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Taste of Jamaica Offers Authentic Cuisine in LR

2 min read

After eight years of serving jerk chicken out of their food truck, Grab-a-Bite, Rose Walker and her husband, Anthony, have opened Taste of Jamaica in Little Rock.

“It was a dream of ours to get a building one day,” Rose Walker said. “We stopped running the food truck and concentrated on our other business until we were financially ready to look for a spot.” The Walkers also own Walker Courier Transportation.

The Walkers said they felt the time was right to introduce authentic Jamaican food after encountering reggae music and Jamaican performances in the area. “We brought friends from Miami to help us with the cooking,” Walker said. “My kids help too. My daughter is the manager running the front.”

Anthony Walker will be a chef, having learned to cook from his parents in Jamaica. “They didn’t eat a lot of junk food or fast food,” Rose Walker said. “They were building fires outside and cooking goat meat.”

Taste of Jamaica
10014 N. Rodney Parham Road | (501) 312-1111
Hours: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-10 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; until midnight, Fri. and Sat.

The menu is filled with traditional Jamaican dishes like jerk chicken, which the restaurant marinates for a day, along with other proteins like goat and red snapper specifically chosen to produce Jamaican flavors. They’re prepared with Jamaican brands of seasonings. “People are eating faster that we can get the stuff,” Rose Walker said. Red snapper, plantains and the Jamaican seasonings have been hard to obtain. “Once we find the right vendors, things will go smoothly.” Traditional Jamaican cuisine uses goats raised on healthy feed and processed in a certain way, Walker said. Finding such goats can be tricky and expensive. Other items have to be ordered online or shipped from Florida.

The restaurant and kitchen total 2,700 SF and typically will sell from $2,000-$1,500 a night, Walker said.

Once it has obtained its alcohol permit, Taste of Jamaica plans to open a bar area, which will remain open after 10 p.m. and offer sliders, wings, fries, jerk chicken, curry chicken and other popular items.

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