean Style Roasted Chicken should be on your list. This poultry has been a crowd pleaser since day one.
“People that come here say that this is the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had which is very humbling. They say that not only is it flavorful, it’s most inside and there’s a little bit of spiciness. A little bit of smokiness and tangy at the same time. It’s crunchy. Moist inside. Distinctfully flavorful because the chicken marinates for at least 32 hours. It’s a must try. “
And at dessert, you can opt for the Mango Creme Brulee or the Caramel Tres Leches Cake but if you ask Elvis, he’ll recommend his great grandmother’s recipe for Caribbean Pineapple Rum Bread Pudding.
“I wish I could take credit for that. Â When I first had it as a child it was the most wonderful dessert I’ve ever had. So much so it has stayed with me ever since. You can taste rum. You can taste pineapple. You can taste caramel. Some people prefer the tres leches or the mango creme brulee, but I would get the bread pudding.”
Empanadas. The Cariburger. Caribbean Roasted Chicken and the Pineapple Rum Bread Pudding make for the PERFECT MEAL at The Coop.