From the street, we could see this was the place to be. A raw wood plank exterior promises modern chef-driven cuisine while two towering metal palm trees mounted to the front imply fruity island cocktails and addictive spices. The space is bisected into two separate rooms. The front, a lounge with a bar, TVs, and a fruit juice cooler seems the perfect spot to grab lunch or lean back with cocktails late into the evening; the back, a full dining room with another bar and a DJ booth for the events they frequently host. One wall slides up to the outdoor patio, an inviting spot for a warm summer night.
Owner Tony Levy came to America from Jamaica at age 27 and brought his great grandmother’s recipe for homemade jerk sauce with him. Whatever you order here, get it slow cooked and slathered in jerk sauce. Then wash it down with a Jamaica Jamaica, a smoothie cocktail with fresh pineapple, papaya, banana, strawberry, mango, and, silver rum. No matter how incredible dinner is, you have to save room for dessert because their Homemade Caramel Cake is insane.
Good To Go is located at 711 Howard Street in Evanston, 847-868-8226, goodtogorestaurant.com.
COCONUT FRIED SHRIMPCOCONUT FRIED SHRIMP
There’s no better way to slide into a vacation mindset than biting into their Coconut Fried Shrimp starter. It’s simplicity itself. Fresh shrimp, battered, rolled in fresh coconut shavings and breadcrumbs, and fried. The shrimp are fresh and juicy. The breading adds the perfect crunch and the coconut delivers a vibrantly sweet top note. A mango dipping sauce doubles down on the sweetness that blends beautifully with the seafood.
This is the headliner. The chicken is marinated for two days and then slow-grilled. The aroma is mouthwatering. Great grandma’s homemade jerk sauce is rich and spicy, with a vinegar bite and a smooth sting to the back of the throat. Underneath is the tenderest chicken imaginable with a charcoal smokiness that made us want to order more the moment we’d finished it. A side of sweet grilled plantains and steamed cabbage cools the palate between bites.
GARLIC SEARED SALMON
The Garlic Seared Salmon bridges the gap between savory island food and haute cuisine. The fish is superbly seared with deep garlic flavors. A fresh dill-infused tropical salsa of fresh fruits adds an impeccable counter presence to the salmon injecting a lovely lightness into the dish. A side of pumpkin coconut rice is so delightfully creamy that it practically acts as dessert on the plate.