I did a really stupid thing a few weeks ago and I needed a picker upper, so my friends were nice enough to take me to a Jamaican restaurant in Chicago. While most people want to go to a bar and drink away their sorrows, Soomeenshee wants jerk chicken.
Ja'Grill is tucked away in a cute little neighborhood in Lincoln Park.
I couldn't resist a dark and stormy which consisted of gosling's black seal rum and barritts ginger beer. So tasty! If you ever have a hunkering to make your own ginger beer, check this out. Soup Cook got a rum and kahlua drink that was equally as tasty too. Aleen had the usual diet coke. =)
To start, we ordered some chicken and beef patties, which were basically turnovers filled with Jamaican seasoned ground chicken and beef. We determined that every culture must have their own version of dumplings and this apparently is the Jamaican version. I highly recommend it.
These may have been baked because they didn't seem greasy to me. The filling had a wonderful mixture of spices in it.
We didn't realize that plantains came with out dish, so we ordered some fried plantains, which were also quite delicious.
Coco bread sounded interesting so we ordered it, but it didn't have any coconut in it and it was not all that tasty. It had the texture of Hawaiian bread but none of the taste.
For our entrees, while I originally came for the jerk chicken, our waitress kept raving about the tilapia, so I got the jerk tilapia. All of the entrees came with rice and braised cabbages and carrots and some plantains on the side. I keep forgetting how good braised cabbages are. It's so simple to make, yet so tasty.
Aleen got the jerk chicken. Between the jerk tilapia and jerk chicken, I'd go for the chicken. I think you get more flavor from the chicken than from tilapia.
Soup Cook got the curry goat, which is goat meat seasoned, marinated and stewed in spicy Jamaican curry. Also very tasty, if you like goat that is.
All of the dishes were really tasty and full of flavor. The portions were huge so we ended up taking them home and it tasted great the next day as well. I can't wait to go back. Let's hope next time I have some jerk chicken, it'll be on some tropical island somewhere. =)