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Fearless Critic restaurant review
San Antonio
Jamaican, Caribbean
Counter service

Mon–Sat 11:00am–8:00pm

Features Outdoor dining
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

4929 Walzem Rd.
San Antonio, TX
(210) 637-1293
Little Jamaica Foods
A breath of island air on a street that could use a hurricane

This place is a real, rough gem. The owners moved into one of those tiny places that sold cell phones, so it’s take-out and drive-through only. Yet the menu and the “we little but we big” energy inside feels surprisingly lively because of the Jamaican staff. You can order beef patties (similar to empanadas), roti sandwiches, goat curry, jerk chicken (regular or spicy), oxtail, and sometimes fish—the only item that has seemed dry. Most of the meats are slow-cooked and drip right off the bone. For those benighted few who are scared by dark meat on chicken (or by the unrepentant spice rub on the jerk), then many of the flavors here might seem too earthy. For us, the oxtail is unbelievably good; it’s probably not the leanest cut, but the flavor is outstanding. Most of the plates come with a choice of sides, with yams and plantains, some boiled in the skin, being the most interesting.

What might be the best thing on the menu besides the oxtail are the incredible, home made juice drinks, including spiced carrot. Fresh ginger beer feels more like a juice than a carbonated soda. In addition to the ginger beer, they have sorrel and Irish moss—common to Jamaica but probably unique to LJF in San Antonio. When in line we’ve noticed that Jamaicans from all over town come here, so while LJF isn’t known to the mass public, they definitely have a popular following of those who like real Jamaican food.

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