There’s a lot of people and places out here in the world claiming to serve Jamaican Jerk, but I can promise you that no one can do jerk the way Jamaicans can! I recently returned from Jamaica, on one of the best trips I’ve ever been on in life and one of the things I was most concerned with was having some authentic Jamaican Jerk.
All of my friends who had ever been to Jamaica urged me to check out Scotchie’s. Located in the heart of Montego Bay, not only was it easy to find, but it’s also a local favorite and it gave me a chance to truly interact with the loving Jamaican locals. Upon arrival, I was in love with the viewing of the cooking. Not only could you smell the chicken and pork cooking on the hot grill, but you could see it. That was a special treat, considering, it’s the sweet wood and pimento wood logs that made their grilled delicacies so special. For this food to have such an amazing prep, you would think that it would break the bank, but it doesn’t! A quarter chicken is $300 (Jamaican), which is $3.84 USD. Half a chicken is $600 or about $6.96 USD. And a whole chicken is $1200 or about $14 USD. Not bad, right? I def scored me a half chicken and half pork, with a few sides–all under $15!
The sides–man, don’t even get me started on those (photo above)! Most BBQ joints rely mores on people gushing over their grilled meats, so they don’t tend to focus on the sides. But Jamaica has local veggies that are to die for! From festivals (almost like a hush puppies), breadfruit (which wasn’t my fave–super starchy and dry), rice & peas (prepared in coconut milk), plantains, yams and sweet potatoes–which are nothing like the big orange things you’re used to. Part of the experience is sweating it out, under hut-like umbrellas, in Jamaica’s heat. Speaking of heat–they have a pepper sauce called Scotch Bonnet, that’s got to be the most flavorful and hot sauce I’ve ever had. You can eat in, or you can take out, but there’s something super authentically Jamaican about eating in. Here’s what I tried (all photos from FollowMeFoodie.com):
- Mon-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm
- Sunday 11:00am-9:00pm