We know you’ve been searching for Caribbean food in Moore County. We know you’ve been wanting to eat curried goat from a restaurant in a strip mall. You’re in luck, because Island Jerk Cuisine is open in Cam Square off Old U.S. 1 in Southern Pines — and owners Carissa and Kiambo Bascom will send you all the way to the Caribbean and back during your lunch hour.
This is the jerk chicken. As you can imagine, it’s the restaurant’s signature dish. It’s super tender, juicy, and blackened just enough. That’s a little cabbage slaw there on the side, and some rice with beans, both of which were very good by themselves. Those two things on the bottom are fried plantains, which look overdone but aren’t, and are sweet enough to be a dessert.
Aaaand this is the curry goat. The flavor was good, but the small chunks of meat were extremely bony. We were feeling adventurous when we ordered, but then we couldn’t help thinking of the goats we had just cuddled this past Spring. Shudder.
Anyway, this was plain white rice in curry sauce, and more cabbage and plantains – all very good.
We can’t forget the festivals. These are like giant hushpuppies, slightly sweet and great dipped in the curry.
It’s no surprise that Carissa, a native of Jamacia, and Kiambo, of Guyana, have brought the real deal to Southern Pines. They recommend rookies try the jerk chicken, but we recommend getting a little adventurous; and always getting the spicy option. Check out the menu.