Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant

Before Andrew returned to college after Mardi Gras break, he and I went to Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant. It had been "on my list" since it opened over a year ago. The tiny Lake Charles establishment is not easy to find, connected to a mini-mart on Opelousas St., a block or two west of Hwy 171. But once you discover where it is, you'll be back.

Tasterite is owned and operated by a sweet couple, Daemion and Heather Bailey. They are both from Jamaica -- Heather came to America as a child and Daemion only 5 or 6 years ago. He cooks and she covers the counter and cash register. It's primarily a take-out place, with only a few seats and tables.

The Baileys specialize in authentic Caribbean cuisine, including curry and jerk chicken, pork, goat, fried fish, bean dishes, and plantains in season. They live in Westlake and grow much of the food they serve in a backyard garden -- peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and something called callaloo, which is similar to mustard greens. All their dishes come in small, medium, and large portion sizes. Andrew and I both ordered smalls and neither of us could finish our meals. But the food was very good. I had the jerk chicken, which was very much like barbecue. Andrew had the curry chicken. Meat and vegetables are served atop a large portion of Jamaican rice.

Daemion has worked in restaurants in several cities across America, and says Lake Charles is "the best." Call them at 337-419-1844 or find them on Facebook.

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