If you want to try Winston’s Kitchen next to Our Market on the Oak Bluffs Harbor, might I suggest giving yourself a little time. Only because there’s going to be a long line ahead of you. And the line is there only because the food is delicious. I went on a recent weekday during the lunch rush and the place was packed, which I took to be a good omen.
You can grab breakfast beginning at 7 am, you can grab a hot or cold sandwich for lunch, or you could bring home a nice home-cooked dinner-to-go. I wanted to experience something hot and something cold, so I went for the Italian Sub (12.99), the Steak and Cheese Sub (10.99), the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($9.99), the Sauteed BBQ Mushroom Sandwich (10.99) and, of course, the Jerk Chicken Dinner with rice and beans and veggies ($15). I have three men at home to feed so I take ordering very seriously, and I like to have a bite of each thing I’m writing about before they dig in.
These are not fast-food subs; Winston’s subs are on long sub rolls, cut in half and you get both sides — one for now and one for later, and the prices are excellent. As much as I loved all of the sandwiches, I truly enjoyed the fried chicken sandwich. It was extra crispy, cooked perfectly, and it was filling. It turns out that I accidentally ordered some of their most popular dishes.
“Our subs are all 12 inches,” Lisa wrote me in an email. “The Italian, eggplant Parmesan, steak and cheese, and fried chicken sandwich seem to be our most popular items.” I tried chatting with Lisa when I went to pick up my order, but that proved impossible because of all of the customers behind me.
She explained that she’s been in the restaurant business for 20 years, managing at Season’s, Fishbones, the Oceanview, and Lookout Tavern. Winston began coming to the Vineyard from Jamaica through a work exchange program at Murdock’s Fudge. He found a good fit at Back Door Donuts and Chesca’s, Lisa wrote. He was a baker by day and a chef by night.
“He has always had a real passion for cooking since he was back in Jamaica,” she wrote. “He would go to different work sites selling his food. So when this space became available, he had a vision for it, and a year later, his dream came true.”
Besides my love fest with the fried chicken sandwich, I found the cold Italian sub to be just as tasty. I typically don’t order cold sandwiches, after having my fill of them growing up. This one, though, is an exception. And the jerk chicken dinner, that was delicious too. The one dinner was enough to share at my house.
I was thrilled when Lisa told me that they plan to keep Winston’s Kitchen open year-round.
“We are really excited to be a part of the Oak Bluffs community. We live in Oak Bluffs and we know how few places stay open in winter,” Lisa wrote. “As of now, we are open Tuesday through Sunday, 7 am to 9 pm. We would love to be open Mondays as well, but just like every other business on this Island, we are struggling to find employees. The amount of support and love that the Vineyard has shown us in our first month of being open is unbelievable.”
We tried a lot of menu items on our trip to Winston’s, but there are more I’m dying to try: the Chicken Fajita Wrap with scrambled eggs, seasoned chicken, spinach, peppers, onions, and Swiss cheese ($9) and the Biscuit Breaded Chicken Nuggets with special sauce ($9.99) are first on my list.
You’ll find chicken wings and French fries on the menu, along with an eggplant parm sub, curry chicken, and Thai chili salmon. There will be something for everyone, guaranteed.
Winston’s Kitchen, 1 East Chop Drive, Oak Bluffs. Call 508-687-9572 or order online at winstonskitchenmv.com.