Jamaican Spice serves up food that Caribbean dreams are made of.
Jamaican Spice sits unassumingly in a corner unit along a Greenbag Road strip mall. But what awaits you on the inside is worlds apart from the Appalachian fare that traditionally graces tables in the region. And if you’re lucky enough to pop in on a Thursday, you must have the oxtail stew. In fact, the traditional Caribbean dish sells out by 2 p.m. on most days it’s featured, so consider yourself lucky if you snag a plate.
Kela Munye is the proprietor of this fine establishment, and she hails from Jamaica. She came to Morgantown years ago as a distance runner. She met her husband, had children, and stayed home with them for the past 11 years—until last year, when her husband, Abdul, finally convinced her she should share her culinary talents with the world. She learned to cook from her grandmother as a child in St. Catherine and has spent decades honing her craft.
Jamaican Spice’s menu offers plenty of tasty options, including the customary jerk chicken, sweet chicken for those who don’t like spice, curried goat, and traditional yellow-hued meat pies colored by turmeric. But the oxtail will keep you coming back for more.
A heap of stewed meat and gravy is served atop a healthy scoop of red beans and rice. Butter beans are there in the mix, as are to-die-for fried plantains, and cabbage slaw. You will eventually have to dive in with your fingers to get every last bit of meat so tender we’re sure angels must help Munye slow cook it for five hours in heaven. The dish has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened in December 2019. Customers lamented on social media when Jamaican Spice closed for two weeks due to COVID—they missed the food that much.
Munye is humbled by the response, blown away, actually, and has plans to expand the menu. You’ll soon find curry shrimp, Rasta pasta, and other West Indian–inspired dishes in her line-up.
Do yourself a favor and get there soon, mon.