Restaurant Review: Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine & Juice Bar

This past weekend I checked out Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine & Juice Bar on the north side. I've had the food delivered before (and it really is "good to go"), but this was my first time sitting down in the establishment. Good To Go has been around for fourteen years and is owned by Dennis Levy and husband and wife duo, Tony and Lanice Levy. Besides serving delicious Jamaican dishes, Good To Go also caters food for special occasions like graduations and birthdays and also has a juice bar and a little sports bar inside the restaurant. 

Good To Go is a cozy spot on Howard Street in a rich Caribbean and African cultured neighborhood of Rogers Park. The Little Unicoco restaurant is also in the area. When you walk into Good To Go, there's a darling juice bar with assorted snacks and desserts on the table top next to a chalk board written with the daily specials. The bar is on the other side of the restaurant next to the dining area. Warm colors of orange and yellow the walls with large abstract paintings adorn them. Classic reggae and dancehall chunes played in the background as we waited for our food and two televisions were playing the 2016 Rio Olympics. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is pretty peaceful and pleasant. There weren't many people there that night, which I appreciated because it added to the serene aura. 

Good To Go automatically gets cool points for always having ackee and saltfish available. It's Jamaica's national dish, usually served for breakfast. I've notice many Jamaican restaurants in Chicago never have it available, at least when I've visited them. Ackee is also Jamaica's national fruit. I had the dish with rice and peas, steamed cabbage, a side of candied yams (or "sweet potatoes") and my favorite; fried plantains. 

The oxtail dinner with steamed cabbage, plantains, and macaroni and cheese as a side dish. (If I could eat dairy, I would have devoured that mac and cheese). The food is excellent. Ackee and saltfish just right, not too salty. Yams on point, cabbage seasoned great, and plantains delicious. I like my plantains a little browner, but these were still delicious. 

As I told you guys, Good To Go also has a juice bar where they serve freshly made fruit juices and smoothies. I tried the "Irie" to the right smoothie made of pineapples, bananas, ginger and honey. The "Island Smoothie" is made with strawberry and banana. Both refreshing, sweet, and tasty. 

One thing I honestly did not care for was when I saw one of the owners staring at me while coming in and leaving but gave no greeting acknowledgement. Not sure what was up with that, but customer service, especially from the owners, is a must. The stare was not threatening, but you never stare down a customer especially when they're patronizing your business, a "hello" or smile will suffice. However, the two waitresses were pleasant and patient and the food was prepared and served was fairly quick. A woman who had a birthday party there even offered some of her cake which I thought was very sweet. I'll be returning to Good To Go. 

Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine & Juice Bar is located at 1947 W. Howard open daily from 11am-11pm Monday-Saturday, 12pm-10pm and Saturday 773-381-7777

Source: Open Table: Good To Go Jamaican

Chicago restaurant owners feel shunned on Howard Street opportunity



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