By: Lynne O’Meara, Southern Maryland Resturants

Three years ago, I met Richard and Angela Fray when they opened Dat Jerk in Waldorf. They had a dream of providing healthy Caribbean food, and their dream came true!  Familiar with the restaurant business, they moved to the area from Southern California (where they operated wing franchises) to be near family.

Dat Jerk ” Jerk Chicken”

Before opening, they spent several years testing recipes. The testing paid off because their food is packed with flavor! Their Jerk Chicken is slow-cooked in a rotisserie with pimento wood and a homemade jerk sauce. My favorite is the Tropical Chicken, which is also cooked in the rotisserie but is milder than the jerk chicken.

In addition to the rotisserie chicken, other menu items include: Jerk Pork, Curry Chicken, Brown Stew Chicken, Honey Jerk Lime Salmon, homemade sides and made-to-order sauced shrimp. A few special menu items are Beef Patties, Cocoa Bread (soft, sweet bread), and Roti’s (large, round flatbread). They serve Stubborn sodas, which are made without high-fructose corn syrup. They offer catering too! No catering order is too small or too large for them!

Dat Jerk” Shrimp and Plantains”

I go often and usually order the same thing every time (I can be a creature of habit) …1/2 pound of the shrimp (I do change up the sauce), plantains, and a Roti. The shrimp is shell-on shrimp that are sauced and tossed in one of seven flavors. Richard told me they keep the shell on to maintain the firmness and flavor of the shrimp. When I take friends, I usually recommend they start with the chicken. The chicken is so tender, moist and flavorful!

They offer counter service and a comfortable, open seating area. The food does not take long to prepare, so it’s a good place to go if you are pressed for time and don’t want to go to a chain fast-food restaurant.

Often when I go in, Richard and his sister (Patricia) are there, preparing and serving the delicious food. It’s definitely a family affair! If you follow me, you know I like family restaurants! All the employees are friendly and knowledgeable about the food.  

Three years ago, Richard and Angela told me they hoped to open additional locations, so I was very happy to see they recently opened a second location in Glenarden!

Check them on Facebook and their website www.datjerk.com.

They are located at 2716 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD. The hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-10pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm

Rating (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.7
  • Service: 4.5
  • Ambiance: 4.0

Total: 4.4

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...