Choices’ original location was a remote former convenience store off Highway 19, but early in 2018, it moved to an even more remote Graniteville storefront. Most business here is take-out, as there are a mere two bare-top tables opposite the order counter, but the menu remains the same repertoire of great Caribbean classics that made the first restaurant a foodie magnet.
If there’s better jerk chicken between here and Jamaica, I’ve yet to taste it. Moist and tender, glowing with spice and smoky savor, it is a meal that has me gnawing every stitch of meat from every bone, then licking every bit of juice off every finger.
As a side dish for any entree, steamed cabbage is a must. This is a Jamaican favorite: tender leaves of the earthy cruciferous vegetable mixed with sweet carrots to become a taste sensation. Nor should one ignore plantains, grilled to caramelized decadence with edges that verge on candy-crisp. Add a big, puffy sweet pillow of coco bread and you have a grand meal not soon forgotten.
Curried shrimp are less exclamatory than the jerk dishes but no less intriguing: big pink crescents veiled with with a soft rain of spice and laced with strips of red pepper. Shrimp are easy to eat, but you must work to get nuggets of tender curried goat from the bone. The meat is peppery and infused with spice, but not ferociously so; and its flavor is not the least bit gamey. It is served with sheaves of roti, the Jamaican unleavened wheat bread reminiscent of Sonoran tortillas. Effort also is required to find nuggets of meat in a plate of oxtails, which are at least 1/3 bone (a bother) and 1/3 fat (a wicked delight), but those pieces of meat are positively erotic in the amount of pleasure they deliver: so hugely beefy and so, so tender that they quite literally melt on your tongue.
Note: If you are planning to visit Choices, do call ahead to make sure it is open. In my experience, hours of operation tend to be flexible.