Before I even set foot in the doorway, I heard the music.
Coming out of some modest speakers in the kitchen was the familiar upstroke of a reggae guitar, joined by well-timed bass beats.
Fittingly, I noticed a framed picture of Bob Marley as I entered Troy's Caribbean and Soul Food, a new restaurant on Annapolis Road in Odenton.
Prior to the opening of Troy's, the site was home to another Caribbean-themed restaurant. However, the previous owner decided to move back to Jamaica and that's when Troy Jones, the new owner, saw an opportunity to bring his family's heritage to Odenton.
With a number of family members originally from the Caribbean, Jones wanted to bring the Caribbean-style cooking he grew up with to the general public.
The authenticity of the restaurant couldn't be more evident. Two of Jones' aunts, both of whom are from the Caribbean, help cook in the kitchen. The menu offers up a number of mouthwatering dishes, from jerk chicken to spicy beef patties.
I decided on the jerk chicken dish. I ordered the small portion size, which turned out to be a good thing because even the small portion was almost too much for one sitting. The dish came with four pieces of jerk chicken, a large portion of rice and beans, cooked cabbage and a plantain.
After grabbing a soda, the total came to a very modest $9.49.
I sat down at one of the white-clothed tables and began to test out my purchase. The chicken was moist and tender, but it wasn't as spicy as I prefer. However, after Troy hooked me up with their special jerk sauce, I was in heaven. The sauce had an incredible kick and accented the chicken perfectly.
The sides were just as good. The rice and beans weren't dry and went really well with the jerk chicken. While I don't normally like cabbage, I ate the entirety of my serving. It was crunchy and had a flavorful taste.
I saved the plantain for last, which turned out to be a great decision. It was sweet and soft, but not mushy, and was a great desert to round out the meal.
The constant reggae in the background only enhanced my experience, and I found myself bobbing my head to the music between bites of chicken.
If you're looking for fancy, fine dining, Troy's is not your place. However, if you want an authentic meal amid an incredibly laid back atmosphere, you should really check this restaurant out.