Last week I enjoyed a reasonable meal at Pepper G’s in homestead; I suspect that Aurora, who ordered the jerk chicken, enjoyed hers more.
We somewhat confounded the waitress by bringing our own napkins and using them instead of the paper napkins (she for some reason seemed to think it was a germophobia thing as opposed to a waste reduction obsession and brought an extra stack of paper napkins to our table despite my protests that we were fine, we’d really prefer not to waste the paper.
When I arrived at the restaurant/bar/jazz lounge (they advertise frequent live music shows), I had already decided, based on reading their menu online, that I would be ordering the ribs. Unfortunately, they no longer had ribs on the print menu or at the restaurant at all. “The last case we ordered spoiled because no one ordered them,” the manager explained after our meal, “so we took them off the menu.”
I decided to go with the curried shrimp; Aurora got the jerk chicken; another of our dining companions got the lemon-pepper chicken. I also got a side of macaroni and cheese.
The curried chicken had a flavorful mix of spices on them. Unfortunately, the chef had ordered the easy-peel shrimp (peel split down the back and the alimentary canal removed, but peel left on; designed to make it easy to peel [hence the name]) and had not removed the peel before she tossed them with the curry. As a result, most of the flavoring got discarded to the side as I had to peel the shrimp before I could eat them.
This problem could be easily rectified: if the chef were to order the pdv (peeled and deveined) shrimp; or to peel the easy-peel shrimp before coating them with spices, this dish would immediately rise in quality from mediocre to pretty darn good. The mac and cheese was obviously homemade and was really quite tasty.
The jerk chicken, on the other hand, is excellent. The chicken is seasoned just right: not too salty, with a good kick of flavor. It’s braised to melt-in-your mouth perfection. It’s perhaps the best jerk chicken I’ve tasted in years.
The lemon-pepper chicken apparently didn’t stack up. Though I didn’t try it, our dining companion was less than satisfied with her meal. “It was good,” she shrugged, non-committedly. This impression was conformed by the manager’s response when he asked us what we ordered. When she said what she got, the manager replied by saying that he gets the jerk chicken.
We opted to sample the mango pie for dessert. The individual, 3-inch round pies are surrounded by a mushy crust and filled with a somewhat bland concoction of mango puree. The crust is their definite weak part. There was no evidence of any crispiness to the crust whatsoever.
Still, I might go back and get me a plate of the jerk chicken and a side of the mac and cheese—really, that’d be a darned fine meal.
If you go, make sure you bring your own cloth napkin. Maybe if they see more people doing so, the idea of not wasting paper will confuse them less.
106 E. 8th Avenue (immediately across the Homestead Grays Bridge)
Homestead, PA 15120