Monday, March 7, 2016

Ja'Maican Me Crazy for that Jerk Chicken and Gravy

Holy smokes! This place is so good it caught me off guard! I wasn't ready for you, Island Spice.

After years at its Market Street location, it's moved to 6109 University Avenue. Where ever you go I.S (how does that song go?), I will follow yooouuu!

Red bean rice. Good. Jerk chicken. Brown sauce. Good. Fried plantains. Gooooood.

When it comes to Caribbean food, Island Spice has a solid act. By that, I mean, they know who they are, they know the food they serve and they do it over and over again and make it real good. Respect.

My photographer, who must not be named because he's a "vegan," got the brown stew chicken. All I can say about that is ... lol.

I got the brown stew fish which is fried red snapper with brown sauce. Both meals came with a mixed beans and rice side, greens and fried plantains. Here's the menu.

The chicken was seasoned, fried and then drenched in their brown gravy. The sauce has a homey, deep flavor that's not overpowering even the slightest. However, it is the strongest element of the dish perfectly complemented by the savory flavors from the rice/beans, greens and sweetness from the fried plantains.

Everything goes together. It just works. This is definitely one of the meals you'll thoroughly enjoy and crave randomly later, especially after some questionable nights. Makes you understand where the term soul food came from.

The red snapper dish (picture below) comes out as the whole fish, head and all. If you're squeamish about that (get over it because that's how fish looks. Yes, they have eyes), maybe opt for something else. I hope you don't though because you'd be missing out. The meat was crunchy on the outside and flaky and tender in the inside. Very flavorful. Perfect if you're wanting something lighter. I loved it.

Another must-get is the ginger beer. I've never had a drink that complemented my meal so well (well, maybe red wine with steak, but that's a whole different ballgame). Ginger beer is a great palette cleanser. It is spicy. Helps make that fifth or sixth bite as good as the first. 

The only slight downside is the service can be a tad slow. One time I arrived when the place was supposed to be open, and they weren't ready for another hour or so. Could've been a fluke. Honestly, to me, it wasn't a biggie and happened a while ago. Kind of added to the island feel haha, but if you're on-the-go and want something fast, you may want to wait until you have a comfortable amount of time to try this place.

#NomOn, my friends. 

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