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“Essence of Jamaica” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Sugar Shack

Sugar Shack
1609 Hale Beach Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469-4751
910-579-3844
Menu
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Cuisines: Jamaican
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
western va
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Essence of Jamaica”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2010

We made reservations for dinner at the Sugar Shack, having read the reviews from Trip Advisor. My husband has been to Jamaica a number of times and was familiar with Jamaican food. We looked forward to our dinner.
I had read that the crab fritters were great, as well as the slaw, so I ordered the crab fritter platter and my husband ordered the goat curry and jerk chicken wings for an appetizer. My platter came with fries and I requested fries without seasoning but the waitress said that the fries came in a bag pre-prepared and that they had seasoning on them. This was in contrast to what is supposed to be the essence of Jamaican food -- freshness, so we prepared ourselves for what was to come. His chicken wings were very good, but lacked a real jerk seasoning taste. My platter and his goat curry arrived next. I was looking forward to the crab fritters, believing they would be made with at least some fresh crab. My mistake. The crab fritters (and there were a lot of them; I should have ordered the appetizer portion, but I wasn't warned about the size of the platter beforehand) had no distinct taste of crab, but tasted like cornbread dressing, no crab evident at all. The slaw was very good, but no better than most restaurants make, and the fries were heavily seasoned...a wash-out for me. My husband, who has had goat curry many times in Jamaica and elsewhere in the Caribbean, found the it to be gamey, not fresh, though his beans and rice were very good as was the cole slaw. The total for the meal with ice tea was about $60. We were astonished. If you go there, order the slaw, the rice and beans, and take your chances with the rest of the menu.
The locals frequent this restaurant and seem to be in awe of its food as well as the service personne and the owner. We found the servers to be brusque, not particularly helpful or friendly. If you want great service, go to the Seafood Shack (their servers are always exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable) . Ocean Isle continues to be a great place to visit with its pristine beaches and friendly people. As far as restaurants go, however, we were very disappointed with the Sugar Shack and regret the experience altogether.

    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    136
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Shelby, North Carolina
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best Jamaican Food anywhere around :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2010

We have eaten here at least 5 or 6 times. Everything is out of this world. Food, service, value and atmosphere. It is a must!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stanley, NC
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Good food, great people”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

I recently enjoyed a meal at the Sugar Shack. One thing that will tell you how good it is, is every time you pass this place at meal time cars are parked out in the road. The restaurant is brightly colored and just a happy place. The food is billed as Jamaican but they will tell you their food is not spicy hot, they will provide hot sauces at your request. The food was fresh, well prepared and abundant. This is a place to enjoy a great meal and have a good time. They only serve beer and wine and don't have a full bar which seemed to bother some until their food arrived then they really perked up. The servers and the owner were very nice and enjoyable to be around.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Just great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2009

Everything from the goat to the steak & home-made cole slaw is prepared with precision and patience. The best food at any beach destination I've ever had. And affordable!!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calabash, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“We hoped to keep this place a local secret”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2009

If you're looking for awesome ribs and shrimp along with Caribbean beans and rice with homemade coleslaw then this is the place for you. We have been all over the USA, the Caribbean, Hawaii etc and have never found ribs like these. He does them 20 hours and he does know what he's doing. If you're planning to go though--call and make reservations. Shhh, don't tell anyone else.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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