Dave’s View: Food adventures can be tricky sometimes. You really don’t know what to expect and this is how I was feeling when we approached Patties of Jamaica on Allisonville Road the other day. When it comes to this restaurant you must know this:
1. The restaurant is small. Only 2 tables. The front area is filled with two coolers of soda, one freezer of Jamaica patties and one mystery cooler. Don’t ask me what was in the cooler!
2. It’s mostly a carry out restaurant.
3. The place is only open until 5 or 6 PM.
4. The cleanliness could be better in this restaurant. The tables and floor were both dirty.
5. The service is outstanding. You meet everybody. Stephen, which I think is the son of the place and Henry who is the father and cook. He’ll wave to you at the counter while he’s cooking your patty. Also, there’s a woman who will greet you as you enter the place and she is “over the top” nice.
6. Former Sheriff, Frank Anderson loves this place, but he only buys Cokes there. Well, this day he did. This is kind of weird. Frank Anderson and Jamaica patties?
7. The food is strange. The patties are basically turnovers with a meat filling in them and when you first taste them, you really can say, that you’ve never had this type of meal before. They are fantastic, but odd. I also had curried chicken stew with rice and peas on the side. The rice was typical and the stew was good, but standard spicy Indian fare. Overall, the patties were excellent and the rest of the meal was standard.
My suggestion: Try this place as a carry out only option and order the patties. Well worth the price and taste!
Food: 8 Service: 9.5 Ambiance: 4 Total: 21.5 out of 30
$10-$20 without adult beverages. This restaurant does not serve adult beverages.
Andrea’s View: Patties of Jamaica sits in a very tiny corner of an L shaped strip mall in the 51st block of Allisonville Road. It is so tiny and hidden that you can not see it from the street, but I urge everyone to go and find this hidden little gem. I am not exaggerating when I say that this place is tiny. The front part of the restaurant is as big as my dining room with only two booth-like tables. The menu is typed on a piece of paper that sits on the counter. As we walked in, we were greeted warmly by a very nice Jamaican woman. She then asked if this was our first time there. We said yes and she then told us about the patties that are the namesake of the restaurant. These patties are pie dough like “turnovers” with a seasoned beef filling. Dave and I ordered one apiece. I also ordered the curried goat stew and a side of rice and peas. When I ordered, the nice woman asked, “You’ve had Jamaican food before!?” I said, “No this is my first time.” She replied,”Ohhh Girllllll, you go on now.” (imagine this in a Jamaican accent) First of all, let me tell you that goat tastes like lamb. This stew looks innocent enough, like grandma’s chicken and dumplings minus the dumplings. It has a clear broth with potatoes and goat, some of which is still on the bone. However this is not an innocent stew. This stew packs a spicy wallop. A really tasty spicy wallop. The rice and peas (the peas are what caucasians call black beans) are quite mild and balance out the spicy stew nicely. And the patties, they are the star of the show. I can’t quite describe what they taste like, but trust me, you want to try them. Dave and I liked them so much, we even bought a bag of 12 frozen ones to bake at home.
If you plan on visiting, and I hope you do, here are a few things to keep in mind. They are only open Monday through Saturday and only for lunch. This is mainly a take out operation, as we saw about a dozen people come in and order carry-out while we were eating. They do have a dine in option but remember that there are only two tables. The dining area is not all that clean-looking as most of the attention is being paid in the kitchen. The two owners/cooks, Stephan and Henry, will even come out and talk to you or give you a friendly wave.
I implore you to find this little restaurant. It is well worth the effort. These are the nicest people and some of the best food we have encountered on our food adventures. You’ll leave with a full belly and a big smile that lasts all day. You’ll probably even leave with your very own bag of patties.