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19 January, 2010

Jamaica Jamaica (Durham) — Restaurant Review

Posted in : Dining in Durham - NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez

Jamaica Jamaica
4853 NC Highway 55
Intersection of highways 55 and 54, Durham
Lunch Entrees: $7-13, $1 more for Dinner
Sides: $2-6

Jamaica Jamaica is a small, cafeteria-style restaurant that focuses, as evidenced by its name, on Jamaican specialties. Vibrant paintings hang on the walls, which gives the two seating rooms some character. Lively, island radio plays over the speakers.

Jamaica Jamaica has a large menu, but I think that it’s not all available at all times. I was unable to order a jerk chicken or fish sandwich that comes on Coco bread, either because they could only serve from the platters at the time I went (2:30 PM) or they were out of the bread. Offerings include oxtail stew, Caribbean or curry shrimp, curry chicken, jerk chicken, jerk fish, and a number of different sides as well as salads and the MIA sandwiches.  It would be easy for a vegetarian to find options. The Jamaican-style sodas are definitely a reason to come out, even if you are only thirsty. I had a ginger beer soda, which one of my Jamaican friends raves about.

This is nothing like ginger ale, for those of you who haven’t had a true ginger soda. It’s so full of fiery ginger flavor that I could only drink half of it, but my tongue loved the adventure while it lasted.

I decided to go for a jerk chicken plate, which comes with a heaping dose of rice (either rice and beans or yellow rice) and two drumsticks, one breast, and a wing.

Portions are obviously plentiful. I didn’t like the yellow rice, except for appreciating that it was quite spicy, which might have just been the jerk getting on the grains. It was greasy, clumped together, and ultimately flavorless.  The jerk chicken was exactly as it should be, though: smoky, spicy, fall-off-the-bone tender. It was also greasy but for a good jerk, I don’t mind.

I also ordered a side of fried plantains.

With the addition of salt, these were very good. The slices were thick, and they were crispy around the edges.

I would probably only go back to Jamaica Jamaica for the jerk chicken, or perhaps to try the fish or chicken curry. Has any had the Coco bread?

2 stars

Reviewed 1.15.10.

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