2304 N 72nd St
Cost: $40 for two drinks, two appetizers, two meals
Reservations: Not your make-a-reservation type of place. Plenty of seating, but most folks order to-go.
Greetings, eaters and readers!
It was getting down to the wire and I still hadn’t picked a place to for us to dine. So I turned to the Interwebs and found Caribbean Delights on a list of hidden Omaha gems.
Well, we’ve never had Jamaican before. And this blog is the perfect reason to knock it off the list, right?
We walked into the quaint corner restaurant and were greeted with lime green walls, Bob Marley tees and a plethora of sauces and seasonings for purchase. Before realizing we could seat ourselves, we stood in the growing line of patrons. After we grabbed menus, the employee at the counter told us if we planned to stay, we can sit and she’ll be with us shortly. Although we were the only diners who sat and stayed (maybe chalk that up to the arctic blast that was quickly rolling in), we have to acknowledge the steady stream of to-go orders.
Debating between the rum runners or daiquiris, the slushy fruity rummy daiquiris won us over. Martha slurped down her strawberry and I sipped my pineapple. We only wished they were bigger!
Maybe Martha’s favorite 6 bites of the whole evening – we originally ordered the much touted Beef Patty. The server returned a few minutes later asking if chicken would be okay as it was all they had left in the warmer. We said that was fine and it was brought over right away. Plain looking but delicious tasting – these are a must-try item. Whatever they have available – take it, taste it, try it. Warm, flaky, and flavorful – you’ll be glad you did.
Correctly assuming she could explore a bite of whatever I ordered, Martha opted for something she recognized – but also hoped would come with a Caribbean take. Curry chicken with their standard mixed vegetable, she added rice for her side. The chicken fell apart exactly how you’d want it too and was delicious, forkful after forkful. Martha only wishes she had ordered the sweet potato mash as well – more details on that coming up!
Never ones to pass up a good dumpling, we thought we should see what Jamaicans do to the familiar menu item. Noted: it’s nothing like its chicken and dumpling relative, nor is it reminiscent of its Asian counterpart. As you can see in the photo, it’s not the dumplings you might expect. This was essentially fried bread. And while it didn’t have much taste to it, it soaked up the sauces on our plates and we were perfectly fine with that.
I knew in advance I’d be getting the jerk chicken after reading so many positive reviews. People who have been around me long enough know I’m not a big fan of chicken unless it’s breaded and fried (Don’t judge me. Or do. I don’t care.) But I had a feeling it would be full of flavor, and I was right. My tastebuds enjoyed at least a dozen different spices amidst the jerk sauce. Fantastic.
I was equally happy with the sweet potato mash for my side. Again, it was so flavorful! It tasted great with the mixed veggies and jerk sauce mixed in. Making a mental note to research “Caribbean sweet potato mash” when I got home, I learned the sweet flavor comes from the plantain.
Near as we can tell, Caribbean Delights is the only Jamaican restaurant in town. And we’re pretty glad we found it. The flavors are so unique and unlike anything we’ve had before.
When I sent Martha the name and website to tell her where we were going – she was particularly unenthused. So if you look at our pictures or their website and feel the same – don’t. trust. that. feeling. Good, real, authentic flavor isn’t made for pictures and Instagram – it’s made for experiencing yourself. We hope you do.