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Island Jerk reopens in Wyandanch

Jerk chicken is one of the Jamaican specialties

Jerk chicken is one of the Jamaican specialties at Island Jerk in Wyandanch. Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

It’s been six years, but Island Jerk has returned to Wyandanch. The Jamaican eatery opened last week in the revitalized retail district adjacent to the LIRR station. The original location was in a Straight Path building that was leveled for the redevelopment

“The town asked us to return,” said owner Lorraine Kennedy, “and now we’re just around the corner from where we used to be.” The new location is sharp and spiffy, with a takeout counter and about dozen tables for eating in.

The Island hasn’t been Island Jerk-less for all this time, though. In 2012, Kennedy moved her operation to 1350 Deer Park Ave. in North Babylon; that location remains open, managed by Kennedy’s husband, Johnny Gale.

Overseeing both kitchens is chef Garfield Walker, a veteran of cruise-line kitchens who, like Kennedy, is Jamaican-born-and-bred. His menu provides a culinary tour of the Caribbean island.

From the “jerk” corner: chicken, pork and fish get the spice-and-smoke treatment. Chicken can also be had stewed, curried, fried or barbecued. There’s stewed oxtail, curried goat, and roti dishes, which combine stews with flatbread. Starters and sides include beef patties, coco bread, dumplings, saltfish cake and macaroni and cheese. And, a breakfast menu includes ackee, saltfish, callaloo, porridge and more.

Prices are gentle: mains range from $8.75 to $12.50.

Island Jerk is at 9 Station Drive, Wyandanch, 631-491-1600.

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