To heck with Airborne. If you need your sinuses cleared, eat here! Some basic info. first:
Location: The original location is on South Milledge Ave., almost to the loop. The newest location (and location of tonight’s post) is on Baxter Street in the same building as Jimbo’s Subs and the BP. Look for the yellow building.
Price: Easily under $10 for a meat, two vegetable sides, corn bread and tea
Best meal: Either lunch or dinner- whenever you feel you can take the spice!
I really stepped out of the box tonight. I think I was so excited about FINALLY making it to Kelly’s Jerk that I decided to go all out. I’ll talk about the food first, and then I’ll move to the restaurant itself.
Before I give my opinion, we met some locals who are 100 percent sold on the “wonderfulness” that is Kelly’s Jerk. Listen in to what they have to say:
I decided to get the curry goat (yes, goat) with green beans and spiced cabbage.
Spicy is definitely an adjective that has different significance for everyone. I don’t know what the heck he (Kelly) put in the cabbage, but I will say I drank an entire pitcher of water with it. I asked Kelly what he put in his spicy cabbage, and he said (in a wonderfully-genuine Jamaican accent), “Oh, a little love and somethin’ else. If I told ya what else, my grandmother would come up out of the ground!”
I guess that means it’s a family secret.
Despite the spicy factor, the cabbage actually tasted really good! It was sweet at first, and then the hot would hit you about five seconds after swallowing.
Next, the goat. If you like lamb, I think you’ll like this. In terms of consistency, the goat was very similar to lamb. It came right off the bone, and I thought the taste was extremely mild and overall very good! It was covered and cooked in a wonderful curry sauce that also had a kick to it. I asked him if his goat came from his back yard or something, and Kelly said he got it at the grocery store. Seems like a pretty good place to buy meat to me!
I went with my friend Kelly Jones, and she ordered the jerk chicken with the spicy squash and zucchini and green beans. We decided to go with different meats, spicy sides and green beans. They are always a good back up.
Her chicken tasted like it had been smoked and cooked for hours. I think it’s because it had.
The jerk had a kick almost like my cabbage. It would hit you a couple seconds after swallowing, but there were no complaints from her end of the table!
Our meal came with two pieces of cornbread which were nice complements to the spice. This cornbread isn’t really skillet, grandmother cornbread. It’s almost like sweet corn cake. I loved the sugary contrast to the rest of the meal, and I ended up using it to soak up some of the juices (mainly the yummy curry sauce) on my plate.
The restaurant itself is a wonderful find. I love restaurants that are so discrete, but make you feel like a total winner when you figure out what it is. Kelly’s Jerk is like this.
Home made. Everything. Cheap. Fun. Different. Jamaican. You can’t go wrong!
Kelly told me to come by on another day when he was working the grill, so maybe I’ll get some good chicken cookin’ action one day.
Until then, I say try it. If you aren’t adventurous, just order the chicken and green beans. If this tells you anything, their macaroni was sold out. I’ve heard wonderful things about it.