My favorite place on earth besides Austin is Negril, Jamaica. 7 miles of white sand beach followed by 7 miles of jagged cliffs, the most beautiful sunsets in the world, sounds of reggae and warm sand between your toes. And of course, Jerk Chicken (or pork!) So in between visits to Jamaica, when I am banished to Babylon, I have searched and searched for that spicy jerk. But most American versions are sweet and reek of cinnamon. There is absolutely nothing sweet about jerk. It is spicy, savory and smoky. I had been fooled by other trailers that claimed to have true Jamaican roots but it wasn’t until I met my new friend Tony that my taste buds were finally satisfied.
Turns out Tony was in charge of making the sauce at Da Bus which is one of the most famous spots in Negril for jerk. He has been in Austin for several years now and his friends finally convinced him to open a trailer.
Tony not only makes fantastic jerk, he also does other Jamaican classics like oxtail, curry goat, brown stew chicken which come with sides of rice and peas, fried plantains, or steamed veggies. Want a quick bite? Try a savory meat or veg patty just like the bike man sells on the beach in Negril. Tony even carries island drinks like grapefuity Ting and spicy ginger beer.
Tony is located a few blocks east of Franklins at 1200 E. 11th. His hours are listed from noon to midnight but like most Jamaican businesses those are more of a suggestion than a fact. I usually find him later in the afternoon and he is often open late at night as he draws foot traffic from the bar across the street. You can take your food into the bar or buy drinks in the liquor store next door. If the weather is nice, I recommend hanging out with Tony. He will crank up the reggae and after your third or fourth Guinness and a plate of jerk you will swear you feel a cool island breeze.