CALIFORNIA, Md. – The Jamaican Grill brings a taste of Jamaican culture to Southern Maryland with everything from jerk chicken to fried plantains and even Hevi’s very own creation, “Rasta Pasta.” 

On the 26th episode of The BayNet’s Podcast, “Get Real with Chris & Mark,” special guest, Yao Hevi from The Jamaican Grill, brings a table full of flavor while he ‘Gets Real’ about spice and his love for Jamaican culture.

Hevi started the business in 2013 with a couple of friends after a trip surrounded by Jamaican culture inspired him to bring a little bit of that culture to Southern Maryland. 

“When we came back, I just came up with this crazy idea to open up a Jamaican restaurant,” Hevi told Chris and Mark.  

Before the business, Hevi served four years in the U.S. Navy. After he finished college, a job opportunity landed him at NAS Pax River, where he still works as a contractor. 

Chris mentioned in a previous episode that The Jamaican Grill is his go-to stop for lunch during the week, with flavors that consistently satisfy and a convenient location near his office building in California. 

As Chris and Mark tried the Jerk Chicken Tacos, the group discussed that one of the challenges of having a Jamaican restaurant is people’s predisposition regarding the food’s spiciness. 

“Since we opened up the restaurant, there has been a lot of hesitation from people saying, ‘it’s too spicy, that’s why I never go there.’ It is just flavorful. Just come try it,” urged Hevi. 

Hevi mentioned they have spicy sauce for those looking for that extra kick. 

“It is the most moist chicken anywhere. Yeah, I don’t know how you do it. Every time I go there, the chicken is moist and juicy,” exclaimed Chris, “ I want to come in all the time.” 

Hevi revealed that one of their secrets is marinating their chicken for at least 24 hours before it goes directly on the grill. 

“We make sure that seasoning goes all the way through,” Hevi assured. 

Some of The Jamaican Grill’s other specialties include a Pineapple Ginger Drink with the option to add rum, and the Rasta Pasta, which is penne pasta tossed with jerk or grilled chicken, bell peppers, and spinach in a creamy sauce. 

Jamaican cuisine is loaded with dishes that Hevi cycles through on the lunch buffet. That way, people can try something new without ordering a whole meal. 

After the tasting, Chris commented that he loved the atmosphere of The Jamaican Grill restaurant. 

“You go into the place, and you have someone like this here, who’s happy, and you’re having a great time. It’s a great, peaceful, good-quality experience,” Chris finished. 

Follow The Jamaican Grill on Facebook, or visit them at

Take a closer look into the establishment’s food in the full video episode:


Once a week, Century 21 New Millennium Realtors Chris Hill and Mark Frisco ‘Get Real’ with topics surrounding life in Southern Maryland while showcasing local business tastings and highlighting hidden gems in the area.

You can watch or listen to previous episodes at:

If you’ve got a great podcast idea or an awesome business you want to be mentioned, email us at We’d love to hear more about it!

Katie Callander

Writer, Photographer

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  1. My wife and I have been there several times, and each time everything was great. Delicious food and perfect portions. (even enough for leftovers) AND if you stop in to place your order or eat there, make sure to try one of their rum specialties! Flavors that make a person want to be hanging out at a beach cabana somewhere! 🙂

  2. The food has been very tasty the last few times I’ve gone. Definitely looking forward to giving them regular business 👍

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