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Jonesing for some jerk chicken? Irie Jamaican Kitchen in North Collinwood is the place to go for such island specialties. Chef Omar McKay is a native Jamaican so you know the food is authentic.

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You love all the new restaurants popping up in Cleveland, and you want to try everything. There’s just one problem: The bill at the end of a night out. You’re just looking for a place to grab a bite that’s delicious but affordable.

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Omar McKay will not spill the beans on the components of his traditional jerk seasoning. He’ll only say that there are about 18 herbs and spices in the potent rub he makes daily at Irie Jamaican Kitchen on East 185th Street in Euclid. Intense heat is the hallmark of jerk cooking. It’s made with scotch bonnet peppers, which bring about a sharp, lingering mouth burn similar to that of a habanero. 

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Though his Irie Jamaican Kitchen is in a relatively new spot, opening in February 2017 at 621 E. 185th St. in Euclid, owner/chef Omar McKay feels the endeavor continues to be a new, daily adventure.

 

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The show kicked off in the kitchen with a recipe from Irie Jamaican Kitchen. The restaurant is located on East 185th Street in Euclid.  www.iriejakitchen.com

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Though his Irie Jamaican Kitchen is in a relatively new spot, opening in February 2017 at 621 E. 185th St. in Euclid, owner/chef Omar McKay feels the endeavor continues to be a new, daily adventure.

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EUCLID, Ohio — As the cold dark days of late fall descend once again on the hapless north coast, wouldn’t it be nice to magically travel somewhere warm and wonderful? To summon up our inner Harry Houdini, the legendary magician and patron saint of great escapes, and slip out of the frigid confines of Cleveland to reappear in a place where the sun still glints on a golden beach.

No matter the weather outside, stepping into Irie Jamaican Kitchen at 621 E. 185th Street is like taking a quick trip to the islands.

Large windows flood the space with natural sunlight.  Colorful decorations, Bob Marley portraits and soft reggae music make for a fresh and relaxed atmosphere. 

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A year and a half ago, chef Omar McKay traded in his modest spot at the Richmond Town Square food court for a sunny brick-and-mortar on East 185th Street. At Irie Jamaican Kitchen (621 East 185th St., 216-350-6112), he offers diners heaping plates of fiery jerk chicken, supple braised oxtails and sweet shrimp curry alongside the customary warm cabbage slaw, rice and beans. 

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Walk into Omar McKay’s new Irie Jamaican Kitchen, 621 East 185th St., and the menu board welcomes you to try “clean and bright fresh flavors.” Designed for takeout with a small ledge of window seating, you move down the line while McKay stacks on your choice of bright pineapple slaw, cucumber salad, plantains and mango sauce to traditional Jamaican staples.