Feeling famished at work, and wanting to try something new, I invited my co-worker along for a Caribbean sabbatical (well, as close as you can get to one, in Columbus, GA!) As we entered, we were immediately greeted by none other than Rose herself, a lovely, motherly woman with a warm, welcoming smile and a gracious, affable demeanor. The setup is cafeteria style, so everything is presented right there in front of you, behind a glass case. Even so, Rose gladly explained the lunch specials and gave a detailed overview of their offerings, after my co-worker mentioned that it was her first time dining there.
I opted for a double serving of Jerk Chicken with Caribbean Mac & Cheese and Collard Greens (8.95). Here, you pay when you leave, so we found a seat and immediately began to chow down. The jerk chicken was cooked to perfection and well-seasoned all the way through. My co-worker commented that it was just the right amount of spice. I’m a heat fanatic, so I could always use more spice, but I’d have to say that this was a good amount of spice for the average eater. Collard greens are an obvious soul food staple that I’ve had time and time again, so I wasn’t all that ecstatic about ordering them here, but I KNEW I needed a green vegetable, so I did. Let me just tell you, these had a very unique taste that makes me never want to eat regular collard greens again. They were tantalizingly tender and the onions and minced garlic made ’em oh-so-flavorful…mmmm!
What I’d REALLY like to talk about, though, is Rose’s take on Mac & Cheese… man oh man. I am a sucker for GOOD mac & cheese. Oftentimes some versions fall short, or offer nothing new or exciting, but THIS mac & cheese had me scarfing it down like Garfield on lasagna. Rose’s philosophy on Mac & Cheese is: beef it up! Yep, that’s right, there are little bite-sized chunks of beef intermingled with cheesy yummy goodness. That might sound a bit odd, but trust me, it’s delish! I honestly enjoyed every morsel of everything on my plate. The only critique I have is that the food was not PIPING hot. It was warm enough to still enjoy, but I think it would be PERFECT if it was even warmer. Also, I highly recommend getting the DOUBLE portion of chicken. Perhaps I was super-hungry today, but even after the double portion, I was left wanting more.
Don’t be fooled by the exterior. Behind the unassuming facade, the cooks at Rose’s are serving up some seriously glorious grub… and all for VERY affordable prices. Besides a few Caribbean flags hanging overhead, the dining area itself offers little ambiance, but in this case, it’s not a blatant drawback whatsoever. Rose’s is simply a no-frills mom-and-pops establishment where your sole purpose is to EAT and enjoy your meal. You’re so busy devouring the food that nothing else matters! Besides that, the place is clean and boasts a 99 health score. Plus, the staff makes you feel right at home, so it’s a comfortable, cozy place to be. Foodwise, everything seems “cooked with love” and tastes of solid downhome cookin’ straight from your mama’s kitchen (if your mom is a Caribbean lady named Rose)! Suffice it to say, my trip to Rose’s was a definite win, all across the board! So much so that I ended up taking an order to-go for din-din!
P.S.: I got the curried chicken and vegetable fried rice to-go, along with another round of mac and cheese. The chicken curry was moist and tasty, but I think the champion here is the jerk chicken. The veggie fried rice was a bit oily once reheated, so I wouldn’t recommend that for an “eat-later” meal. I’m sure it tastes fine fresh; my co-worker loved it. I definitely could’ve gone for some more collards. Next time I’ll try the coconut beans and rice, and ox-tails!
Rating: 4.25 / 5
Rose’s Caribbean Restaurant is located at:
2039 Torch Hill Road
Columbus, GA 31903