A beloved food truck turned brick-and-mortar in April 2018, Big Jerk Caribbean may be the nicest “jerks” in town, and that’s particularly true for vegans since it’s a vegan-friendly restaurant in Las Vegas.
After going mostly plant-based himself a year ago, Jamaican-born founder Tramaine Stephens is still bringing the Caribbean flair, but without the animal products. In fact, all the rice dishes and house-made sauces, like traditional jerk, sweet ja and spicy bomboclaat are all vegan-friendly … with nary any omni knowing it.
At Big Jerk, you can turn the side dishes into a massive meal, and we’re cool with it since the dishes are so flavorful.
You know when you taste something so good that you’re actually sad when it comes down to your last bite?
The Curry Rice made with coconut milk and spices will make you consider licking the bowl. Pair that with a veggie medley of peppers, onions, carrots, and spinach sautéed in jerk spice, garlic and shallots. Now, that’s how you eat your veggies!
And, of course, that hand-strained ginger pineapple juice is the perfect companion for any meal.
Moving on to a classic: Rice and Peas.
It’s very aPEASing (sorry, couldn’t help it), even though there are no actual peas in the dish. Stephens says in Jamaica, the recipe is whipped up with pigeon peas, but since those are hard to come by here in the States, Big Jerk uses red beans.
So, yeah, it’s red beans & rice, but it’s called rice and peas. Confused? It’s ok. Just start eating and you’ll call it “Yum” thanks to the coconut milk, cabbage, carrots, onions, bell peppers and a touch of heat, courtesy of habanero chilies. This order comes with fried plantains, because why not? They’re so good and they’re a staple in Caribbean fare.
How about some leafy greens? We’ve got two words to convince you to order this — mango vinaigrette. It’s what makes this traditional side salad anything but boring. Enjoy a combination of mixed greens, peppers, onions, tomatoes, cut up plantains and did we mention the mango vinaigrette?
Finally, if you’re craving a burger and (yucca root) fries, Big Jerk adds jerk seasoning and marinade, shallots and garlic to a Beyond Burger patty, topped with cheese, mixed greens, onion, tomato and pineapple. Just be sure to request a vegan bun or get it protein-style, wrapped in lettuce.
430 E. Silverado Ranch Blvd., 89183, 702-427-5267, Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Courtney Perna is an EMMY Award winning Lifestyle TV Host and Journalist. She loves traveling, particularly solo travel, and of course, seeking out vegan food around Las Vegas! When she’s not working, you’ll find her cheering for her Michigan State Spartans; playing with her two pitbulls, Bubbles and Buddy; hiking the amazing landscape in Southern Nevada; or shopping at the nearest shoe sale.