Wining & Dining
Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant
5/30/2018 10:24:51 PM

Like our food in Louisiana, the cuisine in Jamaica is made up of a melting pot of techniques, ingredients, and flavors. The island of Jamaica has a rich history that’s brought culinary influences from indigenous peoples, Spain, Ireland, Britain, Africa, and even India and China, with an emphasis on fresh local ingredients. In Lake Charles, that tasty history is on full display at Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant. 

Prior to opening their new eatery, Tasterite was located adjacent to a gas station on Opelousas Street just north of I-10. The quaint old location had only two tables and primarily served as a place to get great take-out food. Tasterite has also been known as a crowd favorite at festivals and other SWLA events. The food was phenomenal, the ingredients fresh, and business was good. But owners Heather Wade and her husband Chef Damien had bigger dreams. For the last six months, this couple and their children toiled and hustled to renovate a space located on Kirkman Street. They opened their new doors in April.

The first thing you notice when you walk into the new Tasterite is that the décor drips with the same colorful Caribbean influences as their old location and you get the sense that you’re visiting some island paradise. True to their island roots, Heather and Damien impressively made much of the décor themselves from mostly recycled materials. "We handmade, refurbished, or recycled the tables and chairs. We got the kids involved in the whole process. We built the furniture as a family,” Heather said. 

The second thing you notice is the larger size. From their humble beginnings in North Lake Charles, they now have plenty of seating, a gift shop, bar, and a stage for live music. "We’re planning to do some Reggae nights on Saturdays, and we want to do Fish Fry Friday’s with live music,” Heather said. 

The gift shop will have jams, juices, sauces, and Jamaican-themed clothing for purchase. The bar will feature a variety of tropical and tiki cocktails, perfect for the Louisiana heat, and they offer a large variety of tasty Caribbean beverages like Ginger Beer and deliciously fresh tropical fruit drinks. 

Like their original location, the heart of the new Tasterite is their food, and their food may be the only thing that hasn’t been changed. It’s still made with local ingredients whenever possible. Their curried goat, jerk chicken, and oxtail are still as good as the first time you tried it. 

Heather and Damien are proud of their Jamaican culture and heritage and that pride shows in their cooking through an unrivaled attention to detail and quality. They want you to feel, taste, and smell all the great things about Jamaica. At Tasterite, you really feel like you’re having a meal in an island paradise; and that’s no accident. 

Tasterite Jamaican Restaurant is located at 2204 Kirkman St., Lake Charles. For more information, call 337-419-1844 or find them on Facebook.
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