While looking to make a U-turn on El Cajon Boulevard on my way to Sang Dao, I saw brightly colored shop. The signage that said "Jamaican Beef, Chicken, Veggie Patties" can't help but get your attention.
A few days later, I stopped by, and found that this little shop was nice little market, so I restocked on my Grace Hot Sauce. And yes, I did get a couple of patties:
For those thinking that a Jamaican Patty is a piece of ground beef ready for the grill (I won't name names, but you know who you are), a Jamaican Patty is basically a savory pastry filled with meat. Similar to an empanada, turnover, or meat pie. I'd had a Jamaican Patty once before(so count me among those who is far from an authority on the subject), and though I didn't care for the "shell" which I thought was greasy, the ground beef filling was pretty spicy, and quite delicious.
So of course I got the classic Beef Patty:
At first glance, the patties looked a bit on the "skinny" side, not like the one's I had tasted previously. At first bite, mixed signals were sent to my brain. I enjoy the crusty-grittiness of the shell. On the other hand, I found the filling to be terribly bland, totally against character for Jamaican food. It was also kind of greasy.....
To my tastebuds the Chicken Patty fared a bit better. Though it also had just a thin smear of filling, the ground chicken was better seasoned and moist, though still not very spicy. Looking at the filling, I thought I saw what looked like chopped Ortega Chilies, though I'm probably mistaken.
Based on the patties, I'm not really motivated to return. What does motivate me to return is the "Reggae Kitchen" being built next door. I was told that it'll be a Jamaican Food take-out joint set to open in a few months. So I'll hold off on any more patties, and wait for the Jerk Chicken.....
Laylah's Patties & Jerk
5712 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115