BBQ Review

Shaky Jake's (closed)

401 Stockbridge Road

Great Barrington, MA 01230

(413) 854-2400



category: Massachusetts BBQ, Berkshires BBQ






On Route 7 in Great Barrington a little further north of Route 7 Grill, we spotted billowing smoke by a roadside shack with a Jamaican theme. I immediately pulled over to get the details (and order a few items). It's called Shaky Jake's and it had been open only two weeks. They have a smoker by the roadside shack, but you eat in a small restaurant further back, either in the small Jamaican-themed room or on the outdoor deck.

Shaky Jake's is run by an American who spent two decades in Port Antonio, Jamaica, the birthplace of jerk.


The menu consists of mostly smoked Jamaican fare: jerk ribs, jerk chicken, patties, ackee. I love barbecue and I love Jamaican, so this fusion sounded like a great concept and had me ready to fall in love before my first bite.


Ribs were served cold and brutally tough. Chicken was dry, tasteless (where was the jerk?) and borderline raw. Cole slaw was little more than shredded cabbage. They forgot our corn. It took a few trips to get silverware. At least the patty was good, with a pleasingly flaky crust and well sliced chicken inside. I'm guessing this was frozen though. I also liked their own brand of jerk sauce, which bore a Shaky Jake's label but had a bottle shape and flavor identical to the Walkerswood brand.


The bottom line: Like I said, I love barbecue and I love Jamaican, so Shaky Jake's fusion of the two had me ready to fall in love before my first bite. Good thing I didn't, because the execution was shaky.




The roadside smoker and shack caused me to brake suddenly..



Further back is a real restaurant.



The colorful inside dining room has plenty ofJamaican artifacts.



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Jerk chicken with slaw.



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Another look at the chicken.



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A Jamaican patty, with spicy chicken.



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There's plenty of jerk for sale.



The jerk sauce was very flavorful, though salty like Walkerswood.



Ting soda, imported from Jamaica. Don't you worry 'bout a Ting. Just worry about everything else.





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