A journey looking for authentic Jamaican cuisine brought us to 7169 Ogontz Avenue in Philadelphia. Audrey’s Caribbean Kitchen is named after it’s head chef, Audrey Spence who runs the restaurant with her son Orlando Spence. A native Jamaican from Saint Catherine Jamaica, in the south east of Jamaica. The area is home to the capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town and lots of farming crops like bananas, coconuts, pineapples, peppers, coffee, and callaloo.

This family-run business started back when friends and family of the Spence’s would request top have Audrey’s cooking at their parties and events. Using recipes she grew up with and cooking with imported Jamaican spices, its no wonder her cuisine is so well-loved. Every morning Audrey begins marinated and prepping food at 7 am. The restaurant even serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The restaurant isn’t too hard to spot with its bright yellow walls and yellow and green awning proudly showcasing the colors of the Jamaican flag. Inside there are a few tables to enjoy sit down dining, but it seems that most customers prefer take-out or carry-out dining. Delivery is also available via UberEATS.

On the menu Breakfast offerings include Porridge with banana, peanut, oats, and caramel, Ackee and Salt Fish, Kidney, Liver, Salt Fish and Butter Bean, Caribbean Dumplings or Two Fry Dumplings. Jamaican porridge isn’t like your typical oatmeal- made with coconut milk and cornmeal its got an entirely unique flavor and texture. And if you’ve never tried it- you can’t get more authentic Caribbean than Ackee. The national fruit of Jamaica and its considered one of the country’s best delicacies. Grown on a tree this pear-shaped fruit has a yellow flesh with creamy soft texture similar to lychee. And don’t despair if you typically sleep-in sometimes breakfast is served all day based on demand. 

Lunch till dinner time you can start off your meal with appetizers including Jamaican Beef Patty, Chicken Patty, Veggie Patty, and Coco Bread. You’ll be sure to know when you see a Jamaican Beef Patty- this flaky pastry shell is made bright yellow with egg yolks or turmeric and inside features a filling of seasoned ground beef. Soups include Chicken Soup, Red Pea and Chicken Feet Soup, Cow Feet Soup, or Goat Head Soup. 

Main course offerings are plentiful including Curry Chicken, Curry Goat, Stew Chicken, Fried Chicken, Oxtails, Stew Peas, Bake Chicken, Jerk Chicken, Fry BBQ Chicken, Pepper Steak, Jerk Pork, Brown Stew Fish, Curry Shrimp, Jerk Salmon, Curry Chicken Foot, Stew Beef or Jerk Chicken Pasta. 

Grab some side to go along with your mains like Rice and Peas, Plantains, White Rice, Collard Greens, Lettuce and Tomato, Cabbage, Macaroni and Cheese, Potato Salad, Fried or Boiled Dumplings. Don’t be surprised if “Rice and Peas” isn’t what you might think- this traditional dish from Ghana features brown rice and beans which are referred in the Caribbean to as “peas”. We decided to go classic with Jerk Chicken and Fried BBQ Chicken. For sides we’d certainly recommend the Plantains and Macaroni and Cheese!

 

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