Our latest installment of Quick Bites brings us to the Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy border for solid Jamaican fare.

THE VIBE
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of take-out joints like Food For Thought all over this magnificent city of ours, restaurants that open with no PR hype, no social media presence, no spot on any sort of "hot list." Luckily, Food For Thought happened to open right around the corner from me, and all they needed was a hand-drawn "Grand Opening You Are Welcome" sign taped to the front window to get me inside.

This is an amenity-free establishment — you walk three steps to the counter, ask what's good, leave laden with a ridiculous amount of very good food. I've now stopped by several times, and the most expensive dish I've ever seen here cost $12. I sometimes bring my meals home; on other evenings I sit at one of the tables right across Atlantic Avenue in St. Andrew's Playground and just soak in the summer evening. There are a couple of stools at a counter by the window if you need to dine in. It all feels relaxed and neighborly, as every place like this should.

Owner and chef Michael Young moved to Brooklyn from Jamaica some 37 years ago, but the only restaurant job he held before opening this place was as a dishwasher back in the early 1980s. A mechanic for three decades, he cashed in his 401K after the company he worked for went bankrupt, and determined to be his own boss from now on, he now spends his time at Food For Thought. Except on Sundays. The recipes are from Young's mom, remembered from his youth outside of Kingston, Jamaica long ago.

THE BITES
Food For Thought serves pre-cooked, steam-table fare, but nothing I've ever eaten here tastes even remotely tired, or dried up. In fact the Shrimp Curry that Young gave me last week featured about a dozen of the snappiest, most juicy crustaceans I think I've ever devoured. The Chicken Curry was also pretty stellar, with both dark and light meat chunks (bone-in of course) ladled out all tender and flavorful. The curry sauce is nice and zippy too, and arrives thinner on the shrimp, more robust on the bird. Even heartier is Young's fatty, sticky, intensely rich Oxtail Stew.

You'll be offered a pair of options as your base, either white rice or rice and peas, and it seems foolish to get the former when the latter is respectably prepared and spooned out with abandon. A small pile of excellent plantains comes with your order; they are sliced long and thin, to maximize surface area for caramelization. You also sometimes get a helping of vegetables—usually lightly-steamed cabbage—which adds a welcome bit of crunch to your meal. Young also fries up some decent Festivals, as well as Chicken Patties that are especially good when dipped in his jerk sauce.

THE VERDICT
In addition to serving first-rate, homemade food at low prices in a friendly, decidedly non-trendy environment, Food For Thought also provides an excellent reminder that not every new restaurant here needs a marketing hook like "boozy sandwich shop," or to function as an "oasis" within the very community it's supposed to serve. If you live anywhere near Young's place, be sure to stop in sometime for a supremely satisfying meal.

Food For Thought is located at 75 Kingston Avenue between Atlantic and Pacific, and is Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight. Closed Sundays (347-533-9755).