Jerk Shack, which is operated by chef Lattoia Massey (aka Nicola Blaque) and her husband Cornelius Massey (both U.S. Army veterans), is a food truck on Matyear Street serving Jamaican favorites. Its classic dishes (“a love letter to Jamaica”), jerk spices, and casual atmosphere earned it a spot on the list:
A row of perfectly crispy jerk fried chicken wings and an array of equally fiery jerk sauces for dipping sit on a tray lined with fake newspaper. On another tray are the sturdy Jamaican patties, which can be sandwiched between torn pieces of buttery coco bread [...] On the speakers, covers of Bob Marley play to the crowd, some in fatigues, maybe on a break from Joint Base or Camp Bullis, digging into braised oxtails or mac and cheese as fans blow toward the patio.
The Jerk Shack is one of three restaurants from Texas out of 16 all together. The other two Texas spots were neo-soul tasting menu restaurant Indigo in Houston and modern Laotian spot Khao Noodle Shop in Dallas
Though Eater’s list of best new restaurants was previously compiled by national food critic Bill Addison (who took over the late Jonathan Gold’s esteemed position as critic for the Los Angeles Times), this year the list was determined by Eater editors across the country. To be eligible, restaurants had to open between May 2018 and May 2019.