Mr. Brown's Lounge | Ukrainian Village/East Village | Jamaican, Bar/Lounge, Music venue | Restaurant

Mr. Brown's Lounge

Hours: Lunch, dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Saturday till 3; Sunday, Tuesday-Friday till 2

Price: $$

Jamaican restaurant and bar in the old Sak's Ukrainian Village space, offering standards like jerk chicken, goat curry, and oxtails and specialty cocktails including rum punch. DJs spin Thursday through Saturday

Restaurant Details

This spot on a desolate stretch of Chicago Avenue, with its dim lighting and loud reggae music, seems to be more bar than restaurant--one of the waiters doubles as the DJ, or maybe vice versa--though the beer selection is pretty uninspired (on tap there's Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Guinness, and Sam Adams, and the bottles aren't much more exciting). And while the menu is mostly Jamaican fare, concessions to the bar crowd like chicken tenders and onion rings also make appearances. So I was little surprised to discover that the food is top-notch. Oxtail (available Friday and Saturday only) was tender and deliciously fatty, with a rich, meaty flavor, and the seasoning on the jerk chicken built up nicely to a slow burn, though the rice and beans that came with both were too dry. Prices are on the high side, and while the patty--a turnover filled with spicy, seasoned beef ($3) and "island-style" mac 'n' cheese with jerk spices ($7) were both good, the portion sizes seemed small considering the price tag. Service was uberfriendly but erratic: our server disappeared for long periods and at one point, after checking that we were done with our waffle fries, he popped one in his mouth before clearing the basket from our table. When we flagged him down to ask about dessert, he told us that they were out of the German chocolate cake, so our options were Grape-Nuts ice cream or an ice cream sundae. Since it was 15 degrees outside, we passed.

Julia Thiel

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Price: $$