Jamaican me hungry

by Greg Mayer

One final culinary note on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Gulfport, just to the east of Long Beach, is a larger town with an active sea port, and a greater diversity of culinary offerings. Most notable is the variety of Oriental cuisines, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese, in addition to Chinese. I’ve had good Vietnamese food there (many Vietnamese immigrants took up fishing along the Gulf Coast), and I’ve received favorable reports on the sushi. But on my last visit I got a chance to visit a new (about 6 months old) Jamaican restaurant, the Jamerican Caribbean Cafe .

Jamerican Caribbean Cafe, Gulfport, MS

I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Jamaica, especially as a grad student, and my main meal of the day was often patties and a Red Stripe. The sign offering curry goat (hard to get in Wisconsin) and jerk was irresistible. While traveling in Jamaica, I’d visited the original Boston Jerk Center, in Boston Bay, as well as others (signs in Kingston hailing the availability of Boston jerk were amusing, especially to someone living in Cambridge).

Jamerican Caribbean Cafe, Gulfport, MS

The owner, originally from Ocho Rios, served us. Curry goat was not available that day, and the patty supply had been wiped out by the lunch crowd. My daughter had the jerk chicken, while I went for the brown stew, which is a dish I didn’t know from Jamaica. Both were excellent, the jerk spicy, the stew milder and sweeter with root vegetables. In both, the chicken was prepared in the cleavered Jamaican style. The Red Stripe and ginger beer (a very strong style of the latter) also satisfied.

5 Comments

  1. Hempenstein
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    One of the better facets of my 7yr exile in New Jersey yrs ago was a Puerto Rican restaurant in New Brunswick.

    Standard fare was chicken that had been hacked to maximize the surface area and fried at high temp, sealing in the juices, which I suppose is what you mean by cleavered. With red beans & rice, & fried green(!) plantain, it was great. They had the high octane ginger ale, too, as well as a soda that tasted just like bubble gum. Unfortunately, I don’t know what it was called, and I’ve never run into it since. Anyone familiar with that?

  2. Thomas Massey
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Yeah man, glad fi hear seh yoh come a jamdown!
    It soun like u enjoy youself!

    Translation
    Yes Greg, Happy to hear that you came to Jamaica! It sounded like you enjoyed yourself.

  3. Marella
    Posted January 15, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Those patties look a lot like what we’d (Australians) call pasties, only a pasty (pronounced pahsty)includes vegetables, usually potato, carrots and peas.

  4. Kirth Gersen
    Posted January 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I did my Master’s research in the mountains in Jamaica, and breakfasted many a day on leftover curry goat. Mmmmm!


%d bloggers like this: