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Negril, Jamaica

Negril, Jamaica
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  • Negril, Jamaica

    Post #1 - January 17th, 2008, 7:57 pm
    Post #1 - January 17th, 2008, 7:57 pm Post #1 - January 17th, 2008, 7:57 pm
    I've been going there since the late 80's but always interested to know what places other folks enjoy for (both beach and cliffs):
    Breakfast
    Patty
    Jerk
    Dinner
  • Post #2 - January 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm
    Post #2 - January 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm Post #2 - January 17th, 2008, 8:23 pm
    pamiela wrote:I've been going there since the late 80's but always interested to know what places other folks enjoy for (both beach and cliffs):
    Breakfast
    Patty
    Jerk
    Dinner

    Just as I'm sure your fellow LTHers would enjoy learning about your favorite places.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - January 18th, 2008, 1:11 am
    Post #3 - January 18th, 2008, 1:11 am Post #3 - January 18th, 2008, 1:11 am
    Not since the 80's but I do hit Negril yearly since I went on spring break there a few years back. The options arent the greatest if you dont like local cusine but I happen to love it so I have no trouble eating when there. A few of my fave's that I can recall right now include

    Ossie's Smoke Shack- Located on Norman Manley (the main street along seven mile beach) this no frills jerk pit slangs the best jerked pork in the area and it is a must try for any BBQ/Spicy food junkie.

    Best in the West- Located on the cliffs, they serve a damn good Jerk chicken but the truth of the matter is the best jerked chicken is to be found along the beach at night and along Norman Manley BLVD at sunset* by the local vendors, most of whom use a real deal spicy homemade jerk sauce recipe dating back to their grandmothers and actual smoke. What im getting at is dont go to Jamaica and try the jerk chicken at a fancy restaurant or off your resorts menu, its an injustice to the cusine's true colors.

    Rick's Cafe- One of the best bars in the world, its not about the food here but the food good for what it is. I like the jerked lobster. The view is amazing and the vibe is chill. Grab a drink sit back, relax and catch a contact.

    Kuyaba on the beach- On the beach as the name says, this is more of an upscale joint that will be packed and have a wait if its peak season (Winter and March) Its worth the wait, the food is really good and the atmosphere is even better. I like the shrimp wrapped in bacon, any of the pasta dishes with lobster and any piece of fresh seafood.

    Bar B Barn- Actually a hotel and my suggestion for anyone looking for a low priced hotel that gets the job done. Service here is top notch and the rooms are nice for the price, it also has one of the best bars on the beach.

    The bar b barn is run by the godfather of Negril, Norm, who is also a professionally trained chef. Norm runs a spot called Norm's gourmet works and honestly ive never eaten there. Where you need to go is the little shack to the left of the hotel (if your back is to the ocean) I forget the name but this spot is only open for lunch and it is where all the locals eat. A must try, they serve real authentic island cusine that most of the locals probaly grew up on, alot of chicken and rice and peas.

    Moon Dance Villa's- If your going with a group of people and price isnt an issue than this is your spot. The premier five star resort of Jamaica has the best service/experience you will find on the island.

    You want it/need it, they get it to you. The villas are so amazing you sometimes want to just stay inside and sip red stripe light (only avail on the island) But the food, which is totally decided by you and cooked by the villas chefs is to die foe. Most of the chefs are older ladies who have been doing their thang for years now and its just as if you were goin home to Ma's for dinner except your staying in total luxury. Also dont get confused and think they dont do the fancy lobster and fish dishes you might expect, they have that if you want it, its just they also do curried goat, my favorite from here and all the other regional stuff they have to offer.

    Juici Patties- The patty is the hamburger of Jamaica and Juici is like the McDonalds, only real deal food. Its located in the middle of town next to the main supermarket and rarely visited by tourists but well worth it.

    Thats all off the top of my head right now but ill be sure to update this thread as I continue my trips to heaven. Also I was excited to see that Anthony Bourdain will be taking his show, No reservations there this year although mad he still hasnt made it to Chicago!?!?!?!?!?
  • Post #4 - January 18th, 2008, 11:45 am
    Post #4 - January 18th, 2008, 11:45 am Post #4 - January 18th, 2008, 11:45 am
    I haven't been to Negril in a couple years, but visited annually for 12 years.

    Juicy's, in town, has the best meat patties. The beef patties are great, and the shrimp patties are amazing.

    Norm's at the Bar-B-Barn is great for dinner. Among my favorite were conch fritters, jerk shrimp, BBQ ribs (Jamaican style), and, if he's got it, the pineapple upside-down cake. Norm was the executive chef of the top hotel in Kingston, as well as Wyndham Rose Hall a number of years ago. His sister owns the Bar-B-Barn hotel.

    For jerk, Da Buss was the best, but I think it closed down. However, the owners may have reopened with a different name. It's on Manley Blvd., on the 7-mile beach next to the old bus.

    I found Norma's to be elegant, but nothing spectacular. Norma Shirley is one of the top chefs on the island, so I was a bit disappointed with the meal.

    Rick's is an overpriced tourist trap, but nice for a drink at sunset.

    Sweet Spice, if still there, is a local, inexpensive Jamaican restaurant with outstanding seafood and soups. It's a ways from downtown, on White Hall Road, but every cab driver knows it.

    Rockhouse is up in the cliffs and quite romantic. The food's good and the view is spectacular.
  • Post #5 - January 18th, 2008, 3:37 pm
    Post #5 - January 18th, 2008, 3:37 pm Post #5 - January 18th, 2008, 3:37 pm
    Okay, here are my favorites beach:
    Bar-B-Barn, except that I heard Norm left.
    Angela's, upstairs from Bar-b-Barn, great Italian.
    Bourbon Beach (old DeBuss), the atmosphere is not the same but the jerk is still hotter than Haiti.
    Niah's for patties (in the Wavz complex).
    Cosmo's for anything! A Negril standard.
    Coco LaPalm for breakfast.
    Neville the patty man on his bike.
    Some of favs have changed so haven't been there in a while.....Gino's...not the same since the owner was murdered.

    Cliff:
    Rockhouse is the best!
    LTU Pub has wonderful dishes.
    Xtabi for lunch and a snorkel.
    Brown Sugar for breakfast.
    Pee Wee's for breakfast.
    Just Natural if you like vegetarian.

    Town:
    Sweet Spice is classic Jamaican.
    I loved Paradise Yard...but it's gone.


    So many places we used to go (small mom & pop joints) have closed up as they just couldn't compete with the all inclusives.

    Just looking to see what places other folks have tried and liked that perhaps I've never ventured into.

    This trip I'm bound and determined to get to 3 Dives in the cliffs for jerk!
    Last edited by pamiela on January 29th, 2008, 10:16 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #6 - January 19th, 2008, 2:18 am
    Post #6 - January 19th, 2008, 2:18 am Post #6 - January 19th, 2008, 2:18 am
    pamiela wrote:So many places we used to go (small mom & pop joints) have closed up as they just couldn't compete with the all inclusives.


    I haven't been to Negril in 25 years, but I remember some of my favorite meals (chicken, jerk, conch) were bought along the beach, from small vendors that very well might have disappeared.

    I can see the value of inclusives (especially if you want to just kick back, relax and forget about doing anything very taxing, like thinking about dinner), but I put them in the same category as quick service restaurants: their main selling point is convenience.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #7 - January 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Post #7 - January 19th, 2008, 10:55 am Post #7 - January 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    David Hammond wrote:I can see the value of inclusives (especially if you want to just kick back, relax and forget about doing anything very taxing, like thinking about dinner), but I put them in the same category as quick service restaurants: their main selling point is convenience.


    We had some friends that went to Jamaica, stayed at an all inclusive, and NEVER had any island food. They didn't have fish once. Now that's a shame!

    I have eaten drum chicken from the guys on the road, but when I only have 7 nights in Negril, I prefer to have a nice fish dinner at one of the locally owned and operated eating establishment. I can remember the days at Pete's Restaurant on the beach, he would wait until he had enough people out on the beach at tables awaiting dinners (and after you'd had at least 3 Red Stripes) to start cooking dinner!

    My favorite was going to a place on the cliffs (roadside) and ordering chicken; we get our beers; and then notice the same person getting in his car and driving away......when he returned, it was from the store where he went to get a couple of chickens. Said he did it that way so they were fresh. I believe it was actually because he couldn't afford to have inventory at that point (he had just opened). It was a good lunch. Just took forever. But the upside was that while waiting we took a walk down the road (this place was near the lighthouse) and ended up buying a painting from a local painter. It still hangs in my kitchen.

    I miss that old Jamaica......2 hours for a meal. Ah sweet Jamaica.
  • Post #8 - January 20th, 2008, 8:35 am
    Post #8 - January 20th, 2008, 8:35 am Post #8 - January 20th, 2008, 8:35 am
    I stopped going to Negril a long time ago but my all time favorite was Brown's Pork Pit for jerk chicken and pork. Another fav was Jabbas ital Ethiopian health food for veggie patties and mushroom tea. Peewee's up on the cliffs had killer lobster.
    My last trip down was about 10 years back and I was sad to discover that Brown's was bulldozzed to make way for a supermarket, Peewee had met with foul play and was found floating in the sea and Jabba was gone. :cry:
  • Post #9 - January 20th, 2008, 12:11 pm
    Post #9 - January 20th, 2008, 12:11 pm Post #9 - January 20th, 2008, 12:11 pm
    PeeWee may be gone but they still celebrate his birthday every year.
  • Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 10:35 am
    Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 10:35 am Post #10 - January 21st, 2008, 10:35 am
    The one time I went to Jamaica (I was "covering" Spring Break for a college magazine...tough job), I spent time in Mobay and Negril, and I don't remember which town this place was in...it was a decorative, purple house just off a main road. I sat on the porch and had a peanut butter and banana omelette (which sounds gross, but it was delicious) and one of the best cups of coffee I'd ever had.

    Ring any bells? :roll:

    I also went on an insane mountain/cliff biking trek with a lunatic who lived in the coolest treehouse ever, and he fed us beef patties from a local vendor. I've got to wonder...is there such a thing as a bad patty in Jamaica?

    Also...in case you're looking for a taste of Jamaica here in Chicago, I can't get enough of the beef patties at the Carribean American Baking Co. on the northside. I buy boxes of frozen patties to heat up for a quick lunch or snack.

    Caribbean American Baking Co.
    1539 W. Howard ST.
    Chicago, IL 60626
    (773) 761-0700
  • Post #11 - April 4th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    Post #11 - April 4th, 2009, 2:55 pm Post #11 - April 4th, 2009, 2:55 pm
    I'm back folks. After spending three weeks in Jamaica its back to reality and I got some food posts to go with it. I just read a great little report on St. Kitts by BR who also loves the Caribbean like me. However my favorite island in the West Indies is bar none...Jamaica. Its amazing how all these little islands that are so close in proximity are so diffeent in food/culture. I first went to Negril on spring break back in 03 and this past trip was my 4th to the island since then but first with a camera.

    Jamaica gets a bad rap for being unsafe by some people and its kind of joke to me when I hear people saying "we didn't leave our resort" I for one would never go to another country and hide in a little commercial real estate development. While some spots in Montego Bay can be dangerous at night and Trenchtown and Old Kingston (neighborhoods in Kingston) are downright dangerous, answer me this one question. Who the hell comes on vacation in Chicago and hangs out in the Austin and Lawndale neighborhoods? exactly. Negril, Jamaica is my favorite place on earth and it has a whole lot to do with the people that live there. The only way your going to feel unsafe is if you mess with a tourist. The people of Negril know just how important the visitors are and as I have seen on every trip if you mess with a tourist and do something unruly to them then your going to get your ass beat and the cops will haul you to jail after the locals beat your face in. Now onto the reasons why Jamaica is my favorite island vacation destination and Negril my favorite place on the island. If your planning a vacation to Negril then think very hard about staying at the Bar B Barn if you like to have a good time and great, great service. As I mention above its the bar b barn or bust unless your doing it real big ($$$$) in which I highly recommend staying at the Moondance villas which I was lucky enough to do one spring break. Its a Chicago owned property and they put alot of work into the community. They just opened a new property in the cliffs that is top notch as far as everything goes.

    Reason 1: The Beauty

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    The drive from Montego bay to Negril is a beauty and Jamaica's landscape is the only of its type with mountains and beaches making it one of the most beautiful countries on the map. Every coastline is a different scene and in the middle you have mountains.

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    Jamaica is big with US, Canadian and Italian tourists

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    View from the bar at the Bar B Barn Hotel on 7 mile beach at sunset

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    walk to the beach

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    Negril has two totally different atmospheres in the cliffs and the beach and I love both. Negril starts out as 7-mile beach and extends all the way to the West End which is the cliffs. This is the drive along the way.

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    Orange Hill outside Negril is an amazing little community that I would like to have a spot in one day

    Reason 2: The People & Culture

    Jamaica is an amazing place to meet people and every time I go to Negril I meet people from every facet of life from the rude boys to the elite of Kingston on vacation in their favorite destination in the country and everything in between. Not only will you meet some wonderful locals from the island but the people that vacation in Negril know whats up and everything its about and you will meet wonderful groups of people from all over. On this particular trip I met some real characters from a bike gang in Duluth, MN, restaurateurs from Naples Italy, Lawrence, KN, spring breakers from Tokyo, railroad conductors from Winnipeg Canada, Jamaicans from Evanston, IL there for the winter, spring breakers from University of Indiana and Wisconsin and a group of 18 people from California in their 50's and 60s with some couples and some singles who were making their 13th trip to Negril and not one of them had missed one trip. Its too hard to explain in words and sometimes pictures do a better job. The locals are amazing people and everyone I met insisted I come over to their place and meet their family's and everytime I went and did it we had a great time. I dont think of myslef as a tourist anymore when Im over there because its basically my 2nd home and I will spend winters there sometime soon.

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    Jamaica is filled with little roadside bars/shacks...a favorite of mine

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    If you ever see these two selling their grandmas homemade pastrys it would be wise to flag them down and get one of each to keep in your room as snacks. The donuts and coconut pies were my favorite but everyone has there own favorite and they sell out quick.

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    The King and most popular person amongst the people

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    Negril is the live music capitol of Jamaica and during the spring months the best of the best come out. I went to over 15 live shows and the "Marley Magic" with Stephen Marley, Damien "JR gong" and a few others along with Capleton was a stunner but the rest of the shows didn't disappoint either. We saw amazing concerts from Sizzla, Beenie Man, Ziggy Marley, Kartel, Jim Laden and a slew of others. There is literally a live show every night on the beach or in the cliffs and some are huge and some are small size wise, some are for all the people and some you shouldn't go to unless you know what your getting into...I knew.

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    Signs announcing shows are all over Negril

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    The stage at Bourbon Beach (on 7mile beach) has a musician on it 5 nights a week (December thru March) and the concerts go late so if you don't like noise its best to stay in the cliffs.

    No country puts out more music (US and Great Britain included) than Jamaica and Negril is where you have to go to see it. All the artists stay at the bar b barn since the days when Peter Tosh used to be a regular and I met a couple big time and a few up and coming stars in the dancehall and reggae world and they couldn't of been nicer people wanting to show me their country. I even went to Kingston and saw the real Kingston with a well known deejay and it was very interesting to say the least. and I'll have a food report from there later on.

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    Usain Bolt and the men and women Jamaican sprinters were the stars of the Beijing summer games along with Michael Phelp's.

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    The kids are always as happy as can be when walking home from school and you'll see all of them doing it. You just dont see that in Chicago anymore.

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    Little Jamaican kids love meeting people and are so vibrant and social that their energy is contagious. The kids are the happiest kids on earth.

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    every night at the popular cliff hangout "Mi Yard"

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    No worries mon

    Reason 3: The Food (Did you see that coming?)


    The food of the country is just another reason its a must visit in my book especially for the BBQ men and like the Jamaica tourist council slogan says "once you go, you know" In a country that takes its arts so serious you better believe that food plays a huge role in the culture of the island. Here are some of the islands signature must eat dishes found around Negril.

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    All along the beach and cliffs are spots to choose from and none seem to disappoint...just don't go to Burger King

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    Seafood is obviously very fresh and a must eat while down there. here a fisherman displays his catch for the day as he try's to sell it to the restaurants along the beach. I believe he said this was pompano fish.

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    Whole fried snapper (head underneath) done escovitch style (vinegar and peppers) from a popular locals lunch spot called Juicy J's (right by the bank in the center of town) What a meal for under $7 US.

    The Jerk (anything)

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    The men do the grilling and every Jamaican has a recipe for Jerked chicken and a family sauce they claim to be the best.

    The only place in Negril to get real jerk (Its becoming harder to find everywhere on the island) is at Bourbon Beach

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    The real setup for jerked pork/chicken is not those popular garbage can carts. The carts do however still do a damn fine job.

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    There are 100s and 100s of vendors along the beach and cliffs that sell their chicken late into the night.

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    as you can see they layer pimento branches above charcoal and then place the chicken on the branches and then use a piece of wood to press the chickens.

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    Jerked chicken from Bourbon Beach with their best on the island Jerk sauce is most likely the best jerk chicken in Negril

    Jerked Pork is my favorite meal on earth and if I had a choice for my last meal on earth this would be it...hell wouldn't be so hot after eating some of this spicy pigness.

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    Scotchies has a reputation for some of the best jerked pork and chicken in Jamaica. They have a location in Ochos Rios and Montego Bay. This was my first meal on the island.

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    Scotchies had some damn good pork and the sauce was some of the best i had anywhere but there wasn't enough bones in it and it was a little more like pulled pork than chopped rib tips.

    This is where my camera starts getting screwed up. Despite the fact that I have all the pictures I took in my folder. Some of the pictures are different pictures once I open them up. I can see the original photo that its supposed to be when its small but when you click the photo its a totally different photo then the one its supposed to be. I dont know why this is but I lost alot of good pictures b/c of it. I can still see the original photo but once opened its a totally different one.

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    Ragabones aka The red Dragon seems to be the most popular spot amongst tourists, locals and relocated people for jerked pork. It was good but not the best on my search. I had planned to take the 7 hour trip with a local friend of mine to Boston Bay (the birthplace of jerk) but just couldn't leave Negril when we had planned due to some fun stuff going on around town. Negril will do that to you. I changed my flight twice and almost extended it a third time. Anthony Bourdain really screwed up when he didnt try any jerked pork on the Jamaican episode.

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    jerked pork from Bigga's in Green Island (en route to Negril) Hes the man at the can in the first picture in the food section up top of this post. This was very tasty but boneless and thus not my style.

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    Jerked pork from Bourbon beach was also good but not the best. It was also boneless and made differently than their chicken is. The sauce is the same fire that they use on the chicken. So hot and so good.

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    menu at Ossies

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    many funny signs like this at all the restaurants (Ossies)

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    as I stated in a post made a few years ago...Ossies (on the beach) is the best jerked pork in Negril and my favorite meal on earth. Think rib tips that are jerked to perfection smoked with the pimento and a hot sauce made with tomatillos to top it off makes this one of the best meals anywhere. Ossie and his wife knows whats up and this is a must stop in Negril.

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    Every meal I ate fell under the "best thing you've eaten lately" category including this succulent curried goat from another locals favorite located near the Texaco called Sweet Spice. It was the most tender meat bones and all included with a rich curry sauce that works great with goat. I'm always happy to eat an animal that's cursed my team of a world series title and some people even offered to sacrifice one for us if we wanted to. In all seriousness though this was superb.

    My hotel (The Bar B barn) is run by the Thompson family. I love staying local as I said above and the Thompson family has a bunch of trained chefs and the restaurants on the property are both excellent. There isnt a better run hotel in town and its always better to stay with the locals. This is where you meet people who keep you coming back for life. Sharon, Hope, Tracee and Colin at the bar are the best at their jobs and the staff and family that runs this property is a huge reason I keep coming back to Jamaica. Norm (son of the owners and brother to Angela, the GM) has left the island to run a hotel in Dominica and I was sad to hear that but happy to hear he and his family are doing very well.

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    Angela's is where almost all of the Italian tourists eat everyday. My buddy with us who lived in Rome explained they aren't very fond of trying other cultures foods but we still met some interesting people. Never in a million years did I expect this place, which I have been to countless times while there, to have some the best cracker crisp and extra thin tavern style pizza I have ever consumed.

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    Tavern style pizza better than most places in Chicago's thin crust

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    Jerked sausage, pepperoni, Bari super hot giardinara (brought from home for the cooks there, they couldn't handle the heat) and green peppers. By week 2 we had them cutting the pizza in squares.

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    The bar at the bar b barn (best in the carib) has every drink on the walls surrounding it. Dont see one you like? ask Sharon, Hope or Colin for one of their special drinks. Just be ready to crawl back to your place after a few of these.

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    a typical Jamaican lunch at the Bar B Barn Bar (1 beef patty, 1 Bob Marley and 1 Red Stripe)

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    fish n chips for lunch from the Bar B Barn Restaurant

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    Garlic butter jerked lobster for dinner

    Chef Teddy at the Hide-a-way restaurant is the former chef at Kuyaba. Hes a good friend of ours and this man can cook. Go see him for dinner at the Blue Cave castle in the cliffs one night and you will feel alright.

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    Ive loved conch since the days I was a kid and we went on family vacations to the Bahamas and Key West for the Easter holidays. These conch fritters will likely cause me to not like any other renditions of them ever again. They were the best piece of friend seafood I have had in a longtime.

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    Spicy calypso shrimp

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    Lobster Thermidor

    Chicken lavish up in the cliffs is a legendary restaurant that specializes in a great amount of chicken dishes. Aside from Jamaicans there is a good amount of Chinese and Indian locals and the flavors from these countries can be found in the islands cuisine.

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    You cant find sweet and sour chicken this good in Chicago

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    The fried chicken wanted to give Harold a run for his money it was so tasty. the fries were better than most US spots and this place does not disappoint no matter what you order.

    The Push cart is my go to spot to take the all the natural beauty's that inhabit the island too. Its located right next to the more expensive and world famous Rockhouse up in the cliffs. Its owned by the same people and the food is very good and the price is affordable compared to the Rockhouse and you get the same view at sunset. I do love the Rockhouse and my man Randy that tends bar there will take care of you, tell him you know me and all will be good.

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    Jamaican hot pepper shrimp is another famous dish...

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    ...as are oxtails braised in Red Stripe from (both from The Push Cart) I had this four different times on my last trip. Delicious.

    23/7 is a sports bar owned by a New Yorker who was a trade and said F*ck it, Im moving to Negril its located right on the beach and has all the sports needs of Americans and Europeans and they serve really good food late into the night. Its open 24 hours a day.

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    amazing fried jerked wings

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    Great burger and homemade fries...sometimes you just need some bar food when your gone that long.

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    NY style slices available very late

    One of the best food stops on the trip was when a friend who we met down there who is from Jamaica and has a house there and in palatine brought us too his place in Orange Hill for the day.

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    This little shack produced two of the best meals on the whole trip and we ate like champs

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    ackee (a fruit) and saltfish is another one of Jamaica's claims to fame in the food world. Typically eaten for breakfast its a great combo of flavors and tastes very much like eggs.

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    ackee is poisonous unless the berries inside of fallen out

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    ready to eat ackee

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    This curried chicken was one of the best meals I've had in years. Along with the yams, bread and dumplings it was the best breakfast I had and if I could have this for breakfast everyday I would eat it more often.

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    As you can imagine jamaica is flooded with amazing fruits you've never heard of. My favorite was the Nesberry fruit pictured here. It was like candy. The bartender at Bar B Barn, Sharon, was a real sweetie and made sure to bring us fruits she bought on her way to work and feed us water as we sat at the bar for days on end enjoying ourselves.

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    Just one type of the 100s of different mangos on the island

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    this little shop in the cliffs owned by a black American had some great gelato

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    The McDonalds of Jamaica except this place makes great pattys

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    one of Jamaica's many national dishes

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    The Patty man on the beach selling his pattys

    Well that about does it as far as pictures that made it back. I have a bunch more that I will upload to a web album and post the link back on here. If you ever are heading to the island for the first time or the first time in ages just shoot me a message or email and I can tell you anything and everything you need to know. Respect mon.

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    near the end of the beach and the cliffs in the back
  • Post #12 - April 4th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Post #12 - April 4th, 2009, 3:39 pm Post #12 - April 4th, 2009, 3:39 pm
    Great report Da Beef. You've got me thinking about going there.
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  • Post #13 - April 5th, 2009, 6:00 am
    Post #13 - April 5th, 2009, 6:00 am Post #13 - April 5th, 2009, 6:00 am
    I need an island. Great report, you've captured the essence of what I love about Jamaica.
  • Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 8:24 am
    Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 8:24 am Post #14 - April 5th, 2009, 8:24 am
    Da Beef

    Incredible, simply incredible. Makes me want to jump on a plane, though I'll have to settle, at least for today, for a beef patty from Caribbean American Bakery

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - April 5th, 2009, 9:41 am
    Post #15 - April 5th, 2009, 9:41 am Post #15 - April 5th, 2009, 9:41 am
    Very illuminating report, in that when many think Jamaica, they think jerk, and that’s it. You really lay out some of the less well-known options. The red snapper in particular looks spectacular, as does much of the other chow you chronicle. The pizza? Who’d a thunk it?

    The Wife and I went on our honeymoon to Negril, and I do remember many chicken places. Right down the beach from our hotel (Negril Beach Village; I believe it’s now a Hedonism II place), there were little stands set up under the palms selling chicken and other stuff. I took some pix of one place we stopped, Miss Betty’s Magic Mushroom Parlor (just a little shack with a pot boiling in it), and if I can find that old pic and scan, I’ll post. My guess is it is gone.

    Da Beef wrote:Negril will do that to you. I changed my flight twice and almost extended it a third time.

    The Wife and I rented a car (pointless) in Mo Bay and drove (the night after our wedding) around the island to Negril, at night (imbecilic), but once we got to Negril, we didn’t want to leave. We had plans to travel to other parts of the island, but one or two days on the beach, having people bring us good cold Red Stripe beer and banana bread, and we knew we didn’t have to go anywhere else. One thing I really dug about the beachfront vendors was that some sang short songs to advertise their wares. Our favorite was this little guy, must have been around 10 or 11, who would come by yodeling “The Peanut, the Peanut Man is here, Peanut, the Peanut Man is here.”

    Haven’t been back in a good long time, but Negril remains one of my favorite travel memories (of course, it was our honeymoon, so…).

    We came home with a can of ackee that hid on the back shelf of our cupborad for over 20 years; we dumped it just a few years ago figuring it probably went bad. As I recall, it was not a terrifically flavorful fruit, but it is characteristically Ja, man.

    David “I and I” Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 7:59 am
    Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 7:59 am Post #16 - April 6th, 2009, 7:59 am
    The wife and I are heading to Ocho Rios on the 24th and your report has me really excited to get to Jamaica. Although a large part of our trip is going to be dedicated to sitting by the beach/pool, I plan on going to town a few times to check things out.

    Really great post, love all the pictures. It sounds like you didn't want to come back.
  • Post #17 - April 7th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    Post #17 - April 7th, 2009, 2:30 pm Post #17 - April 7th, 2009, 2:30 pm
    da beef; great trip report.

    We were in Negril for the 21st time this year and will most likely return again next year.

    Jamaica has some wonderful food!
  • Post #18 - April 8th, 2009, 8:05 am
    Post #18 - April 8th, 2009, 8:05 am Post #18 - April 8th, 2009, 8:05 am
    Glad it was enjoyed by all. Just looking at the report again has me "homesick" and I'm born, raised and live here in Chicago. I think its off to Carib American bakery for a pattie today.

    Just a quick note. Although it was for the most part a pleasure trip I also did a little business investigating while down there. A good friend from Kingston who vacations in Negril a few times a year had put me on the possibility of bringing a Juici Patties to Evanston, He owns a couple locations in Havana and got me in touch with the right people. Its more of an idea right now than action but you never know. Im doing everything I can to make Jamaica one of my business homes so I can spend winters there.

    The other part I was exploring was the idea of making pimento wood available a little more steadily in the US and here in Chicago. Obviously you cant go into such a beautiful country and start chopping down trees and just ship them back into the US. One thing I learned is that you don't see much pimento wood for sale there either because the berries (Pimento berries) that grow on the pimento tree are much more valuable ($2-$3 a lb for the farmer) than the dead wood. I did however touch base with the right farmer who owns land and is starting to plant some pimento tress with the possibility they be cut down and used for smoking meats ala jerk. Since he is already a big pimento berry distributor he already has a shipping license and thats half the battle.

    I also brought home with me about 15 lbs of wood (actual stalks, not chips) and its something I had done on previous trips with no problem. I also had never been sent to the red line to be fully searched so that everything I packed needed to be repacked. The guy in customs at Miami asked me in a pretty demeaning way "why my face was so red, am I scared?" after I told him i was in JA for 3 weeks. I guess he saw the evil in my eyes...I told him laughing. "I just told you I was in Jamaica for 3 weeks and in case you cant see, Im white" So off it was to the red line where the searcher was actually nice as could be and told me he knew this was a unnecessary job but that "they get alot of stuff from Jamaica" So they ended up seeing the layers of wood at the bottom of my bag and asked me what was up and I explained the deal.

    It came to the point where one agent and a fellow BBQ connoisseur said the wood was ok and he had people from the last flight that brought some while one lady agent said that the holes in the wood meant termites and it wasn't allowed in. I guess the girl had more say b/c after a 15 minute meeting they sadly explained that they had to take the wood against there will. I then had about 6 agents huddled around me asking what the wood was, how you smoke with it and the flavor it produces. They were all very interested and wanted to learn more that I almost missed my connecting flight to Chicago. It sucks because I had planned to donate a good chunk of it to the people at LTH for their summer BBQ or whatever special occasion it could be used for. For the record its not illegal to bring back the wood but I guess it all depends on how hard they search your stuff and what mood the agent is in that day. They went thru everything of mine, even the bottles of hot sauce from the store.

    pamiela wrote:da beef; great trip report.

    We were in Negril for the 21st time this year and will most likely return again next year.

    Jamaica has some wonderful food!


    Thanks a bunch and I never got to thank you and the others for their suggestions on where to eat. I def. had some of the spots mentioned above in mind due to the reading of this post. It was only my 5th trip but I have a feeling if life allows me to live Ill be on my 21st trip there one day in the future.
  • Post #19 - August 10th, 2012, 7:30 am
    Post #19 - August 10th, 2012, 7:30 am Post #19 - August 10th, 2012, 7:30 am
    Da Beef wrote:Image
    Usain Bolt and the men and women Jamaican sprinters were the stars of the Beijing summer games along with Michael Phelps


    ♫ The more they say things are gon change, the more dey remain da same... ♪
  • Post #20 - August 10th, 2012, 7:06 pm
    Post #20 - August 10th, 2012, 7:06 pm Post #20 - August 10th, 2012, 7:06 pm
    Da Beef - are you familiar with the Jamaicans.com discussion board? Great folks - many of the diaspora, a small group of travelers who have embraced the real Jamaica as well. There's usually a good food discussion going with shared recipes, updates in patois on local politics and such and great trip reports as well.


    I enjoyed Negril but fell in love with Treasure Beach when I went too many years ago ... a much quieter scene than Negril but my heart home. We stayed at Jakes which is a great and happy little anti-resort. They've organized the community to resist the big resorts encroaching and worked to have tourism really support the community. They have two restaurants with all locally grown food - the flavors are stunning. And the most wonderful bar with Dougie bartending (he's still there) and making you at home. I miss it so much and am praying one work deal comes through soon since it would mean I could take a trip back.

    In Negril, my favorite food was the lobsters grilled up at 3Dives on the Cliffs ... hope they are still there!
  • Post #21 - August 10th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Post #21 - August 10th, 2012, 10:28 pm Post #21 - August 10th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Siun wrote:In Negril, my favorite food was the lobsters grilled up at 3Dives on the Cliffs ... hope they are still there!


    3 Dives was alive and well when I was there in 2011. One of the best places in Negril IMO (but I'm partial to the cliffs).
  • Post #22 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:08 am
    Post #22 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:08 am Post #22 - January 23rd, 2013, 9:08 am
    "Come back to Jamaica!"

    Just returned from a long holiday weekend in Jamaica. It's been ages since I'd been there, 33 years to be exact. Not sure why it fell off my radar, I guess Mexico is my usual first choice for combining sunshine and good food in the winter.

    One of my fondest memories from previous trips as a college kid was eating twice a day at the Pork Pit in Montego Bay. It used to be a couple guys who set up shop in the woods set back off the main road, their capital investment consisting of a couple sheets of corrugated steel, charcoal, pimiento wood, pork and jerk sauce. Thankfully they're still in business, they've now moved to a permanent location at the west end of the Hip Strip. We ordered half a jerked chicken and a pound of the pork, when they brought it out I said no way we could eat all this, no way - but this stuff is amazingly addictive, polished off every last morsel:
    Image
    Image

    We stayed at the Ritz Carlton over by Rose Hall. Breakfast was way overpriced but tasty, here's a traditional Jamaican breakfast of ackee and saltfish, with plantains and johnny cakes on the side:
    Image

    They also have a jerk shack on the hotel grounds, right on the beach which is nice. All the guests were raving about the jerked pork, but Pork Pit was a magnitude better. The jerk sauce was a sweeter molasses base than Pork Pit's vinegar base, and the Scotch Bonnet quotient was turned way down here although it did have a nice afterburn:
    Image
    Image

    Spent a day in Negril, had a nice lunch at the Negril Treehouse restaurant. Can't beat the setting, the restaurant deck is cantilevered right over the beach so you don't miss out on any of the people watching as toute le monde comes spacewalking down the beach. Food was pretty good, starter of coconut shrimp and then some goat curry. My wife had an escoviched grilled snapper which was fantastic, no photo of that unfortunately:
    Image
    Image

    So not the most mind blowing culinary adventure, but beautiful scenery and the lovely Jamaicans made for a most pleasant escape.
  • Post #23 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:03 pm
    Post #23 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:03 pm Post #23 - January 23rd, 2013, 11:03 pm
    Thanks for the pics - and reminder that I miss Jamaica and all that great food. The best meals I had - now quite a few years ago - in Jamaica were at Jakes in Treasure Beach where everything is grown locally and the flavors of even the tomatoes are just that much more ... luscious. In Negril, it was lobster cooked up at Three Dives on the Cliffs - there's a nice little video of the folks there making jerk chicken here: http://www.maherconsulting.com/3dives/

    I need to start planning to go back too!
  • Post #24 - January 25th, 2013, 1:25 pm
    Post #24 - January 25th, 2013, 1:25 pm Post #24 - January 25th, 2013, 1:25 pm
    Pork Pit one was huge disappointment. It just gave out none of the OG vibe that Lilliput Jerk Centre or even Scotchie's after remodeling.

    The pork was dry, tough and much too lean. Either that, or I went on an off day. One meal there and I started flagging cabs out to find something out of town. Still, it's much more convenient than having to find the proper driver who'll go all the way out to Lilliput.
  • Post #25 - January 25th, 2013, 11:56 pm
    Post #25 - January 25th, 2013, 11:56 pm Post #25 - January 25th, 2013, 11:56 pm
    By the way, for Jamaican food discussions (and recipes, etc) a great source is Jamaicans.com forums - they are sorta the LTHforum of Jamaican diaspora and nontourist travel. The Food info is here:

    http://www.jamaicans.com/forums/forumdi ... oking-tips
  • Post #26 - January 26th, 2013, 5:16 am
    Post #26 - January 26th, 2013, 5:16 am Post #26 - January 26th, 2013, 5:16 am
    TonyC wrote:Pork Pit one was huge disappointment. It just gave out none of the OG vibe that Lilliput Jerk Centre or even Scotchie's after remodeling.

    The pork was dry, tough and much too lean. Either that, or I went on an off day. One meal there and I started flagging cabs out to find something out of town. Still, it's much more convenient than having to find the proper driver who'll go all the way out to Lilliput.


    That's too bad you must have hit them on a bad day. Like any good BBQ it's more art than science and YMMV, but take a look at the smoke ring on my pork. I saw a steady stream of locals picking up carry out while we were there so it's not the tourist trade that's kept them open 30+ years.
  • Post #27 - February 4th, 2015, 10:11 am
    Post #27 - February 4th, 2015, 10:11 am Post #27 - February 4th, 2015, 10:11 am
    Any recent updates on Negril? I've been to Jamaica a lot, but this is my first time to Negril. Only there for 4 days so we won't be traveling much, staying on the beach.
    FIG Catering, For Intimate Gatherings
    Our website
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    molly@FIGcatering.com
  • Post #28 - February 4th, 2015, 12:17 pm
    Post #28 - February 4th, 2015, 12:17 pm Post #28 - February 4th, 2015, 12:17 pm
    We went last January and we are going again in April. Although I loved everything else about 3 dives, the jerk chicken was dry as a bone when we went. We did the SeaStar buffet on Saturday night and the fried chicken was some of the best I ever had. The whole buffet was actually pretty damn good.

    Everyone is talking about this place called Red Dragon that does Jerk Pork so I am definitely trying that out this trip. I love Caribbean food because I absolutely love coconut and it is in everything.
  • Post #29 - February 4th, 2015, 7:12 pm
    Post #29 - February 4th, 2015, 7:12 pm Post #29 - February 4th, 2015, 7:12 pm
    This thread just turned seven and nobody's copped to having jerk pork at Hedonism? C'mon, dish. Pictures a +++.
  • Post #30 - February 5th, 2015, 11:46 pm
    Post #30 - February 5th, 2015, 11:46 pm Post #30 - February 5th, 2015, 11:46 pm
    Just Natural has always been a great off the beaten path breakfast and lunch spot. Family owned, fresh ingredients, and daily specials keep bringing us back. We always stay at the Rock House Hotel. If you prefer sleeping in a screened in bed and taking private open aired showers, this is the place for you. Please be advised, this is not for the she-she-la-la traveler looking for a modern upscale hotel with a/c. When it rains, you hear it and the wind is your natural a/c. It's for those who love the great outdoors with protection over head.
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef

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