Despite its name — The Angry Jerk—this Silver Spring Caribbean fast-casual restaurant is likely to turn you into a happy camper once you’ve tried its food. Among its splendid dishes are jerk chicken; braised beef and oxtail served over rice with zesty pineapple salsa; and a chicken curry that packs a scotch bonnet pepper wallop. Opened by chef and owner Jason Miskiri in July, the restaurant is 1,600 square feet and seats 20. The Angry Jerk’s logo, designed by Green Owl Design in Hyattsville, features a Grinch-like scotch bonnet pepper, the trademark ingredient that brings the fire to Caribbean cooking. The peppers make an appearance in almost every dish at The Angry Jerk, Miskiri says.
Miskiri was born in Guyana, raised in Takoma Park and lives in Chevy Chase. Three doors away from The Angry Jerk is The Society Restaurant & Lounge, which he opened 10 years ago and co-owns with his sister Samantha Khamis-el-Miskiri. When the pandemic started, Miskiri saw an opportunity. “People still wanted to eat out, but had to follow guidelines. I noticed that carryout and delivery were kicking butt, thriving. So when The Big Greek Cafe moved [down the street] and the landlord and the broker wanted me to take it, I took the deal instantly,” he says. “[Society Lounge] was one of the first late night spots here that started to drive business to this area. There’s so much traffic here now. [Angry Jerk stays] open when other places close, sometimes until 3 a.m.”
The Angry Jerk’s menu offers entrees and side dishes as well as build-your-own bowls ($11 to $14.50) and tacos (three for $9 to $11.75) with various fillings (jerk shrimp, jerk chicken, veggies or braised oxtail and beef) and choose-your-own toppings. Miskiri’s jerk chicken ($15.50 for half a chicken) is admirable, with a nice grilled char and a kick of heat. Miskiri marinates the chicken for 24 to 48 hours in what he calls J’s 11 spices (11 was the number of his jersey when he played basketball professionally for the Charlotte Hornets), which includes pimento, ginger, paprika, garlic and Cajun seasoning. Then the chicken gets a curry paste wet rub for another 24 to 48 hours before being charcoal grilled, beer basted, sliced and topped with a barbecue sauce of your choice. Curry chicken ($19) loaded with pimento, ginger, garlic and onions is fall-off-the-bone succulent. Other menu items include jerk salmon ($17), fried fish ($22) and a very gooey macaroni and cheese ($7.50).
The Angry Jerk, 8223 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-328-0788, theangryjerk.com
Comings & goings
Seafood restaurant The Salt Line, which has a location in D.C., will open in Bethesda in the former Kapnos Kouzina spot in fall 2022. The space had previously been slated for The Riggsby.
Two sushi restaurants are planned for locations in Potomac next year. The owners of Kenaki Sushi Counter in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg will open Kema by Kenaki in Cabin John Village in spring 2022. Bethesda’s Yirasai Sushi will relocate to Park Potomac by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Pizza and pasta restaurant Sugo Osteria closed in July in Park Potomac. Gregorio’s Trattoria has taken over the space and will open its third Montgomery County outpost there (and fourth overall) in 2022.
In Rockville Town Square in late 2021 or early 2022, Èkó House Nigerian restaurant will open in the former Bar Louie space, and El Mercat Bar de Tapas, a Spanish tapas restaurant, will take over the former Gumbo Ya Ya space.
Indian restaurant Spice Xing closed at Rockville Town Square in September. Kumbia, a restaurant serving South American cuisine, is taking over the space and plans to open this winter.
Washington-based hummus restaurant Little Sesame will open in Bethesda Row by the end of the year.
Sweet Block, a carryout and delivery only restaurant featuring Latin American fare, will open in Silver Spring this fall.
Rockville-based coffeeshop Black Lion Café will open a second location in spring 2022 in the Fenton Silver Spring apartments.
In Bethesda, Clove & Cedar Coffeebar closed at the end of August, and Urban Plates in Westfield Montgomery mall closed in September. Ichiban Restaurant in Gaithersburg shuttered in September. And Urban-Bar-B-Que closed its Rockville location on Norbeck Road in October.