Awesome Jamaican Jerk- Melbourne South- 2 Stars
It seems that there's a new sheriff in town (i.e. restaurant) everyone is talking about. I am talking about none other than the new Awesome Jamaican Jerk and Things on Babcock Street in Melbourne, FL. After hearing all the hoopla, I headed out to try it myself with eager anticipation.
Upon opening the door of the restaurant I was immediately reminded of the Maxell "Blown Away" guy in the old TV commercials from the 70s as the music was so loud, I could virtually feel my fedora shifting backward.
Based on the color of the walls, I came to the conclusion that the owner was not only out to kill my sense of hearing but destroy my vision as well, as my eyeballs were practically burnt out of their sockets due to the garishly painted decor. I get that they are going for a Jamaican color scheme, but tone it down a smidge!
As verbal communication was out of the question, I was forced to use hand signals in order to communicate. After coming to an understanding, we headed toward the counter to place our order. We decided to go with Brown Stew Chicken, Curried Goat and a Beef Patty with plantains and sweet potatoes. We took a seat at an empty table in the limited dining area (the place really is designed for take-out). After a few minutes, my attention was drawn toward the counter as the help was signaling me that our order was up. Fighting the bludgeoning waves of sound thundering from the speakers, I made my way back to the counter to retrieve our order.
It was at this point that the Jerry Reed song, "The Uptown Poker Club" came to mind (specifically the chorus). I couldn't help but get the feeling that they were trying to hide something or that they were "takin' them offa the bottom," as in bottom dealing or cheating me somehow. The only fast one pulled that day was on me by all the talk around town about this place. Well, in everyone, the cacophony of screeching noise emanating from the speakers could have addled their brains so that they weren't thinking clearly. Here is the objective truth: the Brown Stew Chicken was tender and tasty; however, the sweet potatoes were undercooked. Now, I am the first to admit that I am not all that familiar with Jamaican cuisine, so if they are meant to be firm to the point of crunchy, then they were done to perfection. The rice that accompanied it, while cooked fine, was bland and lacking in flavor. The Curried Goat was a huge letdown. The reason being that for a curry dish it lacked any and all heat and was bland on the palate. Even the perfectly cooked Goat couldn't save this dish. The Beef patty was cooked to order and tasted fine. Although, once again, the chef seemed to have trouble with the sides as the plantains were overcooked. Maybe I should have gone with something jerked, after all, it's in their name, maybe they do that better than the curry.
At this point I realized the Awesome part of their name did not relate to the food quality but the feeling of angst and disappointment you feel leaving here. Awesomely bad!!
The Big Boy says, "Unless you know American Sign Language or another means of communicating non-verbally and like bland curry, stay out of here." #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy