Thursday, November 9, 2017

Irie Eats Brings a Taste of Jamaica to University City — and Now, a Full Bar

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 6:04 AM

click to enlarge Jerk chicken wings. - PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • Jerk chicken wings.

When you walk through the door of Irie Eats Jamaican Restaurant (8428 Olive Blvd., University City; 314-395-8821), don't be surprised if a feeling comes over you like you've just taken a vacation. The relaxed vibe is so welcoming, from the front door to your table, that it makes it easy to leave your worries outside.

The restaurant has been in U. City for about two years but closed approximately six months ago for remodeling. Owner Carlton Brackett wanted to offer a fresh feeling so patrons felt more at home; the restaurant also acquired a full liquor license. Doors finally re-opened last month.

Brackett came to America some years ago to make a better life for his family. What better way than a restaurant? “As beautiful as Jamaica is, it is also very hard to make money there," he says. Today Irie Eats is something of a family business. Brackett’s daughter Latoy is on staff, and his brother Rohan also works as its chef.

click to enlarge Owner Carlton Brackett, left, with daughter Latoy Brackett and brother Rohan Brackett. - PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • Owner Carlton Brackett, left, with daughter Latoy Brackett and brother Rohan Brackett.

If you have never sampled Jamaican cuisine this is the place to do it; the restaurant offers offers traditional food, such as the jerk chicken, which is more smoky than flaming hot, with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Try a full meal, like ox tails with beans and rice, sautéed onions and fried plantains. Or taste smaller bites like the beef patty, which is reminiscent of a turnover but filled with minced meat wrapped in a from-scratch pastry shell.

The portions are generous, and you can wash them down at the bar, which offers ample pours on well drinks and the house special "rum punch," a fruity blend of Jamaican spiced rums and juices. The recipe is a family secret, but it won't be giving anything away to say you'll need an Uber after drinking one.

click to enlarge Happy hour specials run 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. - PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • Happy hour specials run 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

The place has a capacity of just about 40 seats, but it still manages to feel like a roomy lounge, with a host of the owner's fellow islanders stopping in at the end of the night. Irie Eats is also equipped with a Touch Tunes jukebox in case you want to jam out to Bob Marley while playing darts with your friends.

Irie Eats offers dine in, carry out and delivery options. It's closed Wednesdays but open every other day beginning at 10 a.m. It's open 'til 11 p.m. every night except Friday and Saturday, when it closes at 1 a.m.

Happy hour runs from Monday through Thursday, 3 to 6 p.m.; catering is also available. Scroll down for more photos of Irie Eats.

click to enlarge Ox tails are served with beans and rice and plaintains. - PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • Ox tails are served with beans and rice and plaintains.

click to enlarge One wall features a Jamaican flag; another, a quotation from Bob Marley. - PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • PHOTO BY JESSY KINZEL
  • One wall features a Jamaican flag; another, a quotation from Bob Marley.

click to enlarge img_7824.jpg



Best Things to Do In St. Louis

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

© 2017 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation