Bringing Little Jamaica to Jasper

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The Spice Joint’s Dwain Gilzene is bringing Jamaican food to Jasper

In a tourist town, the midsummer go-to eats and drinks are pizza, burgers, beer and ice cream. Indeed in Jasper, a town of just 4,600 permanent residents inside Alberta’s Jasper National Park, there are at least six pizza joints.

So I’m thrilled to discover, on a little side street off Jasper’s busy main drag, a hole-in-the-wall place specializing in jerk chicken. The Spice Joint is a family business serving authentic Jamaican fare.

How authentic? Consider that co-owner and chef Dwain Gilzene learned to cook as a teenager in Jamaica. After a number of years cooking for upscale Jasper restaurants, he and his wife, Isis, opened The Spice Joint in 2018, offering food based on his recipes.

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The jerk chicken sandwich packs a punch

I go for a spicy but not overpowering jerk chicken sandwich ($10) and a beef Pattie. My companion chooses a jerk chicken Caesar salad wrap ($12). It’s a great, flavourful lunch that doesn’t break the bank in said tourist town.

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The jerk chicken Caesar salad wrap mixes hot and cool

The Spice Joint’s rotating specials include rice and peas, Rasta greens and coconut prawn soup. Sunday dinners point to long-term plans to also open a full-scale Jamaican restaurant.

Maybe sometime in the future they’ll have jerk chicken pizza.

The Spice Joint
614 Connaught Drive, Jasper, Alberta
Weekdays 10 am-9 pm. Closed weekends
780-852-3615

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