378 South Branch Road
Hours: Tues–Sat, 11 am–9 pm; Sun, noon–7 pm.
Style: Real Jamaican food with a casual vibe and friendly service, located in a strip mall. Eat in or take out.
Don’t miss: Classic Jamaican patties ($2) in flaky crust are offered in beef, chicken and island vegetable, with hot or medium spice. Authentic specialties include oxtail stew with butter beans ($12 regular; $15 large); and jerk or curry chicken ($10; $13.50). Terrifically tender curried goat is slow-cooked with potatoes ($12). Entrées come with rice and beans, fried plantains and a medley of sautéed fresh vegetables. House-made sorrel ($3), a fruity tea-like drink made from a species of hibiscus, is cool and refreshing.
Heads up: Cherries, raisins and prunes are finely chopped, then added to the batter of the dense, rich Jamaican fruitcake ($3), making each slice chewy rather than chunky. It’s worth a takeout order if you don’t feel like having dessert at the restaurant. Other cakes include carrot, banana, vanilla and strawberry.
The Scoop: Montgomery resident June Lee opened Little Island with her husband and children nine months ago. Lee, whose favorite dishes are oxtails and jerk chicken, says she chose Hillsborough because it is near home, and the area lacks restaurants. A catering menu is also available.