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Taste of Jamaica (cart)

In a word: An island of island cuisine.

The specs: #0707  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; review at A.V. Club.

Latest Taste of Jamaica news and reviews

Alan ate the mango rundown tofu.
JM ate a jerk pork sandwich and a jerk chicken sandwich.
Nichole ate the jambalaya.
Skip ate the jerk chicken and pork combo.
Trish ate the jerk pork.
The bill was about $7/person, plus tip.
Skip gave Taste of Jamaica an A; JM and Trish gave Taste of Jamaica an A-; Alan and Nichole gave Taste of Jamaica a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Cart lunch!

Taste of Jamaica

From left to right:

  • Trish's jerk pork lunch with beans and rice was good once she added lots of hot sauce; she figures it's pretty much on par with jerk pork elsewhere in town, and the beans and rice were pretty bland. Later many of us would envy her the styrofoam container. While it might seem less eco-friendly than the paper dishes, it did prevent spillage.
  • Alan got the bright-yellow mango rundown tofu. The tofu had a watering-down effect on the otherwise good mango flavor. The rice underneath was proportionate to the stew on top.
  • JM learned the hard way that jerk meats dissolve sandwich buns on contact. He had to eat so fast he hardly had time to notice much about the fillings other than that the pork had more flavor and moisture than the chicken. He needed a fork by the end.
  • Nichole should not have gone with a paper dish for the jambalaya. Red ribbons of grease ran down her arms, dripped onto the concrete, and threatened to stain everything in sight. (To be honest, if we hadn't been in public she might have sucked the grease out of a corner of the dish like drips from an ice cream cone.) The stew was very good; spicy but balanced, a broad sampling of sausage, pork, chicken, beans, rice and onion. Next time, she'd add more of the sweet sauce available at the cart, and bring TupperwareTM.
  • Skip got the most rustic-style meal, the jerk chicken and pork combo, where the chicken comes on the bone. And when we say "on the bone," we mean that the bone is there just to let you watch the superbly tender chicken fall off. He found it an unusual style of jerk seasoning because it lacked allspice and clove, but he thought he tasted some of those sweeter spices in the aforementioned sauce.

Everyone thought Taste of Jamaica put on a pretty good spread of delicacies, though their portability may be in doubt.  Which is to say, don't open the box until you wanna eat it and make that time as soon as you can (e.g., don't try to make it to the Terrace from Library Mall).


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Madison classic. One of the best carts for many years, and still in the top-tier even with the new wave of very good options at Library Mall.

I refuse to believe that the buns could dissolve before JM could eat them. ;)

Taste of Jamaica is one of my favorite carts, and the mango run-down tofu is my favorite offering there! I especially love that it's a third of the price of the same thing at the Jamerica restaurant. And despite your troubles, I LOVE that they have the option of a paper tray instead of the styrofoam! (a perk that too few carts have). Lately, though, I've found the mango rundown a little less flavorful than in the past, and the proportions a little off (too much sauce for the rice). Nevertheless, yum! Thanks for your review.

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