Restaurants & Bars

Chicago Area

Daddy-O's Jerk Pit


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Restaurants & Bars 7

Daddy-O's Jerk Pit

Rene G | Apr 23, 2002 10:54 PM

Daddy-O’s is just south of the Cottage/75th intersection, right next door to A-Tight-1 Barber & Beauty Salon. As soon as you enter the great smoky smells hit you. There’s an ancient steel and glass Chicago-style smoker at the front, then a section of tables, and finally the ordering area at the back. The whole place is very well-worn but clean. There’s some real atmosphere here and I actually enjoyed sitting in the waiting area, a rarity for southside jerk and BBQ places. There are a few ancient naughahyde benches, an old red and white tiled floor covered with a cheap Persian carpet, and some reggae posters. Some old Bob Marley posters of course but some new ones too (upcoming concerts at the Union Hall and at Gentle Persuasion as well as the more widely known Wild Hare are advertised). There’s also a TV and pay phone (but note "We will not take your order while you talk on the phone").

The menu is short but has the standards: jerk, brown stew, or curry chicken, ox tails, goat, BBQ ribs with spaghetti. Only a few sides like beef patties, plantains, and soup (often gumbo and whatever the cook feels like making that day).

What I’ve tried has been quite good but prepared with a light hand. For me the jerk chicken at Tropic Island (1922 E 79th) is still the gold standard in Chicago. Intensely spiced, incredibly smoky, and served with a searingly hot sauce. If you aren’t up for that sort of intensity, Daddy-O’s version is a good alternative. It’s spice rubbed then cooked over wood and comes out like a very good barbecued chicken. I didn’t care for the watery sauce however. Daddy-O’s rice and peas are also prepared with a light touch and I think I actually prefer their version to Tropic Island’s heavy version or Le Creole’s overspiced one. A half a fried sweet plantain comes with the dinners and it was excellent. I also tried a piece of the brown stew chicken which was very, very good. I look forward to the ox tails and curry goat.

Bottom line: a different style, well worth a visit, but not a personal favorite of mine.

Daddy-O’s Jerk Pit
7518 S Cottage Grove
Tue-Thu 12 noon-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-midnight; Sun 2pm-9pm; closed Mon

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