Last Updated on June 24, 2020 by Angie
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There aren't too many places you can get Caribbean food in Pittsburgh, let alone Jamaican food, but Leon's in Allentown is one of them – and it's a spot we'd heard many good things about for quite some time. We recently made the trip there and fell in love with the kicked-up flavors of their traditional curries, stews, and wings.
A Delicious Spread at Leon's Caribbean
Leon's is primarily a takeout style restaurant where you order at the counter. The menu focuses on stews and curries with your choice of protein; chicken, oxtail, goat, shrimp, and fish are just some of the options. There are also a few pasta dishes, wings, and Jamaican patties.
The majority of the menu items are pre-made and ready to go, but the wings and seafood are cooked to order and take about 15 and 30 minutes, respectively. So if you'd like either of those, either call ahead or be prepared to wait a bit (hanging out at nearby Black Forge Coffee House while you wait is a great option- we tried calling ahead but couldn't get through due to them being quite busy and did this while we waited).
On our recent visit we tried the much-lauded jerk chicken. It was smothered in an amazing brown jerk sauce with fiery spiciness and a hint of sweetness. It had such a wonderful depth of flavor and will hit you with the heat! Served with sauteed cabbage and rice and beans, a small portion was more than enough for one meal.
We also tried the oxtail stew with super tender meat that had an intensely rich savoriness. If you're looking for flavor without all the spice, definitely check out this dish. It was also served with cabbage and rice on the side.
A side of fried plantains rounded out our meal with perfect caramelization and starchiness.
The surprise hit of the meal, though, was the escovitch wings. There is only one word good enough to describe these, and that is simply this- wow! These are fried to order with a thick batter, covered in a spicy vinegar sauce, and topped with sauteed onions and peppers (some of which were hot peppers). The coating lost some of its crispiness with the sauce but it was still an addicting flavor combination of sour and spicy.
If you're looking for traditional Caribbean and Jamaican food, head to Leon's, stat. As the seafood options are pretty extensive, we plan on calling ahead next time to try some of them. And you can bet there will be escovitch wings in our order every single time, too!
Leon's Caribbean is located at 823 E Warrington Avenue in Allentown.