Irie Cafe, 6840 Race Track Rd
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 12/19/2013
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 2
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Jamaican food comes to Bowie! Irie Cafe has opened in Hilltop Plaza, right next to Chesapeake Grille.
On my first visit, I tried the Jerk Chicken, since I think of that as the "classic" Jamaican dish. The lunch special comes with two sides, but no drink. I had the rice & peas and the redskin potatoes. Everything was excellent.
|Irie Cafe Interior|
Someone else had the jerk chicken and found it dry. My previous visit had occurred soon after opening at 11; the later trip began at 12:15, but it was getting close to 1 by the time our food arrived. So there may be some freshness issues with that dish. I can't really recommend arriving promptly at 11, though; the one time I tried that, they weren't open yet.
A word about prices -- even the lunch specials start at $10. You're not going to find any bargains here. The soft drinks are $3, and the homemade drinks, while tasty, will set you back $3.90.
Despite my concerns about the disorganization and the prices, I'm giving it four stars. Tasty food in an attractive, non-chain restaurant is worth at least 3.5 stars, and I'll give it an extra half-star for the uniqueness of the cuisine.
That said, I think 9 out of 10 times (or 99 out of 100?), I will head next door to Chesapeake Grille instead. I just don't have cravings for jerk chicken often enough to justify the extra expense. I mostly see myself coming here with groups of people who are looking for something a little unusual.
Hilltop Plaza has a pretty crowded restaurant scene now, with Irie, Chesapeake, Outback, Olive Grove, East Delight and Jersey Mike's. I don't pretend to understand much about entrepreneurship, but I suspect all six will not remain standing in a year's time.
Bowie Restaurant NewsOlive Grove is open as well. I've visited twice, with mixed results, so I will probably do a tie-breaker third visit. Six restaurants to go, then!
|This used to be a Subway, but now it's all covered with flowers.|