As I’ve said before, the best type of food is the kind that brings back cherished memories. When I heard that there was an authentic Jamaican restaurant here in DeKalb, I got excited. Years ago, I went to Jamaica for several summers in a row to do humanitarian work (i.e. building houses, painting churches, getting rid of bat infestations… you know, the usual). It wasn’t the glitz and glamour of vacationing in paradise, and therefore, it wasn’t the catered Americanized cuisine that you come to expect from resorts. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t delicious.
Traditional Jamaican cuisine is made of simple ingredients and a lot of spice, which is right up my alley. The summers I spent in Jamaica were spent off the grid up in the mountains. Local families were cooking our meals and it was a lot of repeat dishes. Curried goat or jerk chicken with rice and cabbage. When you are eating it for lunch and dinner it can get a little tiring, but once you are back home you start to crave it.
After taking a brief hiatus to build Off The Eatin’ Path its own stand-alone website, we heard about Sunshine Jamaican Restaurant. Realizing that we haven’t reviewed a Caribbean restaurant, and getting excited about the idea of having goat and jerk chicken again, we set out to dine at Sunshine Jamaican Restaurant.
Located in a shopping center on the corner of Memorial Drive and North Hairston in Stone Mountain, Sunshine is a small, unassuming restaurant that brings the flavor of the islands to Atlanta’s DeKalb. We arrive soon after they open, so it’s not very crowded, but the smell of mouth-watering food is coming from the kitchen’s small expo window.
The menu on the dry erase board has everything I’m looking for; Curried goat, whole fish, jerk chicken, the works. There are even fresh beef patties sitting under heat lamp (if you have never had a beef patty, go to Sunshine and buy one now). All of the memories from Jamaica come rushing back. Building houses in the hot Caribbean sun, buying Ting and spice buns from street vendors, and death-defying bus trips through the mountains are all just as vivid as when I had just left.
We order jerk chicken, curry goat and two Tings. Ting is a grapefruit soda that is so refreshing you will want to down the entire bottle in one go, which is what I do as soon as I open it. The food is flawless. The jerk chicken is very spicy, but isn’t hot to the point that it hurts. The curry goat is still on the bone and is so tender it just pulls right off. The rice and cabbage are a perfect side that balances out the spice-packed flavor of the meats. The portions are massive and everything tastes as if it just came out of someone’s kitchen in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
We finish up our meal with a Round Bun. Round Buns are really dense muffin-like buns that are full of spice and are normally served with a thick slice of Jamaican cheese. Not seeing a cheese option, we tore off chunks of the bun as we headed back to the office.
Whether or not you have been to the islands, Sunshine Jamaican Restaurant is the perfect place to grab lunch or dinner if you are looking to change up your dining routine.
If you have been to Sunshine, let us know your thoughts below!