Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine

Restaurant: Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine
Location: 3116 North Davidson Street
Website: n/a
Dress: Casual
Cuisine: Jamaican
Price Range: Entrées: $8.50-10
Rating: 4 out of 5 spoons


The Scoop:

Mike and I have a love-hate relationship with Addie’s which basically boils down to: love the food, hate the service. The service has been so abysmally terrible for us that Mike almost refuses to go back — almost. But the food is so hypnotizingly, satisfyingly, heavenly delicious that we can’t stay away.

Let’s focus on the good part first: the food. And “good” is an understatement. My favorite dish at Addie’s is the generous, succulent, tender, juicy Pot Roast. It gives you that happy, warm-tummy feel that makes you want to roll over like a dog waiting for a belly rub. Dredge your rice and beans (and bread, and anything else available) through the savory sauce that accompanies the pot roast and you’ll be in love.

Addie's Pot Roast
Addie’s Pot Roast

With each entrée you have a choice of white rice, yellow rice, or rice and peas (which, it turns out, is actually rice and red beans). I highly recommend the rice and beans — they’re so good that they could stand alone as an entrée. They have the perfect saltiness and texture. The plantains that accompany the meal are just the right thickness so that they don’t turn to mush in your mouth and the caramelization on the outside of them is heavenly. Might want to order an extra side of these because only a few come with your meal and you’re going to want more!

Another dish that totally rocks is the Jerk Chicken. I didn’t get to experience the full effect of the perfect spice blend since they toned down the heat when I tried it (it was my little brother’s entrée and I guess he doesn’t look like he can handle it. No offense, Alex). Regardless, I could taste the love — that sweet tangy flavor. All portions were generous!

Addie's Jerk Chicken
Addie’s Jerk Chicken

The final entrée I tried was the Curry Chicken. It sported a delicious sauce with a curry kick that complemented my yellow rice nicely. The chicken was cooked well but I’m always a little disappointed when dishes use small portions of chicken but leave the bone in; it just seems like there’s not enough food relative to all the bones you run into. I know, I know, the bones add flavor. Anyway, I’m a baby and don’t like non-edibles in my food. So sue me. It was delicious regardless of my whining.

Addie's Curry Chicken
Addie’s Curry Chicken

As usual, we went overboard and ordered extra goodness. I had to try the macaroni and cheese because no matter what I eat in this universe, macaroni and cheese is pure happiness and will always be my favorite food (imagine lots of little hand-drawn hearts and XOXO’s here). Addie’s didn’t disappoint, though the dish could’ve been a little creamier. The strong flavor of the cheddar and the comforting texture was a great complement to my meal.

Addie's Macaroni and Cheese
Addie’s Macaroni and Cheese

If the food were the only consideration, Addie’s would’ve pulled a cool 5 out of 5 spoons easily. Every meal I’ve had there was fantastic; that is, sadly, except for the bitter flavor of disorganization and poor service. On my first visit, I actually didn’t get to eat; when we arrived, we were told that a party of 8 had made reservations and were going to take up the entire restaurant. That’s not really the restaurant’s fault, right? But then they tried to seat us anyway (we would’ve had about 15 minutes to eat and run, literally) out of kindness and when we politely declined, our server was rude as if our leaving was somehow an imposition! I was a little incensed and, needless to say, got a bad taste in my mouth before ever tasting the food.

The first time I visited and did get to eat, our server was very sweet but definitely very scattered. They were out of diet coke (who runs out of diet coke?!) and, sadly, also had no coco bread, which I hear is a delicious dish. My sister was with me this time, and upon noticing the server’s disorganization confided in me that the service was always the downside for her as well.

But perhaps my last visit takes the cake. Mike and I had decided to get some takeout from Addie’s to avoid the NoDa crowd. He called them to place an order, but the person answering only talked to him briefly before literally just setting the phone down and walking away! As in, Mike could hear the restaurant noise in the background but no one was on the line. He had been mid-order when it happened! I guess they didn’t think anyone would end up blogging about the slight. Little did they know (insert devious laughter here).

When Mike called the second time he was able to order, but upon arriving at the restaurant to pick up the food about 20 minutes later, none of it had even been started! He had to wait for them to prepare all the food — it took well over 40 minutes from when we ordered to obtain our meal. It took so long that I remember panicking about whether or not Mike had gotten mugged and was lying unconscious in an alley somewhere.

When he finally got back to me with our food (I was starving at this point), we realized with misery that they had left out my macaroni and cheese. DID I MAKE IT CLEAR HOW MUCH I LOVE MACARONI AND CHEESE?! Mike, always a champion, drove back to get the mac and cheese (thank you, honey). I would’ve assumed after all we’d been through that they’d give me a nice heaping spoonful to soothe my ruffled feathers . . . but there was just a meager scoop for all our trouble.

Now, I’m a forgiving person. Everyone has off nights. But something has been wrong literally all three times I’ve interacted with the restaurant staff at Addie’s. And we’re not talking a missing knife or a slightly loud stereo system! These were pretty significant errors. I don’t think anyone at that restaurant means a bit of harm, and most of them are very nice, but if you’re trying to build a successful restaurant and entice people to return, at some point you’ve gotta get it together.

You might be wondering how this restaurant obtained 4 out of 5 spoons if the service was as bad as I described. Well Mike, as I mentioned, almost won’t return, but the food has me so hooked that I’m willing to suffer. I mean, it’s THAT GOOD. If you’re willing to take the chance, you should definitely weather the possibly poor service to taste the comforting, delicious Jamaican cuisine Addie’s is well-loved for.

Have you been to Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine? How was your service? Want to recommend a dish for me to try on my next trip (because I’m going back for Pot Roast no matter what Mike says)? Share your thoughts by clicking on the “Comments” link below.

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18 responses to “Addie’s Jamaican Cuisine

  1. I can’t decide if the food is worth the trouble…..??

  2. charlottespoon

    Mike and I are going back tonight to try again because writing this review gave me a craving. So I’ll let you know if the service improves!

  3. Try the curried goat.
    Yah Mon , it rocks.

  4. charlottespoon

    Hey GF, what’s the bone status on the goat at Addie’s? Tried goat curry at another Caribbean restaurant in Charlotte and was disappointed with all the bones.

    Also, goat is so often stringy and tough (my experience at both Indian and Caribbean restaurants) — is it better at Addie’s? I’ll have to give it a chance! Thanks for the tip!

  5. When done right the goat should be fall off the bone tender. I find it very similar to lamb. I had no problem with the bone to meat ratio at Addies. Eager to hear how you like it.
    GFL

  6. charlottespoon

    They key there is “when done right”! Haven’t had it done right at very many restaurants, unfortunately.

  7. My mother is Jamaican, so I love good Jamaican food. Addie’s is one of the best I have had in Charlotte so far. As stated in the article the service is terrible. Very slow, unattentive, always seem to be “out” of something. My husband, son and I went there for dinner once and we finished our beverages and our glasses stayed empty until the waitress came over and slapped the check on the table. Then I had to ask for a refill for myself and my 2 yr old son. But nothing beats the time when Addie herself was stretch out on the couch (in the dining area) shoes off, her head covered with pillows, snoring!
    I refuse to go back and have not been back for almost a year.

  8. charlottespoon

    Hi Marcella! I’m so sorry to hear that my bad experience with Addie’s service wasn’t an isolated incident. The food is wonderful, but it’s hard to eat somewhere you aren’t treated well.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Incidentally, is there somewhere else you’d recommend for good Jamaican? I’ve tried Mama’s Caribbean Grill (Central Avenue) and enjoyed it, although the goat was too chewy. I like Anntony’s but can’t say much for the authenticity. Anywhere else I should go?

  9. Hi!! Well, I’ve tried Mama’s Caribbean as well. I love her Roti but her rice and peas were too sweet for me and I didn’t like the carrots in the curry. The family that owns it is from Guyana, S.A–my father is from there as well and their food tends to be sweeter. Anntony’s was very American to me. Caribbean Hut (University Area–North Tryon by Stool Pigeons) has good Curry Chicken and Roti but their Ox Tail and Curry Goat is too boney. My mother loves the cow foot soup.
    My mother’s friend from Kingston, J.A (they’ve know each other for 41 years) just opened a spot on Albermarle Road called Pop-A-Top. I’ve never tasted the food at the restaurant but the owner Andy has cooked for me and my family and it was great (he made Ox Tail w/ Rice and Peas) I am currently 9 months pregnant, but as I can make it over there, I would love to try the food…although the location is kinda iffy 😛

  10. charlottespoon

    That’s a great overview Marcella, thank you!! I’m excited to try Pop-A-Top.

  11. Has any one had any really good Indian food here in Charlotte? I’ve been really craving some…

  12. Hi Marcella,

    I LOVE Indian food and have tried lots of Charlotte restaurants. My absolute favorite is Jaipur Indian Cuisine on Tyvola Road. They have a fantastic weekend buffet. It’s Northern Indian food.

    I also love: the vegetarian Southern Indian restaurant, The Woodlands, on Albemarle Road. Cafe Nirvana in Ballantyne, Saffron in Ballantyne, and Maharani on Kings are all great. My sister recently visited the upscale and more expensive (make a reservation!) restaurant Copper and said it was amazing.

    There’s Namaste on Independence Boulevard, which my sister likes (I haven’t been). Sangam in Cornelius has an inexpensive and delicious lunch buffet on weekdays. A friend of mine recommends Bombay Grille on Pineville-Matthews Road.

    We have a lot of great Indian food spread around the area! Hope that helps.

  13. Sorry to correct, but Jaipur is on South Blvd., Cafe Nirvana is Lancaster Hwy, and Saffron is in Ayrsley off South Tryon. Just trying to help if someone trys to find them :-).

    I’ve tried every Indian restaurant in the Charlotte area (really!) and my favorites tend to be Woodlands, Bombay Cuisine, Saffron, and Copper. I also like Bombay Grille. I’ve seen lots of Indians eating at Jaipur and Chaat n Chai in Univsersity. Chaat n Chai is excellent but might be a little strange for Americans.

    EDIT: I lied, I actually haven’t tried Tamarind because on the night I went there, the parking lot was completely empty and the menu seemed quite expensive so we left.

  14. Hi Jax, you’re exactly right — I get confused because I take Tyvola to get to Jaipur, but it is indeed on South Boulevard.

    I’m surprised Cafe Nirvana doesn’t rank in your favorites — so far among the Indian food fans’ favorites (say that 3 times fast), it’s been the only constant.

  15. I did like Cafe Nirvana, but only been there once so far – need to go again!

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  17. Any time I’ve had Carribean cuisine, I’ve had similar service experiences. I can’t help but wonder if it’s culturally motivated?

    Now, to be clear, I do not mean this as any sort of slight, but merely to highlight that our service standards are very different than in many other places, and it may not be that they are careless or thoughtless so much as it’s the standard to which the owners are accustomed?

  18. Maybe you’re onto something, Pave.Gurl — different areas of the country and/or world do have different expectations of a restaurant meal; for instance, in Italy one might be expected to linger over dinner longer than in America. However, I think it’s important for Addie’s to recognize (even if this is the case) that most people in Charlotte aren’t looking for their server to take a nap on the job, mix up their orders, and offend them!

    If it weren’t for the amazing food, I really don’t think Addie’s would survive!

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