Peppa’s Jerk Chicken


738 Flatbush Avenue


Open daily, 24 hours

Photo by Dominic Perri

Two decades ago Gavin “Peppa” Hussey introduced jerk to central Brooklyn as part of a two-man operation called Danny and Pepper, run from a stall adjoining a Flatbush Avenue fishmonger. When the pair parted ways ten years ago, Hussey moved down the street to peddle his smoky wares at Peppa's Jerk Chicken, which since has become a social hub. (The crowded takeout joint is festooned with flyers and postcards advertising local dance parties.) The kitchen bathes birds in vinegar before coating them in a heady array of spices including ginger, cinnamon, allspice, and scotch bonnet peppers. Those mouth-tingling chiles pervade the chicken's dry rub and a pungent, netherworldly sauce that doesn't let up on the heat. The flow of customers likewise rarely abates; the spice-craving hordes congregate late into the night, clamoring for jerk chicken, escovitch fish, and goat and shrimp curries. Ignore your roti yearnings in favor of festivals, cylinders of fried dough that do a fine job soaking up Hussey's marvelous sauce. After the pepper pummeling, douse your taste buds in homemade lemonade or a bottle of tropical juice, available in flavors like soursop and sorrel.