The Greatest Jamaican Restaurant in Oak Park

June 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Yeah, yeah, Jamaican Grill is the only Jamaican restaurant in Oak Park.  So beans.  I said last week that I liked Cuban food even though I found it flawed.   I’ll tell you this week, I find Jamaican food so flawless, I find nearly every Jamaican restaurant great, and if it happens to be not that far from me in Oak Park, well damn how can it not be the greatest in Oak Park?

Jamaican food differs so much from its Latin big island neighbor.

  • It’s spicy
  • It’s spicy AND it almost always comes with a spicier sauce on the side
  • If that’s not enough, there’s usually some form of scotch bonnet/habenero hot sauce
  • The bread, “dough bread” has the shortening built right into it, so one does not at least notice it’s un-natural richness, unlike the margarine slathered bread at Cuban places
  • They serve much, much more rice – The food from Jamaican Grill came in one of those three part styrofoam containers (sorry Melissa).  In the long section, rice formed a bed for the entree, but then spare rice; MY rice, took one of the side slots.   Rice AND rice.
  • The other slot goes to oily, spicy cabbage cooked with a few carrots, so their is even an imprimatur of health to this cuisine
  • Did I mention the sauce?

I tried the jerk chicken and the curry goat yesterday.  Two classics of their genre.  I liked the chicken plenty, but I would have loved it even more if it had more smoke to it and also a bigger coating of spice.  It was still, however, moist and tasty.  The goat, however, was right at the top for this now hep foodstuff.  The curried pieces, most wrapped around sharp shards of bone had no gristle, no excessive fat, but they were just damn tender.  My daughter loved it despite her professed hatred of goat.

Jamaican Grill
10 W. Chicago Ave
Oak Park, IL