Saturday, October 5, 2013

Jamaica Jerk Villa

Location: 737 W. 79th St., Chicago, IL 60620
Jamaican Jerk Villa on UrbanspoonJamaican Jerk Villa on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
Caribbean food may be the worst craving to have in Chicago.  For the many years I have been living in the city, I have only come across a couple Caribbean restaurants, which are both located extremely far from the downtown proper.  Luckily, one of these places, Jamaica Jerk Villa, recently opened a second location near the Chinatown area.  And wow, the food is just as incredible.  Plenty of flavor and of course the slow burning heat that is packed in each dish.  The meals are huge portions and fairly priced.  Unfortunately, their second location is more of a pick up joint with only couple of bar stools in the waiting area.  Also, I came for lunch and I guess they have a lunch special... The staff didn't even mention their special when I ordered the exact same meal at "dinner price" because I didn't mention lunch special.  I thought that was unfair and bad customer service.  Despite the not so truthful service, I continue to find myself coming back for more of this great food.  I highly recommend the food, just be aware of the atmosphere... And for that reason a 3.5 mile rating is fair.  The food deserves a higher rating, but it is difficult to overlook the other aspects of the restaurant.

What I Ate:

Jerk Chicken Dinner

For my meal, I choose their specialty... The jerk chicken dinner.  This huge meal consisted of 1/2 a chicken that had been chargrilled with their homemade jerk recipe.  You get a choice of two sides--I stuck with their famous steamed cabbage and the Caribbean staple of beans and rice.  The chicken was outstanding.  It had plenty of seasoning and rather than being too spicy to enjoy, the jerk sauce was more of a slow burn. The side of cabbage was incredible.  I am unsure what spices they use, but it is steamed for so long that it just melts on your mouth.  The beans and rice was nothing special unfortunately.  I mean they served as a filler but were more bland than anything.  Definitely ask for extra sauce, it is worth the cost.  I do wish they included plantains in the dinner.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
DO:
- Call ahead and BE LATE... this place is notorious for making their customers wait despite how long you order prior to arriving at the restaurant.  Or maybe arrive early because they way they line up orders seems a little strange.

DON'T:
- The 22nd St. Location is more of a grab-n-go option.  So don't expect to find nice tables and chairs.  Pick up the food and move along.

How far would I walk for this food?



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