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THE DISH: Macky's Caribbean Cuisine

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
 Macky’s Caribbean Cuisine serves jerk chicken with rice and beans, plantains and stir-fried vegetables. Also served is the oxtail with plantains, rice and beans and stir fried vegetables. 

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips Macky’s Caribbean Cuisine serves jerk chicken with rice and beans, plantains and stir-fried vegetables. Also served is the oxtail with plantains, rice and beans and stir fried vegetables. 

• Open Since: October 2009

• Location: In the complex across from Aldi at the intersection of Essex Drive on Scenic Highway.

ON THE MENU

Breakfast

Served with fried or boiled dumplings, banana and a yam

• Ackee/Salt Fish — $9 small, $11 large

• Calaloo/Salt Fish — $6.75 small, $8 large

Dinner

Served with peas and rice or white rice, fried plantains and a choice of vegetables or McLeen’s special potato salad recipe

• Jerk Chicken — $7 small, $8.50 large.

• Cow Foot & Beans — $7 small, $8.50 large

• Hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed most Saturdays, Sundays noon to 7 p.m. Breakfast: 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

• Owners: Family-owned and operated. Pauline McLeen, whose nickname is Macky, is at the head.

• Atmosphere: The McLeens’ Jamaican heritage shines in this small restaurant. Greeting customers at the door is a large black, green and yellow Jamaican flag hanging on the window. The national colors dominate the restaurant. The walls are bright yellow where customers sit and emerald behind the front counter. Most people order their food to go, but if you want to sit and dine, there are four plush green booths with simple black tables. Above every table dangles a small yellow and green lamp. McLeen says the restaurant has customers of all races and cultures, regardless of Caribbean descent.

• Menu: “Cooking is my passion. Everybody loves my food, and I wanted to bring it to the public,” said McLeen, who has cooked Jamaican food since she was 10-years-old. McLeen is the head chef and decides what goes in the menu.

The restaurant serves typical Carribean food, including the popular oxtail and jerk chicken dishes. The most popular dish is jerk chicken, marinated in Jamaican jerk spice and specially cooked in a charcoal grill for an original smoky flavor. Many different types of meat dishes are served with peas and rice or white rice, fried plantains and a choice of vegetables or McLeen’s special potato salad recipe. Most drinks are unique and can’t be found on a typical grocery store shelf, like Ting, a carbonated grapefruit beverage, and Agua De Coco, or coconut water.

During the restaurant’s breakfast hours, customers can order simple dishes like porridge or different types of salt fish, a popular breakfast dish in the Caribbean.

The store frequently offers specials like $5.99 chicken dishes 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. certain days.

• Things you might not know: McLeen immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in 2000 and lived in New York before moving to Atlanta. Even before she came, she thought of opening up her own restaurant. Before opening up the restaurant, she was a caregiver for elderly people in their homes working two jobs a day saving up money so she could follow her dream.