J&J – Keeping Up with the Food Trucks – Jamaican D’s
Glad to see you’re reading this! We (Joanna and J.D.) have decided to take on the food trucks on campus and attempt to review them all. We plan on trying one new food truck each week and reviewing it to share our progress with you guys. For our first adventure, we bought food from Jamaican D’s, located on Broad and Montgomery.
Neither of us had eaten there before but Joanna had heard a lot about it. As a new student on campus, I (JD) have not yet heard about many of the food trucks. When we talked with some friends about going to Jamaica D’s for the first review we received a lot of excitement: “My colleague often takes away from there and the food smells soooo good !”; “It’s so good!”. Those reactions got us excited and left us with high expectations.
There was a lot to choose from so I was completely lost and asked the cook for her advice. She recommended the Jerk Chicken (which is their main dish). After that, I had to choose the size I wanted: Small, Medium or Large. Remembering that I am in the U.S. and not in France, I went for the medium portion even though back home I am considered a big eater. When I first visited the U.S back in 2011, I discovered that food portions were much larger here in the U.S. than they usually are back in France; I have found this to also be true for the food trucks at Temple. With my Jerk Chicken, I got to choose three sides. I turned to the list and there were no less than 11 sides to choose from! So much choice ! They offer some of the usual sides such as Mac & Cheese, White Rice and Mashed Potatoes as well as some more exotic ones: Plantains, Sweet Potato, Sweet Corn and Mixed Vegetables. I decided to go with Mac & Cheese, Rice & Beans and Collard Greens.
If there is one thing you need to know about me, this is it: I do not deal well with spicy food. Not at all. However, I do want to build my spice resistance so when I was asked “hot sauce?”, I replied “Just a little bit please.” I saw her put on a ton of sauce (well, if I’m being honest, what I consider a ton of spicy sauce, for anyone else, would probably be a normal serving) so I got scared that I would end up crying on this first food truck review (yes this is how bad with spices I am). I was hoping to save the crying for a later edition of these reviews; no one wants to cry on their first day on the job.
As we sat down in Alter Hall with a view of Philly to enjoy our food, we completely agreed with the friend who said it smelled good. Inside my box, I had four pieces of chicken that looked yummy and three rather larger portions of my sides. The jerk chicken was really tasty and I enjoyed it. It was easily edible without making a mess which I was definitely worried about when I opened the box. I liked the rice and it was helpful in dealing with the spiciness level. The mac and cheese was also good and went along well with the chicken. I found that the Collard Greens didn’t marry well with my other sides even though they tasted good.
So overall I think that the quality and quantity of food was definitely worth the money I spent. I am delighted to report that I did not cry on my first day on the job and I make this promise to you: when it does happen, we’ll share a picture of it along with the review.
I’ve been wanting to try this food truck for a while because I heard that their mac and cheese was really good, and I’m a sucker for carbs and anything spicy. Looking at the menu, they have a good amount of options, but seemed to be out of many things by the time we wanted to order (my heart broke when I heard they were out of plantains). My first concern was, is this truck veg friendly? As long as there was mac and cheese, I wasn’t too concerned about vegetarian options. They did have curry goat, which was beginning to make me re-evaluate my choice to live a life without meat. I ordered the small vegetable platter with, of course, the mac and cheese as my side. I considered asking for hot sauce on my mac and cheese but foolishly decided not to. Their card reader wasn’t working, so we paid with cash and went on our merry way… our next challenge deciding where to eat.
We decided on Alter Hall, which I had never been in before. We ate on the 6th floor at the tall tables, looking out at campus and toward Center City. The vegetable platter consisted of sliced cabbage, carrots, and onion. I was surprised that it wasn’t very seasoned, but it is always better to have too little salt and add more. It was slightly oily though. They gave us each a tiny salt and pepper packet and not much more was needed to make me happy. The mac and cheese was creamy, not baked, which surprised me. It also was not very salty, but the creaminess made up for that. Watching JD begin to sweat from the heat of his chicken, I couldn’t help but look at my cabbage and feel jealous (I’m a spice queen). The cabbage and mac and cheese were good on their own, but together they made for a heavy meal. It was nice though to have a change in textures from creamy to crunchy, and I was thankful that the vegetables were not overcooked.
Looking back, I definitely should have asked for hot sauce.
Overall, we would say that Jamaican D’s on Wheels gets a 4 out of 5 for price of their food, considering that we were both full for $16 total. Knowing JD’s tolerance, spice level was a 2 out of 5. Service was definitely a 5 as they were very friendly and recommended JD a great meal. As for being veg friendly, Joanna would give the truck a 3 out of 5 at best.
Enjoyed our review? Suggestions for places you want us to try next? Let us know!