I was planning a business lunch to talk about the Waterloo Arts District, redevelopment, travel and other things with a colleague at The City of Euclid. When I asked where we should go, she suggested a new Jamaican restaurant that people are raving about on E. 185th Street: Irie Jamaican Kitchen.
This small, cafeteria-style takeout is decorated in the bright colors of Jamaica (black, red, yellow, green). There is bar-style seating with a few stools, too. We dined in and got to meet Omar, the owner, and chat with him about his inspiration. It turns out he went to Cuyahoga Community College and Kent State University for culinary arts and hospitality management. He worked at restaurants his entire life.
Three years ago, he decided to fulfill his dream of owning a restaurant and working for himself. He opened Irie Jamaican Kitchen at Richmond Mall. One month ago, he moved to Euclid, where he currently lives, because he loves the community and felt it would offer a great customer base. So far, he’s doing well.
And, we can see why! Everything was fresh, tasty and full of flavor. There was so much to choose from, including healthy options. You could get a bowl (Jamaican version of Chipotle) with either salad or rice as the base. I got a salad bowl with jerk chicken, vinegar cucumber slaw, pineapple coleslaw and heavenly, carmelized, fried plantains. I also ordered a cup of thick, rich chicken-feet soup. My colleague had a rice bowl with curry chicken, mango salsa, plantains and sour cream. I wanted to try the fish stew in brown sauce, but there will always be another time.