I’ve been on a quest for some good Jamaican cuisine since this little joint called D’Aries left the Southside of Chicago some years ago. D’Aries has the most flavorful jerk chicken, cabbage and rice & peas. I figured there had to be someone else who can satisfy my cravings for the spices and smoke of Jamaica so I set my sights on a little spot on the other side of town (Chicago’s Northside) called Ja Grill.
I didn’t notice the décor right away because of the subtlety and neutral colors, but once I was seated, I took it all in and felt the vibe: It reminded me of a Jamaican speakeasy (if there is indeed such a thing).
Very quaint with a full bar and a few televisions. It was cute and different, but I wasn’t there for the ambience.
Menu seemed simple and straightforward, so I went right for it.
I started out with the honey wings. They were jerk chicken wings with honey on it (that’s what it appeared to be anyway).
They weren’t terrible, but the bold spices I was looking for didn’t shine through-maybe because the honey masked it? I wonder…moving on…
I ordered a sampler plate (which I asked about because it wasn’t on the menu) but the server said I could create it. The sampler was jerk chicken, jerk pork, cabbage, rice & peas, and plantains.
The jerk chicken was juicy with a great flavor. The pork was extremely tender and delicious! The cabbage was good but the rice and beans were in no way memorable. The pork was clearly the star of the show-spiced and cooked to perfection, soft and almost needed no chewing. Excellent!
The server made a point to mention that they had “cornbread today,” so I decided to try it. Smart move. The cornbread was absolutely divine! It was more cake like, sweet, fluffy, light and tender with a hint of banana. I should have taken some to go.
Two sauces came out with the meal and the server pointed out the mild one and the hot. I dipped a finger in the mild just to taste. One drop on my tongue and I felt like I was swallowing liquid fire. I can’t even imagine the hot.
My dining companion had the jerk shrimp as an entrée. As you can see, the presentation was atrocious, but nevertheless, I tried it.
I honestly cannot tell you what the shrimp tasted like for I was instantly hit with a tongue permeation of the most offensive, obnoxious, heat I’ve ever encountered. I felt like I had a raging fever as my face got extremely hot, I began to sweat and my nose started to run. Is this food for humans or some sort of torture tactic? I asked the server what on earth was on that shrimp and she said it was the hot sauce. Nowhere on the menu did it mention or imply that this dish was equivalent to liquid from a fiery pool in hell. How terribly deceiving…
Dessert was obviously not a specialty since there was no dessert menu; the server just told me what they had. I ordered the apple bread pudding sitting in a puddle of butter less caramel.
First time I ever thought, I shouldda skipped dessert. Nothing special.
Overall, I give Ja Grill 3 crowns. Cute spot, excellent pork, but save the torture for those who should be burned at the stake-or at the grill.
Find me tweeting @RhoyalSocialite
After 4 amazing chapters of soulful melodies and not being regarded as she should, Syleena Johnson came back stronger than ever in with her latest CD Chapter V: Underrated. Inside, she talks about love, pain and the things are very real in all relationships.
True to Syleena Johnson form, she gave us a socially conscious track called Angry Girl featuring Tweet that talks about being a bitter woman who can’t find love and happiness because of the bitterness. The melody is so easy and smooth that I can just see Syleena sitting on a stool with a mic and rocking this out live in concert.
Like Thorns is a dramatic piece that reminds me of the flip side of I’m Your Woman from her Chapter 1: Love, Pain and Forgiveness album. Little Things has a gospel, bluesy, soulful feel to it and I don’t know who Malone is but he is featured on this track and his voice is like a modern day George Benson. I am really feeling this track. The vocals are on point. Syleena’s voice is sultry, soothing and gives you that comfort you feel after eating a good meal at your mama’s house; it’s familiar and powerful and when ingested at the right time, does so much for the spirit. Another track, Label Me, is a fun chant with a 50s sock hop meets R&B
sound. Very cute.
Go Head is a club banger with a Reggae feel. That beat is hot! One of my very favorites next her funky edgy first single released Boss, which is a hot esteem booster proclaiming that a man can “get it if he’s the boss just like me.” Fabulous!
The Champ is a very sensual ballad that mentions that some says she’s underrated, but at this one thing, she’s not, not in the bedroom. Sizzling!
Stonewall is her finale that talks about her strength and courage in the midst of adversity. She’s still standing like stonewall. The song is very fitting and the beat makes you feel like marching on to victory and I love the music at the end, phenomenal!
Overall, the only people who can underrate Syleena Johnson’s Chapter V are those who haven’t heard it yet. Being a huge Syleena fan, I can’t pick out which Chapter I love the most, but this one definitely ranks high in the top 5. 🙂
Excellent job, Ms. Johnson! Signed, A Rhoyal Boss…
Special shout out to Devo Olive Oil Co for allowing me the opportunity to try some of their wonderful products. They sent me some 18 year Traditional Balsamic and Tuscan herb Olive Oil.
I decided to try my hand at a new dish, and here it is!
Marinated Chicken and Tri- Colored Pepper Fettuccini Alfredo
Here’s my ingredient list:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
Devo 18 year Balsamic
Devo Tuscan Herb Olive Oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
¾ pound of Fettuccini noodles cooked and drained
½ cup butter
1 8oz package of cream cheese
2 t. garlic power
2 cups milk
8oz shredded Parmesan cheese
Black pepper (to your taste)
First I washed the breast and patted them dry.
I then mixed 2 parts balsamic, 1 part Tuscan herb olive oil for my marinade. (I may have added some oregano and basil, which I love). I then put the chicken in the marinade overnight. It smelled awesome!
After a full 24 hours of the chicken bathing in the Devo products, my dinner was ready to prepare.
First, I got my fettuccini to boiling (according to the box directions).
Then, I julienned my peppers and sautéed them in a bit more of the Tuscan Herb OO. The peppers were in sheer delight!
I made it easy on myself and put the breast on the George Forman Grill to cook after adding some garlic powder, pepper and Italian seasonings. They were grilled to perfection!
I wish you had smell-o-puter (yep, I made that word up). 🙂
I assembled my sauce by melting the butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. I then added the cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Next, I added the milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Lastly, I stirred in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency.
My dish is now ready to assemble. I cut the chicken into strips (not before tasting a piece, simply divine!) and added that to the sauce along with the peppers and the noodles and voila! This meal is complete! Takes a few steps, but overall, it was pretty simple.
The finished product garnished with some shredded Parm, of course!
Devo Olive Oil and Balsamic was by far the two stars of this dish. I have made chicken fettuccini Alfredo before but never has it had this much flavor! The balsamic gave the chicken a rich, slightly sweet velvety flavor and the Tuscan herbed oil, which is described as a blend of herbs, sundried tomatoes, and garlic infused in the oil, was the perfect added touch to the chicken and the peppers to give it that extra Italian herb kick. I am all about layering flavors and these two products married will with the other ingredients to produce an outstanding culinary delight!
Kudos to Devo Olive Oil! Your products are fantastic and I will be trying out more and letting everyone know how my dishes turn out! Thank you all, again, for turning me on to your products. They are truly winners!
Check them out at www.DevoOliveOil.com
Check me out on Twitter @RhoyalSocialite
I had the opportunity to vacation throughout Atlanta and its surrounding areas last year and in true foodie fashion, I had to checkout what foods ATL had to offer. On my quest for Georgia peach cobbler, I stumbled upon some hot spots and some not spots. Here is a review of one of those places.
Shane’s Rib Shack
Apparently, this is a bit of a chain restaurant with several locations in the area. I read a few reviews and they all raved about the peach cobbler, so I had to get there and figured I might as well try the food. I got the sampler plate so I could try a little bit of everything. The sampler included 3 ribs, 2 chicken tenders, pulled chicken and 2 sides. I chose okra and coleslaw.
Overall, nothing special. It was food, but nothing stood out as truly delicious. The sauce was decent and everything else was edible. The meat had a boiled with liquid smoke flavor, not really what I was expecting from a rib shack.
The peach cobbler that was hailed “the best ever” was more of a peach cake like substance. It was slightly dry and not very flavorful. The food at Shane’s was definitely substandard but the staff was so incredibly nice that I really wanted to like the place…. not so much…. 😦
Find me chewing on Twitter @RhoyalSocialite
I have had the wonderful pleasure of having some of the most delightful culinary experiences in 2011! Some of them I have shared with you and some time didn’t permit me to share, but I would like to take the next few posts to recap a few of my favorite hits and a few that unfortunately missed the mark… Enjoy!
Hit (An affordable hit at that)
Conte Di Savoia
2227 W. Taylor St.
Very cute little neighborhood deli. Everything from the bread, to the cold cuts to the salads was extremely fresh. I had a turkey sandwich on a wheat sub roll and the macaroni salad. It was delish! The lunch time specials come with chips or a small salad and a drink for about $5.5!0!. Fantastic food at great prices! Definitely a hit!
Front of Conte
The cold cut and salads counter
The delectable sandwich
And the macaroni salad! Magnifico!
Find me on Twitter @RhoyalSocialite
The Rhoyal Report would like to wish you and yours a safe, happy, blessed, peaceful and very Merry Christmas! I pray your holiday season is as awesome as you are!
I know it’s been like FOREVER since I’ve posted and for that I am truly sorry. I have been super swamped but I think I have a handle on things and I am back and ready! I’ve been to some interesting places and I’m anxious to share them with you! I am in the process of moving my blog to another site and it will be bigger and better than ever! Hopefully, this process will be done before Christmas and I can get a 2011 recap post out. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you on the other side of the blog!
The Rhoyal Socialite has found herself in the Peach State in the city of Atlanta! It is indeed the south and me being the foodie I am, after checking out the sites, I am looking for some good southern cuisine. In line with being in the land of peaches, I am on a quest to find some good peach cobbler.
Finding out what’s good here hasn’t been so easy. I’ve asked a few natives and didn’t really get many answers (obviously, I haven’t ran into the right person yet). So continues my journey of fun, relaxation, vacation and food…. I will check back in later….
Hit me up on Twitter