Cleveland reflects its diversity in its dining palette satisfying the appetites of residents and visitors. It brings joy to my taste buds to sample national or ethnic cuisine. One in particular is national or ethnic cuisine. One in particular is Irie Jamaican Kitchen, owned by Omar McKay, a native of Jamaica.
The word irie means pleasing or to feel good in Jamaican Patois. This is exactly how I felt after trying the food for the first time.
Whenever I was in the mood for a quick meal, I would drop by Richmond Mall and get takeout from what was then Irie Pattie. One day, I came in to find their spot in the food court vacant. I was worried they had gone out of business but was relieved to learn that McKay moved to East 185th. The strip is lined with locally-owned businesses running from Euclid into the North Collinwood neighborhood of Cleveland.
Outside the bright red roof draws my eyes walking up to the building. The flag of Jamaica is positioned on the restaurant’s banner. Stepping inside, there is high-chair seating facing the window and wood panels that coat the walls. Red, green, black, and yellow details can be found in the small corner shop. It is has a festive vibe with eye-catching phrases and island rhythms playing.
The restaurant features a craft food display of meal bases and toppings. It allows guests to put together different combinations in either a bowl or a wrap. I ordered a bowl filled with rice & beans, cabbage, cucumber salad, mango salsa, and plantains. I washed it down with a ginger pineapple drink. The meal was satisfying and delicious. I recommend checking out the neighborhood and grabbing a bite at Irie Jamaican Kitchen.
If you are interested in more Caribbean food options or other national food items, I encourage you to visit La Borincana Food in Ohio City. The grocery store offers items from Central America, regions in Africa, the Caribbean, and more.
MiLisa Coleman is a local photographer, videographer, and writer. She runs a website called Digimercy.com featuring her work in various mediums. MiLisa enjoys being creative, spending time in nature, reading, and exploring Cleveland.
GUEST BLOGGER SEPTEMBER 02, 2017