Kick Up Rumpus With Curried Goat

Good Bite

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY JUL 14, 2020

There is something trustworthy about an unassuming restaurant. A nice façade and chic décor certainly go a long way in establishing the experience of dining in, but when it comes to good, no-nonsense food, particularly in the time of COVID, the way a restaurant looks means less and less. Show me a strip-mall diner, a food truck or a modest standalone restaurant and I’ll show you a food operation manned by hardworking cooks, matriarchs and immigrants, sometimes all three at once—but always churning out copious amounts of delicious, filling food. Dr. Martin Luther King Way is host to several such restaurants, and Jamerican Restaurant & Lounge is one of them.

Housed in a yellow building just East of the corner of MLK and US 301, the restaurant is a mainstay of the Newtown community, where Saturday night dance parties used to keep it open until 2 am. “We’re not doing our big parties now,” says owner and cook Gloria Jones, “but you’ll have to come back when we start them up again.” Nowadays, Jones is just happy to crank out the Jamaican soul food that helped make her restaurant such a vibrant community outpost. I ordered the curried goat to-go with a side of steamed collard greens and fried plantains. “The oxtail or the jerk chicken are more popular,” says Jones in response to my selection, but the heft of the container tells me I probably won’t regret my decision.

A generous serving of curried, stewed goat meat spills into every compartment of the Styrofoam container. Underneath the savory gravy and tender chunks of meat is a generous portion of rice and red beans, with the collard greens and plantains buried somewhere in the corners of the container. The gravy is silky and rich from the bones incorporated into the stewing process. With big chunks of fatty pork trimmings, the collard greens could make a meal themselves, while the plantains provide a bit of sweetness to the soul food overload. To top it all off, an exquisitely moist hunk of cornbread comes with the meal, just in case any ambitious eaters have something to prove. For me, this meal turned into two.

The restaurant is open from 10am to 10pm, Monday through Saturday. Orders can be placed in advance over the phone for pick-up, while Doordash and Grubhub provide service for delivery.

Jamerican Restaurant & Lounge, 2025 Dr. Martin Luther King Way, Sarasota, 941-260-5723

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