Memorable | One of the Best
Jamrock Caribana | Deep South Jamaican Treasure
Review by: Michael Stern
Food & Jamaican Culture In Every Bite
Deep South Jamaican food? Yes, indeed. Find Jamrock Caribana and you will understand. I consider it a treasure. A somewhat hidden treasure, for sure. You will find it on Highway 421, the old road between Aiken, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia. 421 parallels what is now the main route, Highway 1. In fact, 421 is a compelling Roadfood road, being home also to the favorite Bruce’s Bar & Grill.
The brilliant flavor of Jamrock Caribana goes beyond its unique Jamaican dishes. The building itself (previously home to Sawasdee, which became Thai Jasmine Rice) boasts bright colors, inside and out. Inside, the gold, black, and green colors of the national flag let you know what you are about to eat. Reggae music sets the mood in the dining room. It’s a sociable place, but many customers come to take food home.
Familiar Jamaican dishes are wonderful. My Jamaican friend says they remind her of mother’s home cooking. Jerk chicken is complex and intriguingly spiced. Jerk shrimp — little ones, presented in abundance atop a salad of sweet tropical fruit — can be four-alarm hot. Plantains are sweet and just-right chewy.
Another thrilling specialty on Jamrock Caribana’s menu is billed as Barbifry chicken. As its portmanteau name hints, it is chicken that is fried, then coated with spicy barbecue sauce and baked. The sauce’s flavor seeps deep into the meat. It’s Deep South Jamaican fare! In a distant way, it reminds me of the unique fried-then-BBQ-sauced chicken served at the legendary Keaton’s in North Carolina.
How To Conclude A Jamaican Meal
Dessert is interesting, too. The house specialty is called a coneado. It’s a waffle-cone bowl that appears to hold simply a pile of ice cream, whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and sauce of choice, but in fact hides a thick layer of buttery pound cake at the bottom. What a joy to excavate!
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|