Tastee’s Jamaican Cuisine is a small restaurant in a strip mall one block south of the Highpoint Road-Highway 124 intersection. It sits adjacent to Flame’s Sports Bar and Grill, facing 124. The day I arrived they were smoking their jerk chicken just outside the store.

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Inside, it’s small. There are a few tables, but very few. The menu is scrawled on a whiteboard, there are covered containers of food behind a counter, and on the counter, a heating rack full of patties. They have chicken and beef patties at this place. Patties are cheap, less than $2.00 each. They also have dinner plates, with jerk chicken, oxtail, curried chicken and goat, brown stew chicken and brown stew fish. The dinner plates come in a medium and large size, have peas and rice and vegetables as sides.  Medium plates run about $7 dollars or so and large plates about $9.50 or so.

I was shopping for lunch. My wife only eats patties, so I bought 4 chicken patties and a large plate of curried goat to go. As appealing as the smoked chicken was, I had never had goat and this was an opportunity. We took it home, shared tastes. My daughter had never had goat either and there wasn’t any way she was just eating patties.

Goat is a dark meat, and some compare the taste to lamb or veal.  The curry spices, of course, were the dominant flavors in the dish. The curry was tasty without being too spicy or overpowering. Peas and rice were good, and the mixed vegetables (largely stewed cabbage) were good as well. The patties, in comparison to  Golden Krust, were larger, rounder, and the filling was creamier in texture. The patties had some spicy heat, which wasn’t immediately obvious but would creep up on you later.

Verdict: good first impression, recommended for now. It is inexpensive, as patties are cheap and filling. I will need to go back sometime and try their home smoked chicken.

Tastee’s Jamaican Cuisine
2671 Centerville Hwy
Snellville, GA 30078
(678) 344-7004

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It’s in the same strip mall as the Lilburn International Farmer’s market, to the left as you’re facing the market, at the intersection of Highway 29 and Indian Trail. It’s small and new, and like all new restaurants, is in that stage where it establishes a clientele or goes away. There was almost no one in the restaurant at the time I dropped by, though soon after, a couple with three kids tried it.

The cuisine is French creole, which, as best I can determine, is a fusion between Caribbean cooking and French cooking, coming out of the French occupied Caribbean islands. If I have a complaint about food in Atlanta, it’s that they don’t have enough spicy food, and even food that should be spicy is often shamefully lacking in spice. So I was hoping for something that would engage the palate.

Entrees at RJ’s ran from $9.00 for their chicken dishes, to $18.00, for a plate of conch with creole sauce. Dishes were based on seafood, beef, goat, and chicken. I had the legumes, which were a mix of vegetables with pieces of meat and small pieces of crab (in shell). It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t to die for either. And as in most cuisines, it usually takes a try or three before anyone knows what they like. The food had some spice, but not enough to be overwhelming. The dish came with a generous plate of peas and rice, which is a variant of the red beans and rice seen in Louisiana. It was tasty and good.

I had a dessert, a sweet potato pastry, which was good. That’s a surprise for me, because I usually don’t like sweet potato on anything. Service was good. They are very attentive to the customers they do have, will offer tastings, etc.

Verdict? I’m unfamiliar with the cuisine. I want to try it again sometime, before knowing whether RJ’s is a keeper. I can say it’s promising overall, and worth a stop if you’re in the area.

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