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Best Curried Goat

The Jerk Center
1296 East Gunhill Road, the Bronx; 718-547-1970

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No restaurant in New York has less ambience than the Jerk Center. The front half of the premises is given over to an assortment of beepers and cell phones that are for sale. In the back, a television blares menacingly over the three tables. And the place isn’t exactly centrally located. But by your second subtly spiced bite, you’ll forgive all. The goat ($6–$8) seems to melt in your mouth, dizzying you with complex flavors that hit all the right notes at once: sweet and savory, spicy but not overpowering, earthy and otherworldly. The Jerk Center also offers a first-rate jerk chicken, better-than-average oxtails, and an assortment of Rasta herbal drinks with such alluring names as Disturbance and Groundation. If you’re true to the goat, there is no bad news at the Jerk Center. The trip to the Bronx is just gravy.


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