Ionie’s Caribbean Kitchen is on the right as you head from Snellville towards Athens on 78, and it’s pretty darned close actually: perhaps 3-4 minutes past the Mellow Mushroom. This was one of those nights where my wife had to work late and I was tasked with feeding my daughter. I wanted something different so the idea was to travel east down 78 until we saw something new and interesting.
Once we arrived we were greeted by two football player sized patrons in Atlanta Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs gear and asked, “Is this your first time here?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Well, you’re going to enjoy this place. This is our third time here this week.”
This was a Tuesday, mind you. And their table was heaped with oversized plates.
Ionies is half buffet line, half kitchen-in-back. There was a small display case for patties and the like but by the time we arrived the case was empty. The place is neat, on the end of a strip mall and reasonably easy to get to. The tables all have placemats with maps of Jamaica, and along with salt and pepper, two bottles of Ocho Rios hot sauce grace the tables.
We ordered the curried chicken and I eventually ordered the jerk chicken. I was going to order the roti, but I was told it’s the same as the curry chicken, just layered on a different substrate. I wanted something that tasted different than what my daughter was ordering.
We sat, got drinks from a stand-up refrigerator and watched as the place filled with people, largely ordering take out. I’m sure that had an effect on our order as it took a bit to get our food, but my plate, at least, arrived hot and steaming. It was a large plate of food, too. My daughter’s curry arrived soon after.
Ionie’s jerk chicken is a wet jerk, with a substantial amount of heat that builds as you eat. I liked it a lot. The curry is considerably milder, but I thought it was tasty as well. Service was good when they weren’t overwhelmed with to-go patrons. Most of the patrons here pick up food to take home. And serving size is large enough that you may end up taking home food too.
Verdict: Good Jamaican favorites, neat and clean. Highly recommended.
Ionie’s Caribbean Kitchen
1142 Athens Highway (US 78)
Grayson, GA 30017