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San Antonio Jamaican Restaurant Is Named One of the Best in America

Jerk Shack is one of the 16 best new restaurants on Eater’s 2019 list

The patty and coco bread from the Jerk Shack
The patty and coco bread from the Jerk Shack
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Eater just released its annual list of the best new restaurants in America, and although no Austin restaurants were included, Jamaican restaurant Jerk Shack in San Antonio made the cut.

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.

Since its opening in May 2018, the restaurant has also gained attention from San Antonio Express writer Mike Sutter, who awarded it two stars and named it one of the 100 best restaurants in the city.

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.

Cornelius and Lattoia Massey of the Jerk Shack
Cornelius and Lattoia Massey of the Jerk Shack
Hillary Dixler Canavan/E

The Jerk Shack

10234 State Highway 151, San Antonio, Texas 78251 (210) 776-7780 Visit Website