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“DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH”

Jamaica Gates Caribbean Cuisine
Ranked #75 of 822 Restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Caribbean, Jamaican
Dining options: Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night
Reviewed May 18, 2012

Went with the wife...the shrimp starter was TO DIE FOR!! I ordered the TRI-Special (Oxtail, Goat Curry and Jerk Chicken) my wife had the Brown Chicken Stew...both EXCELLENT. Excellent SERVICE, EVEN BETTER FOOD...BRAVO!!

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1  Thank LITTLESTHOBOUK_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 82 of 87 reviews

Reviewed May 4, 2012

If it wasn't for a restaurant.com coupon my husband and I would never have known about this little gem. We arrived close to 7pm on a Friday and though there seemed to be twice as many employes there as customers it took more than 10 minutes before our waiter came by to welcome us and take our drink order. No big deal--we were in no hurry, though I was rather thirsty! I ordered the lemonade after reading reviews here. It was alright but nothing I would write home about. It just wasn't all that lemony. Maybe my batch was lacking an ingredient?
We started with the Rude Boy Jerk Shrimp appetizer. Just an interjection: We had to move to a different table about the same time we were getting our drinks and appetizer due to being seated immediately in front of a speaker....and the band had just arrived to set up. It was too loud with just the canned music coming out of the speakers so we didn't want to scream over the band to talk.
Anyhoo, the shrimp was really good and flavorful, though I didn't get even a small hint of any heat considering it was jerk. Meh...I have a pretty high tolerance to spicy food anyway. The yummy dip and mango salsa that came with it really brought it all together.
I ordered the Brown Stew Chicken and my husband the Kingston Trio with the goat curry, oxtail, and jerk chicken. The oxtails were wonderful and though too salty for my taste the goat was amazing! I loved my chicken as well, but the goat was my favorite of all we ordered, except for that heavy hand with the salt. Because of that saltiness I probably wouldn't order it again. A few bites were fine but there would be no way I could eat an entire bowl of all that salt, never mind that the spice mixture in the curry was like crack. Overall the different spices used for each dish were fantastic.
I didn't really care for my side of rice and peas (beans). It was dry and somewhat tasteless, in my opinion. I also had the hard dough bread which just seemed like a heavier Wonder Bread to me. Nothing wrong with that I guess, and a perfect texture to sop up gravy.
There were only three desserts available at the time so I opted for the rum cake. So good! Similar to an English sticky toffee pudding. The rum sauce seemed like, well, just rum (mixed with some sugar to make a syrup). No problem there! Our wonderful waiter Eddie gave me extra sauce to take home with the rest of the cake.
We would definitely come back here. The Red Stripe Chicken sounds like something I want to try next.

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Thank goddess0063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2012

My coworker and I went to the Jamaica Gates Caribbean Cuisine today for lunch. They had a delightful buffet. You could choose to order off the menu or take advantage of the buffet. Normally, I have to confess, I shy away from buffets but this buffet was fresh with a variety of choices. The curry chicken was tasty without being overpowered by curry; the bad boy jerk chicken was equally yummy. The tilapia was delightfully prepared. The flavors were all bold but not overwhelming. I read other reviews that thought the food was spicy. If you have a palate for salt and pepper only, don't come here. But if you like a little kick in your seasonings, come running here. And the fried plantains are out of this world!!! (they weren't on the buffet - we ordered them off the menu.) Oh! And you have to try the Jamaican lemonade!!! The lime is what makes it special. And refills are free!!

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2  Thank Teresa012303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2012

this review should be in all caps, which equates to shouting, but since this site doesn't accept all caps, it's in all lower case just to make my point that this is not a place to whisper. such was my first experience there. i took a first date there on a thursday night. she'd been there before and said food as great, which it was. but the 4 piece jazz band, with an even louder drummer they had playing there was way, way way too loud. even the waitresses said they had a hard time hearing people's orders.

the band had huge speaker towers in all four corners of the restaurant so even if you tried (like we did) to sit away from the band, the corner speakers would blast you out. we ended up changing our table and moving a table to the bathroom hallway just so we wouldn't vibrate. we still had to actually yell to hear each other talking.

after our requests to lower the volume on the master (i am a concert promoter and musician myself and know of such things, the drummer should have been using brushes) were of no avail, we changed our order to a to go order so we could eat and converse in the parking lot without screaming at each other.

not exactly the dinner experience i was expecting. not the the band or food or service was bad (although for almost $20 i expected the meat portion sizes on the kingston trio to be larger than a few bites each), but if i wanted to feel my chest vibrate i would have gone to a dance club, not a restaurant.

jamaica gates needs to decide if they want to be a restaurant or a nightclub. so my advice is if you want to have a dinner where you might want to hold a conversation rather than a cheerleading tryout, call first to see if they have live music that night, and if they do, go elsewhere.

i gave this restaurant a poor rating not because because the food or service was not good, although the meat portions on the almost $20 kingston trio were very, very small (just a few bites each), i will go there again, but only if they do not have live music while i dine there

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Thank LarryTheHikerGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2012

The food here is delicious! I will continue to eat here because it reminds me of my Honeymoon in Jamaica.

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Thank Lets_Go_Mavs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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