People’s Choice Kitchen, 651 Chili Ave. 464-8790
Owner: Evangelan “Van” Stanley
Hours: 11 AM-9 PM, Mon.-Sat.
Facebook: People’s Choice Kitchen
Comments: Judging by the foot traffic when I visited around 1 PM on 7/10/14, this is truly the People’s Choice! Mark had to wait in line to ask Van two quick questions, and then five people were lined up behind me! This is the capital for jerk chicken in Rochester! The savory meat melts off the bone, and has been Van’s claim to fame since she first opened in 2001 at 507 Chili across from the bank. She has been in her current location for 2 ½ years, at the corner of Chili and Turner St. This location was most recently Best Place and formerly for years the Turn In Tavern.
On a previous visit, one customer presented an opposing view. “They have the best ox tails in Rochester!” They also have ribs, and a new menu item, pulled pork. Several sides are available for individual purchase for $2.50. People’s Choice Kitchen offers a variety of Caribbean-style foods. Many traditional, some unique.
Van is also involved in catering, especially with musicians coming to town, as evident by the photos surrounding the walls of her place. A native of Bainbridge, Georgia, Van is a grad of East High and attended Bryant and Stratton and RBI, majoring in business. A huge achievement has been as organizer of “Sisters Giving Smiles,” with several hair care salons and spas, to give women living in domestic violence a “day of beauty” for Women’s Place and Liberty Manor Shelters, in honor of her sister.
Her dream for the future is to open a second larger location, possibly in a suburb, to give her fantastic food to those not fortunate to live in our neighborhood!