Published August 19, 2011
Jerk Chicken and Reggae on U Street
Let’s set the scene.
You’re on U Street this Saturday night. It’s exactly 2:45 in the AM, and you’ve just put your final
finishing touches on DC Beer Week
or it was going to finish you).
What you’ll be craving: something low-key, but with just enough spice to give you that endorphin kick to
get you home. (Note: this may not apply if someone is tugging on your arm.)
Your solution: Jamaican Joe’s
, a just-what-the-doctor-ordered outpost of jerk chicken, now open
(until 4am on weekends) amid some of U Street’s best bars.
Now, this is a pretty unassuming little spot—two small rooms, some bright green paint, some strategically
placed bamboo and palms. But you’re not here for opulence—you’re here for
. Specifically whole chickens, cleaved into small pieces and slow-roasted till they’re smoky
and spicy, with a long, slow burn on the back of your throat.
You can order up a half-dozen wings, too, or avoid the burn altogether with stuff like plantains, sweet
potato fries and coco bread.
Insider tip: there are a couple bonuses to be had here. First, show up at the right hours (usually after
10pm on weekends) and you’ll find live reggae bands or DJs. Second, any chicken order comes with a gratis
scoop of ice cream, in flavors like coconut, guava and rum raisin.
There’s no nightcap like a frozen rum raisin nightcap.