Serves meat, veg options available. All foods imported fresh from Jamaica; about 11 vegan dishes on menu; large portions and special (green) plates for vegans; try the veggie stew peas and curried hearts of palm. Restaurant is about Jamaican life, culture and flavor. Price: Inexpensive more-less
Vegan-friendly, Take-out, Jamaican, Non-veg
619 W University Ave
Gainesville, Florida 32601
352-377-5464

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reviews

Reviews

First Review by rainfall2008
Ghanamacian
Ghanamacian
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+13

Bigggg up!

4
Posted on 11 / 29 / 2014

Great food atmosphere, culture love all day. Good tunes, food fresh and superior flavor authentic! Blessings and Jah love to the owners and staff!


cwormbley
cwormbley
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+17

Mixed Review

3
Posted on 09 / 30 / 2014

Stopped by this place (we were traveling via I-75) based on the rave reviews on Happy Cow, Yelp, and Urbanspoon. The experience was so-so. While it was true that the Callaloo Bruschetta appetizer was delicious, I was disappointed with the Curry Seitan. It was not a curry dish, in my humble opinion, and it was much too sweet. Also, the Seitan was very dense. My spouse ordered the Vegan Steak and there was little difference in the sauce accompanying it and the curry sauce coating my dish. The Vegan Seitan was just as dense. We ordered some Festivals. They tasted like deep fried Jiffy Cornbread hush puppies - too sweet. Granted, if you like Jiffy products, you'll appreciate the Festivals. Overall, our meals were palatable; they just didn't measure up to the reviews. :(

Pros: Easy to find, Good portion sizes, Callaloo Bruschetta is delicious
Cons: Seitan too dense, Dishes too sweet
Lisa
Lisa
  • vegan
Contributions
+80

There's a party in my mouth and everyone's invited

4
Posted on 09 / 28 / 2014

I was beyond happy with this place. Friendly wait staff, fun decor, and some of the best food I've ever had in my life! I got the curried tofu, which came with cabbage, sweet plantains, and rice and peas. I couldn't even finish the plate, so I didn't get to try the 2 vegan cakes they had on the menu. If I lived in Gainesville I'd probably eat here every day. Please go to this restaurant.

Pros: Colorful decor, Incredible food, The food, seriously, amazing.
Cons: Styrofoam to-go containers

VeganicMom
VeganicMom
  • vegan
Contributions
+26

Jamaican me crazy!

4
Posted on 08 / 29 / 2014

I saw a billboard with the sign for this place. I did not find it through my happy cow app because for some reason when I'm in G-ville the locator only pulls up the same (only) one restaurant (a to go place). Anywho, it is in a good location and easy to find. I was surprised and pleased that I was greeted, seated, and given a first timer's menu presentation by a nice young man who assured me of my vegan concerns. Great service- I felt like I had 3 servers. They were busy but my food came out in a reasonable time. My appetizer was the Callaloo Bruschetta- freakin amazing. Don't hesitate if you like bruschetta, seriously. I ordered sweet green tea which was free refills thankfully because it was soo good I drank 3. (Yes, I know but I was starving & thirsty from a long day at school). For dinner I had the Escoviech Tofu. It was a hard choice since it all looked yummy but the tangy, sweet and spicy crispy tofu description got me. I swear I was so happy from the first bite. Generous portions and the flavors were just so genuine. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the plantains. I got a good African beer also. I have ventured out of my box since becoming vegan almost a year ago and am so excited to try new things. The other great thing is that this place is for everyone...herbi, omni, and carnivores. Great for me because I can bring my hubs next time. I brought him home Coco bread and my kids the festivals. Festivals FTW! I didn't really want to share they were so great. Reminded me of a krispy kreme type of goodness, but different. I was bummed, however that they did not have the 2 vegan desserts I was looking forward to (carrot cake and coconut cake). I bet they would've been awesome too...maybe next time. On a random note, they had Mrs. Meyers soap in the ladies room- bonus points :)

Pros: yummmmm, selection, location
Cons: out of vegan dessert
mbentz
mbentz
  • vegan
Contributions
+123

soooo gooooood

4
Posted on 08 / 06 / 2014

The coconut festivals are AMAZING! their curry sauce was sweet and good, their seitan had a good texture. Our waitress was super nice & helpful. They also have vegan cake!!!!(coconut & carrot)

Pros: many veggi options, great service, vegan cake!
kjachimecki
kjachimecki
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

first visit and going back

4
Posted on 06 / 29 / 2014

I live in Gainesville and font know any I didn't go sooner. My bf and I got the seitan sandwich and the callaloo with tempeh. The portions were huge and the sauces were lovely. Never have had Jamaican, being vegan relay limiting me before, but not at the shack, recommend it to vegans who able some sinfully delicious food.

Pros: huge portions, tasty, keep the vegan food away from animal foo
Cons: callaloo was a little oily
Scott Grenerth
Scott Grenerth
  • vegan
Contributions
+52

Awesome!!!!

4
Posted on 06 / 09 / 2014

Fantastic selection of vegan dishes!!!
They all are great!!!
Smoothies are all amazing!!!
I love stopping here when I'm in Gainesville. It's worth the trip to get off the interstate on head into town.

Pros: Great vegan selection!!!, Staff are always wonderful!!, Vegan deserts too!
Cons: Only con. It's not 100% vegan., Can't rate it "5 cows"
MrsMustard
MrsMustard
  • vegan
Contributions
+20

Delicious And Authentic

4
Posted on 08 / 24 / 2013

I have eaten here 3 times now and each time has been amazing. Their food is spicy and authentically Jamaican. They also have a great selection for vegans. I recommend the Callaloo Bruschetta, Tofu Escovietch and the Jerk Veggie Burger (VERY spicy).

Pros: Unique, Good Prices
Cons: Can Be Busy On Weekends
little lily
little lily
  • vegan
Contributions
+27

Fantastic!.

4
Posted on 07 / 09 / 2013

We found this place while driving home from vacation. I spied a billboard that said "carribean and vegan food." Seriously? I don't think I've ever seen vegan food advertised on a billboard.
The staff were very friendly. The menu states that all vegetarian dishes are vegan.
We had pepper steak (seitan) and jerk tofu. The menu has a warning about the jerk, and our waiter warned us too.
It was ridiculously hot, but good. The seitan was the perfect texture and the sauce was incredible. I wanted to lick the plate.
The sides - rice and beans, cabbage, plantains - complimented the dishes perfectly.
Everyone was so friendly - we were still talking about the experience days later.
I wish I could give it 5 stars - maximum rating for non - veg restaurant is 4.

Pros: friendly, delicious and healthy, good music
shakes13t
shakes13t
  • raw
Contributions
+40

Worth the Drive

4
Posted on 04 / 14 / 2013

We saw this place on Happy Cow, but weren't going to go so far from the highway for a veg-friendly place. The night before we were burned by a veg-friendly that had taken most of the veg off the menu. But then we saw their billboard on the highway, and it said vegan, so we decided to try it, because when do you ever see billboards for vegan anything?
It was maybe fifteen minutes from the highway, but easy to find and well worth the drive.
I ordered three entrees because I couldn't decide - calaloo, tofu escoveitch and curried palm hearts. They were all delicious, as were the cabbage and plantain sides and even the rice. The food was salty, but not unbalanced. It was heavily spiced (though not very spicy, to me, though I like spice a lot) and well-spiced. The salt was high to balance and complement the spice. I'm not a salt person, but it was delicious and well-done.
The best thing, to me, was the staff. Everyone was happy, and they seemed to enjoy being at work. They were kind to each other - really kind and caring - and to everyone who walked in, from regulars to delivery men to first-time customers like me. It seems like the kind of place where drama and pettiness are not tolerated. I know that's a strange call to make, but it was really striking to me. When I left, the server who took my order (we took it to go) shook my hand and asked my name and everyone around wished me a good day - not canned, or like they had to, just like they were happy to pass along their good cheer. It was so nice to see in a college town where the kids are often "too cool" for niceties.
They had no gluten-free vegan desserts, but they did have vegan desserts and said that they sometimes have raw cheesecake.
Definitely try this place! LOTS of vegan options, knowledge of gluten-free, very tasty!
I think this place would have five cows if Happy Cow allowed five cow ratings for non-veg places.

Pros: FOOD, atmosphere, staff
ChrisMetzl
ChrisMetzl
  • vegan
Contributions
+14

Tasty Tasty!

4
Posted on 04 / 01 / 2013

Everything I tasted was wonderful. A quick warning, the Jerk anything is really spicy if you're not up for that kind of thing.

Pros: Great food, Multiple Veg Choices, Jerk is really spicy!
Cons: Jerk is really spicy!
marymoon1
marymoon1
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+11

I wanted to give it 5 stars

4
Posted on 08 / 14 / 2012

My husband and I are vegetarian. Whenever we go out of town, we make it a point to go through Gainesville on our way in or out just to have a meal at this place! OMG! The flavors and aromas are to LIVE for! We live 2 1/2 hours away but this little jewel is worth traveling for! LUV IT!! Staff is very friendly and service is great! They even searched through their stock until they found an unopened hot sauce that we wanted so we could buy it (even though they don't usually sell it). Try. U'll like! I wanted to give it 5 stars, but the max for NON Vegetarian restaurants is 4.


Sara Cherie
Sara Cherie
  • herbivore
Contributions
+19

Unique! Delicious! Sweet people!

4
Posted on 03 / 14 / 2012

Both times I've dined here have been the same; prompt seating, friendly and personable staff, amazing food (#1 Jerk Veggie Burger & #2 Vegan Steak Burger while my partner had #1 the Brown Stew Tofu then #2 the Brown Stew Tofu Burger) They arent using "Jerk" casually either. The owner actually came by our table to greet and ask about our experience. There is one negative to the situation...it's noticeably smokey in the dining room. It was like that both times.

Pros: Friendly service, Amazing menu, Fair portions
Cons: Smokey dining room
Cherokee Jade
Cherokee Jade
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+15

I love jamacian food!

4
Posted on 02 / 09 / 2012

Too bad I don't live in Gainsville, if I did I would have to go here at least once a week! I can't say I've had alot of things on the menu but I have had the vegan steak, brown stew tofu and jerked tofu. Yes they say the jerked foods are insanely hot...I say yes but just barely tolerable, it's great. Everything I've had so far is amazing, the meals come with beans and rice, cabbage and some fried plantains. It all goes well together, I also usually get an order of dutty fries. I first thought they were covered in salt later I find out its sugar and it is unbelievably good, no condiments. I hope this place never moves!

Pros: many vegan options, amazing taste, real jamacian flavor
warino
warino
  • vegan
Contributions
+86

Pass de duchy on de left hand side...

4
Posted on 01 / 07 / 2012

The first time I have ever seen the word VEGAN on a highway billboard in the US was the billboard on I-75 northbound for this restaurant. Even though it is not a vegan restaurant, the owners clearly understand what vegans want. Choice, taste, portions. Just like death eaters want. I had the vegan seitan steak sandwich, which was doused in a sweet, mildly spicy tomato based Jamaican sauce, whereas my hus had Jerk tofu, which came with rice and peas, and a side order of festival. The jerk is as hot and spicy as they warn you, so be prepared - it was f***ing ridiculously spicy. But both dishes were awesomely delicious. Prices were more than fair, and the service was great. Wort de trip, man...

Pros: Food, Price/Value, Service
Cons: It's in Gainesville, not near us!
ashfnm
ashfnm
  • vegan
Contributions
+49

Consistently Delicious

4
Posted on 08 / 02 / 2011

This place serves great food. Nice atmosphere. Lots of vegan options. Perfect for lunch, a casual dinner or takeout. I can't stop eating the Curried Palm Hearts! So good!

Pros: large portions, Good sides, friendly staff
rachelrevolution
rachelrevolution
  • mostly-vegetarian
Contributions
+9

Great Vegan Desserts

4
Posted on 03 / 24 / 2011

Their vegan carrot cake is out of this word! I honestly had to pull the tempeh sandwich apart to make sure it really wasn't meat in there. Highly recommend.

Pros: Friendly service, Many vegan options, fun atmosphere
RunVeg
RunVeg
  • vegan
Contributions
+64

Eat a festival right now.

4
Posted on 03 / 02 / 2011

They have an entire vegan section on the menu--you don't even have to skip over meaty dishes to find what you want. I had the Vegan Steak Sandwich (seitan), which came with fries ($9.50). It had good flavor without being too spicy (someone warned me that the Jerk Tofu was insanely hot, even if you like spice). I wasn't absolutely blown away with the sandwich, but it was good. We also ordered Festivals, which are "sweet tropical hush puppies." These are amazing and pretty good sized at $2 for 2 cakes. We actually went back the next day to get another order of Festivals. My friend had the Curry Palm Hearts ($8.25), which was amazingly delicious. I think I'd get that if we went back. It came with quite a bit of side offerings, so definitely a great price for what you're getting. They had vegan desserts, but we were too full to try any. This place just remodeled, and there is plenty of seating space now, and there are sweet reggae jams playing.

Pros: Festivals!, Good music
Cons: Sandwiches overpriced for what you get
RachelLouise
RachelLouise
  • vegan
Contributions
+126

Delicious and filling!

4
Posted on 06 / 17 / 2008

I had the Veggie Mince Special, and it was excellent, and too big for me to finish (although not big enough for two, unless you want something small). All the meals come with rice, cabbage, and plantains. I don't like cabbage much, but this was good, and these were probably the best plantains I've had. My friend got the jerk tofu and it was very spicy, but really good if you can handle that much heat. He was told when he finished that next time he can ask for it "extra spicy". The 4 others I was with ordered non-vegan items, and they were all very happy. I got a slice of vegan carrot cake to go, and it was really good and well-spiced.

Pros: Great food, large portions, good selection
Cons: not super cheap
tamberine97
tamberine97
  • vegetarian
Contributions
+30

just do it.

4
Posted on 06 / 08 / 2008

Everything is crazy good. The jerk tofu was too spicy to eat though, and I have never had anything too spicy. The veg mince meat is basically amazing.

Pros: service, super tastey, music
Cons: long wait, deadly jerk tofu
rainfall2008
rainfall2008
  • vegan
Contributions
+36

great food, but be aware of spiciness

3
Posted on 08 / 31 / 2007

I had the vegan steak, which is seitan, and it is excellent! However, my friend had the jerk chicken and almost choked on its spiciness. They really pepper it up.
Don't try the vegan desserts: not a great selection.
Lots of good food for dinner though

Pros: excellent dinner, friendly staff, big portions
Cons: too spicy on some dishes, lack of great vegan desserts, not nice seating

 

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Last updated: 2012/02/07

 

Added: 2007/08/01

 

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