Since 2003, visitors to the Nashville Farmers’ Market have been lining up for platters of curry goat, jerk chicken, and braised oxtail. Dishes at Jamaicaway come in generous portions with spice levels that range from “mild” to the habanero-heavy “FIYAH.” Everything from the ackee and saltfish—the national dish of Jamaica—to the curry chicken–stuffed roti is made from scratch.
In many ways, the restaurant feels akin to Nashville’s iconic meat-and-threes—cafeteria-style dining establishments that have been central to the city’s dining scene since the 1920s—albeit one where Southern sides like mac ‘n’ cheese, collard greens, and cheesy mashed potatoes share plate-space with Caribbean favorites such as plantains, breadfruit, and bammy. The stellar dessert menu is equally culturally split, with slabs of Southern–style frosted layer cakes and Jamaican treats like coconut milk–soaked sweet potato pone.
Owners Ouida and Dave Bradshaw now have something of a small restaurant empire in Nashville. Jamaicaway, a play on both the couple’s home country and a parkway in Boston, where they previously lived, now has three branches around town. “[Ouida] has a very gifted hand,” Dave says. “Food has always been in her DNA.”
By the age of 10, Ouida was already helping her mother in the kitchen. While working as an elementary school teacher in Boston, her homemade treats quickly developed a fanbase among her students. “She’d tell them if they did well on a test, she’d cook them a meal,” Dave says.
The couple’s son, Kamal Kalokah, who decided to go to culinary school after working at the family business, went on to become Rihanna’s personal chef and tour with Drake. He and his brother, Rashean Conaway, currently run Riddim n Spice, a popular Caribbean restaurant in North Nashville.
Nowadays, you don’t have to ace a test in order to try Ouida’s cooking. Swing by Monday through Friday for a curried goat plate and a slice of the ultra-moist, boozy black cake as a sweet reward.
Know Before You Go
The menu has an impressive number of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options, including a tongue-tingling jerk seitan.