Restaurant Review: Angie’s Bikkles

jerk chicken with curried goat

Angie’s Bikkles, the hidden Jamaican gem located across from JPS Hospital, offers authentic, home-cooked Caribbean dishes with no frills but plenty of flavor.

| photography by Alex Lepe |

About two years ago, owner Maureen Hucey, aka “Angie,” relocated her Caribbean eatery from West Berry to its current location in the hospital district. Despite its humble location, Angie has been building a solid and diverse customer base ever since. The vibe at Angie’s is everything you might expect. The otherwise plain dining room gets its charm from the brightly colored murals painted on the walls, as well as the Caribbean décor and music. Of course, the most charming part of Angie’s is the owner herself, who greets her guests warmly and happily answers questions about the menu’s more exotic offerings.

One question we asked is one Maureen hears often: “So what exactly is a bikkle?” Very similar to the British word “vittles,” she explained, a bikkle is a Jamaican Patois word for food. Anyone familiar with the cuisine is aware of its British roots, and the menu at Angie’s is no exception—from its fried pies and codfish to its puddings and fruit cake.

Maureen immediately talked us into sampling the more traditional drink offerings on the menu. The Pine Ginger ($4) is a sweet pineapple-citrus juice that has a serious burst of ginger flavor. We also really enjoyed the Christmas taste in the cherry-red Sorrel beverage ($4), which tasted a lot like clove-spiked, nonalcoholic sangria.

The menu doesn’t really have appetizers, but several of the available sides ($3 each) could work as starters if you are so inclined. Entrée servings are generous, so we opted for a classic side of fried sweet plantains. I also recommend the rich and creamy macaroni and cheese, which is topped with melted cheese—although you may not want to share it.

All entrées come with a side of long-grain rice and “peas” (actually kidney beans) and your choice of bacon-infused collard greens or stewed cabbage. The onion and pork flavor of the collards was on point, but the cabbage was also very flavorful. You can’t go wrong with either selection.

For protein, we decided to start simple with an order of Jerk Chicken (Sm-Lg, $8-12) and Curried Goat (Sm-Med, $11-13). The spice-encrusted jerk chicken is served on the bone and has the classic allspice and ginger flavor as well as some moderate peppery heat. The real heat comes from a spicy, sticky-sweet sauce that is served on the side.

The curried goat was rustic and delicious. Reminiscent of a savory English curry but with a spicy boost of scotch bonnet, the dish features tender pieces of goat meat (served on the bone) and large chunks of potato.

For dessert, we were hoping to sample the Sweet Potato Pudding ($5) but never managed to visit when it was available. The Jamaican Fruit Cake ($5) didn’t disappoint, however—mostly because it didn’t resemble its classic cousin in the slightest. The sweet, dense cake has almost a brownie-like consistency and gets its moistness from the addition of pureed prunes and other fruits.

Without exception, at Angie’s you can expect simple and savory soul food flavors with island flair.

Location: 1704 Galveston Ave.
For Info: 817.443.5757
Hours: Tues.-Thur. 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
What We Liked: Serving sizes are generous and prices are reasonable.
What We Didn’t: This is definitely home cooking, so some dishes may not be in stock or they may take some time to prepare..
Our Recommendations: Choose the jerk chicken entrée over the sandwich, which is chopped chicken tossed with jerk sauce, served on an oversized, soft roll. You have much more control over the level of heat and sweetness in the entrée than the sandwich.