PITTSBORO — A new eatery has opened in Pittsboro that is serving the unique sights, sounds and delicious flavors of Jamaica.
Nestled in the commercial hub known as The Plant on Lorax Road, Kingston 99 Kitchen has created a unique opportunity to enjoy the flavors and feel of Jamaica without leaving Chatham County.
Ordering is done by walking up to a window with the choice of enjoying your food at one of the outside tables or as a carry-out. There is a walk-in area for the restaurant’s Sunday buffet.
“Sunday brunch is unique — every Sunday,” Jason Rhoden, Kingston 99 Kitchen general manager, said. “There’s not many brunch options in Pittsboro, so we brought that to you.”
Inside the buffet room at Kingston 99 Kitchen is a wall of several food-related Jamaican words along with their English translation as a fun way for customers to learn Jamaican words.
“There’s no better way to introduce you to Jamaican food than a little bit at a time by having a buffet,” Rhoden said. “Jamaican food is what you might call soul food — it’s rich in flavor. A lot of people think Jamaican food is spicy, but that’s not always true. You can decide your own spice flavor, the way you want it.”
Kingston 99 Kitchen has plenty of authentic Jamaican options on its menu, plus a few that may have never crossed your mind.
“A lot of people judge a Jamaican restaurant by how they cook oxtails,” Rhoden said.” If you can’t get that right — there goes your standards.”
The bread pudding is a signature dessert item inspired by Rhoden’s mother, who made the favorite for her son.
Rhoden explained that all the dessert items are worth trying, but the bread pudding is one worth having if one can’t make up your mind the first time.
Kingston 99 Kitchen also serves its own Jamaican drinks, including a Jamaican sorrel (hibiscus) drink and a pineapple ginger juice.
“But we don’t do just Jamaican food,” Rhoden added as he pointed to the menu showing that tacos, wraps and chicken tenders are also options among the Jamaican fare. Catering is also available for special events.
Rhoden said the variety of vendors at The Plant — including a clothing store, coffee, shop, brewery and venue space rented out for special occasions — along with an area where kids can play outside and people can walk back and forth while shopping and socializing — led to him choosing the location for his restaurant.
“This,” Rhoden said, holding out his arms, “this reminds me of Jamaica.”
He added that the tightness of community, surrounded by woods in a rural yet very miniature urban-type setting, gave him a feeling of being back home, and he knew it was the best location for Kingston 99 Kitchen.
“Kingston 99 wants to be a part of the community,” he said.
And a community person he is, indeed. Rhoden seemed to already know all his business neighbors and customers. He was greeted several times with a “Hi, Jason” or “Hey how are you today, Jason!” as he walked by while giving Chatham News & Record a tour of The Plant.
“We have to balance environment with development and who we are,” Rhoden explained, “Kingston 99 Kitchen is very much community-oriented, and we want to serve the community to the best of our ability.”
Kingston 99 Kitchen is located at 192 Lorax Rd. in Pittsboro and open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is also open on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
For more information and up-to-date hours and menu items, visit kingston99kitchen.com.
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