If you like authentic Jamaican food, meet your new favorite restaurant, downtown's Evelyn and Olive.
The menu isn't huge, but's got a blend of Jamaican and southern dishes. There are jerk chicken wings, Rasta Pasta, sandwiches and wraps and seafood. To drink, they've got ginger beer, Jamaican lemonade, rum punch, and a special spiced hibiscus and ginger juice.
My dinner buddy Kaitlyn had tried Evelyn and Olive before, so she knew what she wanted – the Marley Meal ($6.95), a vegetarian plate of cabbage and peppers, rice and peas and a cucumber and tomato side salad.
I know what I'm getting next time – the cabbage was like an slaw that grew up and got a promotion. It was a little bit crunchy and kind of sweet, and the chunks of peppers were a nice touch. It would be amazing on a barbecue sandwich (or off of a plate or out of a bucket).
For dinner, I tried the Kingston Stew Fish ($10.95). I was expecting some kind of stew over rice or maybe something along the lines of what you'd get at Abyssinia, but it was a piece of seasoning-crusted seared tliapia resting on a generous pile of rice pilaf. So, it wasn't quite stew, but it was really good.
The fish was spicy, but not enough to require multiple glasses of water. The rice was good, but not super flavorful on its own (it was ok, though – there were a few kinds of Jamaican hot sauce on the table.)
My total check (the fish stew and a Red Stripe) came out to about $16, making Evelyn and Olive super affordable for the quality and quantity of food. They're open weekdays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Friday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and on Saturday from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. On the weekends, there's live music.