Home-Style Cuisine: Authentic Jamaican Food in Worcester, MA
Written by Chris Michelotti, contributor to Food & Convo
Everyday I pass by an unassuming restaurant with a faded overhang where the flavors are anything but unassuming. Home-Style Cuisine is a hidden jewel in Worcester for Jamaican home cooking. Walking in the place, you see the inside is just like the outside, no-frills, and there is daytime soap opera running on the TV… but the spicy scents are more than enough for ambiance.
There is no menu overhead, but there are three things that you need to be asking for: Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat, and Oxtail. Plates are served with rice, beans and the best cooked cabbage I've ever had... just thinking about makes my mouth water. “Do you want gravy,” they'll ask. The answer is ALWAYS YES. You won't regret it.
The people here are kind and take care of their customers as though they're family.
The food is where you really taste how much they care about their community. I have a soft spot for food that is, as Dave Chang would say, ugly delicious. This is the food that tastes so good you don’t care how messy you get when you're eating it. It is home-style cooking; you don’t need to look proper. The Jerk Chicken has a subtle kick to it and is a solid starter dish if you've never had Caribbean food before, but you don’t get any gravy here. The Curried Goat is sweet and the tastes coat your mouth. I know not everyone has tried goat before, but I can’t recommend it enough. The meat melted in my mouth and I only wish I had more. My favorite dish, though, is easily Oxtail. The brown gravy that they cooked this oxtail in is lick-the-to-go-container good. Don’t be afraid of the bone, it’s like eating ribs - the best part is right next to the bone. The meat is delicious and I'm glad to have a place I can go for oxtail.
The food is very friendly to people that can take spice, so feel free to throw in your favorite hot sauce to kick it up a bit. Remember to hit the ATM, it's CASH ONLY. It can be easy to fall into a rut when you carry out, but this place is worth the look and will reward you for busting out of your routine.