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Oct 31, 2013 05:19 AM

Game changer jerk chicken in Scottsdale

One store in from the corner of East Ponce De Leon and Decatur Ave in a Scottsdale hole in the wall a group of Jamaicans are wood grilling jerk chicken that's a game changer.

The subtle but insistent heat of the jerk sauce is still with me, 24 hours later.

Many sides are offered, none of which I tried. But the patty, filled with curried potatoes and peas, didn't call me back.

Not since long departed Sylvia's Pastry's Mole Poblano in Norcross more than a decade ago and Peter Chang's early efforts at Tasty China have I tasted anything in Atlanta near so thrilling as this chicken.

It's not only worth a stop on the way to nearby Dekalb Market, but well worth a drive from anywhere in the metro area.

Parking is typically in-town difficult. You can park next to the place in the adjacent gas station so long as you park up near E. Ponce de Leon. Or you can park on the side street, Decatur Ave. Just don't park in the dedicated barber shop parking--things could get ugly.

Cash only, I believe.

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  1. A Drucker find is always worth checking out.

    I could see the smoke billowing out of the place from a block away. They seem to be trying to appease barbecue fans as well as jerk fans, as they offer a choice between the jerk sauce and barbecue sauce on the chicken and offer sides like mac-and-cheese and collard greens in addition to Jamaican items. As sides, we tried the rice and peas, plantains, and chickpeas. We also got some fish fritters, which I thought were very good. Did not try the patties.

    I thought the chicken itself was great--how can chicken cooked over a smoky wood fire not be great? I seriously doubt it's pimento wood, though--next time I'll have to ask what they use.

    The people working there were as friendly as can be and seemed genuinely thrilled to have customers stopping in. I'd rather patronize this place than some of the chef-driven chicken concepts that have popped up around town. A whole chicken plus several sides and the fish fritters came out to about $30.

    1. Steve, I have been quietly singing this places praises since it opened about 2 years ago. Unfortunately word seems to be getting out and it's making me have to wait in line of all things for my jerk fix. Also, watch for bones as they aren't particularly choosy with what gets chopped. All-in-all, its definitely the best Jamaican in the city.

      2 Replies
      1. re: samlev

        The jerk sauce is amazing.

        recent 411: the name of the place is 'Caribbean Chicken and Fish'.

        Two weeks ago when I was in the owner asked me to 'make some noise out there'. So here I am.

        The pigeon peas and rice and the cabbage are both vg. They come with the 7.99 half chicken lunch special. For the rice you can get chicken curry gravy or (deep colored) chicken stew gravy. I've tried the curry and it was vg. I'm looking forward to trying the chicken stew gravy.

        1. re: Steve Drucker

          It is good jerk sauce. But they don't seem to use a dry (jerk) rub. Rather, they seem to cook the chicken without much, if any seasoning, and then brush it with either jerk sauce or barbecue sauce, depending on what the customer requests. I've only been in there the one time so far, but I was caught off guard when they asked me if I wanted the jerk sauce on the chicken or on the side. Figuring they were referring to adding extra sauce for extra flavor, I said "on the side." They chicken they gave me had no jerk flavor at all, and the sauce came in those little take-out sauce cups with the snap-on lids. It seemed odd.

      2. I'd heard a while back about some good Caribbean places near Memorial and 285 (IIRC) but I hadn't had a chance to check them out. Hope I can find an excuse to get over there for this one.

        Anyone know the secret/schedule of when YDFM gets fresh oysters in? That would provide extra motivation- I seem to only hit it when they've been sitting there for 10 days, and I'm reluctant to buy then.

        1. Just drove by there a few days ago on the way to YDFM. Thought about stopping but was in a hurry. Will definitely make time on the next run. Thanks.

          1. Yeah this restaurant was temping us for a while when driving by. The sides are good. They take cards. And the smoky jerk chicken is awesome. May try the fish next time.