The Cutlass Grille: a satisfying slice of Jamaica

The Cutlass Grille 805 Battlefield Blvd. N Chesapeake, VA (757) 382-0015

Jazzy Coles, Staff Writer

The Cutlass Grille is a family owned, local restaurant specializing in Jamaican Jerk barbecue. I’ve known of The Cutlass Grille for a few years now, and it has recently moved from a small restaurant with few tables and self-seating to a large establishment with a bar area, hostess seating, and an extensive wait-list. Their specialty is Jamaican Jerk Chicken, but I’ve had that way more times than I can remember, so when I revisited The Cutlass Grille this past weekend, I ordered the Brisket dinner with cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and beans and rice.
The food came out in record time, and the macaroni was still steaming. The first thing I tried was the Brisket. It looked a little charred on the outside but, surprisingly, it was perfectly tender on the inside. Intricately seasoned but not even a little spicy, the brisket was a nice taste of authentic Jamaican food, yet totally different from their signature jerk chicken.
Moving on to the macaroni which, as a side, is a favorite of mine, I noticed right away the color of the cheese. Neither orange nor bright yellow, goopy or soggy, I could tell that the cheese was rich cheddar, and not that packaged, processed “American” cheese. It was, however, a little bland and slightly disappointing. I have nothing terrible or great to say about it, as it tasted like nothing and was quickly forgotten in favor of the hopefully heartier beans and rice.
This side dish was most definitely not a disappointment. The beans, laid carefully on top of white rice, were so smoky and tender that I could probably enjoy them as the main course on my next visit. The rice was still quite firm which may seem off putting to some, but I’ve never been a fan of soggy rice so I didn’t mind. Mixing together the beans and rice made the taste more delicate, as the rice lessened the over powering taste of the beans, creating the perfect dish.
Saving the best for last, I tasted the cornbread next. It wasn’t my first time eating their cornbread, but I wanted to know if it tasted just as great as I remembered. Because everyone makes corn bread differently and claims to have the best homemade, “down south,” decades old recipe, whether or not I like cornbread is always up in the air. First off, I noticed that my fork cut into my piece of cornbread like it was butter, and it was extremely dense and heavy on my fork. This was very promising to someone who likes their cornbread thick and moist. When I finally tasted it, it melted in my mouth and was shockingly sweet as well as buttery. Thankfully, it didn’t leave that filmy feeling in my mouth I get when I eat something too buttery. Actually, it did the complete opposite. The cornbread was so smooth that it cleansed my palate of everything I had eaten before and prepared me for seconds.
Ultimately, The Cutlass Grille is a winner. Their menu offers genuine Jamaican cuisine with a home cooked flare and it’s not slacking in the slightest. I’d recommend the Jerk Chicken,beans and rice, and cornbread for any newcomer. I wouldn’t venture to far from the norm until I’ve tried the basics.
With a friendly aura and deliciously exotic food, The Cutlass Grille can be incorporated into anyone’s Friday night dinner plans.