I am thrilled to bring you this blog on the Jamaican Jerk Stop Restaurant in McAllen, Texas. Not only was my visit to this take out restaurant fun and interesting, the food was just a blast of unexpected, but very delicious flavors!!
When I was younger, I used to think the RGV was never going to have options for adventurous eaters like myself. Obviously I was wrong, and I'm hoping that with this blog, and the many more to come, we will bring enough support to the many people coming to our area with the diverse cuisine knowledge that the RGV has been in desperate need of. Last November, the owner of Jamaican Jerk Stop moved to the valley from Jamaica with his amazing recipes, and in my opinion, he is now living the American Dream.
To clarify before I start on the dishes, we ordered a mix of two meats instead of one (they usually come with only one). We paid a little extra for this but I'd say it was worth it. Basically each meat you will see is only half of the portion of what the combo usually looks like, unless you specify you want more than one meat, like we did. Here we have the oxtail & the brown stew chicken with the rice, beans, & plantains. This plate is more than enough for one to two people to share.
Rice & Beans- (I want to say they call this rice & peas) These honestly tasted very similar to Mexican rice & beans, except for the different beans. They were very flavorful and are fantastic to accompany any of the meats. I don't think they are out of this world, but they are good, and I'll leave it at that.
Plantains- These on the other hand, I had a difficult time sharing because I loved, loved, loved them, with all my heart. Oh man, I'd order these again in a heartbeat. Not too sweet, not too mushy; These were just right. Growing up my family always tried cooking plantains but they were never as perfectly cooked as these. Crispy on the outside with just a hint of sweetness, I can't rave about these enough! (My boyfriend insists that I say they were "Jamaican" me crazy... I hope you lol at that :D)
The Oxtail might be my favorite! Although it is very fatty, the meat to fat ratio is magical. It has been cooked so well, the meat falls right off of the bone (don't let the oily sauce it is cooked in scare you). Full of spice, but not spicy is how I'd have to describe it. I have never tried anything quite like it, but I would order this as a full meal any day.
includes two sides.
Brown Stew Chicken
Also a great contender is the brown stew chicken, which is normally a dinner dish in Jamaica. The color is usually achieved through browning the chicken in brown sugar and other veggies. This chicken was also cooked until extremely tender and was just a tad sweet. It was amazing. I'm not sure if all Jamaican food falls off the bone like these did, but they are not messing around here. They really know what they are doing.
also comes with two sides.
White Rice- This rice is very plain, but if you are going the healthier route, this is definitely the rice to order. The lovely young lady working at the window recommended we tilt the plate so the sauce from the meat could get into the rice. We did. She is genius. Very much appreciated her tip.
Festival Bread- This small bread, which is at the corner right of this picture was very good. It textually resembled a churro, but of course, less sweet, and probably a little healthier. I liked dipping it in the different sauces.
If you never have had curry before, it is an extremely potent dish (usually seasoned with turmeric, cumin, and coriander.) This one in particular was neon green(highlighter color) and like nothing I've ever tasted. (Should I mention it was tender???) It had sweet notes as well as spicy notes. Overall a well rounded dish.
two sides included
If you like a good fire grilled chicken, you will love this. It was the most familiar tasting to us since it isn't too saucy and is cooked over an open flame. It had just a hint of herbs which separated it from our style of bbq chicken. I would recommend this for someone who wants a little adventure, but is not ready to dive full throttle into overwhelming sauces or extremely different textures.
two sides included
This is a take out/drive thru only, so don't expect tables or waiters. This is a pick up and go type of place and we happened to enjoy our meal at a near by park. (I recommend you do the same if you can, it was fun!!) The young woman who helped us select our dishes was very knowledgeable & also recommended we try their famous wings next time. (which I can't wait to try!)
Worth mentioning is their lunch specials from 11am to 2pm Monday through Saturday, which include whichever meat you'd like with rice & beans for $5.99. Sounds like a FAB deal to me!
Address- 1123 U S 83 Business
McAllen, TX 78501
Take Out/Drive Through
Hours of Operation- 11am -10 pm
Great for lunch or early dinner