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Jamaican buffet - Weekly! On a farm!

Prav Jul 21, 2010 12:15 PM

I so want to try this place: http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

Anyone been?

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    scratchie RE: Prav Jul 21, 2010 12:20 PM

    Sounds good, but the writer is clueless. Pimento isn't Blackwood's "secret ingredient", it's the primary seasoning in jerk.

    2 Replies
    1. re: scratchie
      Prav RE: scratchie Jul 21, 2010 12:23 PM

      I noticed someone commented on that on Boston.com as well.

      1. re: scratchie
        Luther RE: scratchie Jul 21, 2010 01:32 PM

        yeah also it would be more productively explained as "allspice" and not some mysterious dried berries

      2. g
        gourmaniac RE: Prav Jul 21, 2010 12:48 PM

        I'm happy that this is successful and it sounds like fun. However, $20 would buy 2-3 dinners a at Flames or Alis. Also, boneless chicken breasts for jerk. Sacrilege!

        22 Replies
        1. re: gourmaniac
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          scratchie RE: gourmaniac Jul 21, 2010 01:10 PM

          >Also, boneless chicken breasts for jerk. Sacrilege!

          He's right, you know!

          1. re: scratchie
            Prav RE: scratchie Jul 21, 2010 01:42 PM

            Whatever - with the paucity of food from the islands in this town, I ain't complainin'! :)

            1. re: Prav
              Chrispy75 RE: Prav Jul 21, 2010 03:04 PM

              "With the paucity of food from the islands in this town,I ain't complainin'! :) "

              I take it you don't make it down to Dorchester/Mattapan very often?

              1. re: Chrispy75
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                scratchie RE: Chrispy75 Jul 21, 2010 03:18 PM

                Even there, you can't (as far as I know) get actual barbecued jerk. At all the Jamaican restaurants I've tried, the jerk chicken was cooked stove-top.

                Still... it's a lot closer than Falmouth!

                1. re: scratchie
                  Chrispy75 RE: scratchie Jul 21, 2010 05:20 PM

                  Didn't R&S used to have jerk chx that was cooked out back or maybe it was something they did for Carnival one year, don't remember. You're right, Boston doesn't have many places that are preparing it outside, but I guess Falmouth is closer than NY.

                  1. re: scratchie
                    Matt H RE: scratchie Jul 22, 2010 08:30 AM

                    To be completely fair hardly anywhere in the US and Canada really makes true Jerk Chicken, because last I checked you needed at the very least Pimento leaves and ideally wood to be considered Jerk.

                    Personally I have only seen a few places (In S. Florida and NYmetro) that make Jerk the way it is supposed to be made.

                    As far as Boston's lacking in the Jamaican food area, outside of NYC, S.Florida and London, UK its higher up in the second tier than most cities outside Jamaica.

                    All I know is thank god I can cook JA food better than any of these restaurants personally : )

                    1. re: Matt H
                      r
                      robertlf RE: Matt H Jul 22, 2010 06:26 PM

                      Pusser's in Annapolis, MD. They also have a location in Tortola - BVI.

                      1. re: robertlf
                        Matt H RE: robertlf Jul 26, 2010 06:59 AM

                        Fortuntely I spend alot of time in Maryland, will try this place out next visit. Thanks for the tip.

                      2. re: Matt H
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                        gourmaniac RE: Matt H Jul 23, 2010 06:58 AM

                        Hi Matt H. I was hoping you would chime in on this one as I've always appreciated your Jamaican food posts. Is there a jerk chicken or pork that you would recommend in greater Boston area?

                        1. re: gourmaniac
                          Matt H RE: gourmaniac Jul 26, 2010 06:58 AM

                          Personally I have not found any Jerk in the Boston area that I would feel comfortable telling anyone to go out of their way for.

                          The reason points back to my point above. To be considered Jerk you ideally need to cook with Pimento Wood or Leaves, not just the All Spice seasoning (which is standard).

                          Now I do understand that Pimento Wood is extremely expensive to import, but at least we can get it in the US (It is impossible to find in Canada) but some places have compensated for this by mixing the All Spice berries (which is super cheap) with the charcoal to give it that flavor that alot of us who are from Jamaica have come to expect. So to answer your question again, I havent seen anyone in the Boston area putting that type of effort into their Jerk.

                          Fortuntely as you know Jamaican food extends so much further than Jerk and to give Boston credit there are places that make certain dishes that are prepared exceptionally and traditionally. A few of my favorites:

                          Brown Stew Chicken, Curry Goat and Escoveich Fish: Flames does an incredible job on all three.

                          Tripe and Bean: It is tough to find a good Tripe and Bean Jamaican style outside of the Island, Pepper Pot Restaurant does probably my favorite version away from home.

                          Oxtail: Only One Jamaican Restaurant is my favorite in the area.

                          Lenny's Tropical Bakery: Best (and probably only) Jamaican Bakery in the area.

                          Sorry for being so long winded, but wanted to steer you in the right direction.

                          -----
                          Lenny's Tropical Bakery
                          1195 Blue Hill Ave, Mattapan, MA 02126

                          Only One Jamaican Restaurant
                          160 Norfolk St, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

                          1. re: Matt H
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                            gourmaniac RE: Matt H Jul 26, 2010 07:38 AM

                            Thanks Matt H. Lenny's, Flames and Ali's all being within a couple of blocks of each other is a real treat. The fried chicken $1.25 for a large thigh) is one of the best in the city. I've enjoyed the brown stew chicken and curry goat from Flames but haven't yet tried the escoveich fish despite your prior recs. Sorry that we don't have better Jerk here as it may be my favorite.

                            1. re: Matt H
                              Prav RE: Matt H Jul 26, 2010 10:15 AM

                              Matt, what do you think of the Pepper Pot?

                              1. re: Prav
                                Nab RE: Prav Jul 26, 2010 11:05 AM

                                I'm not Matt, and I would certainly like to hear from him, but my experiences at Pepper Pot have been rather ho-hum. Mostly just dull, muted flavours and spent meats. I did, however, really enjoy the escoveich on one occasion, which was popping with tang and heat.

                                curry goat: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2686/4...

                                faux jerk chicken:
                                http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2703/4...

                                escoveich:
                                http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/4...

                                My Jamaican barbers insist the best grub in town is to be had in the homestead, and I do believe they are right. I'm going over to Matt H's house.

                                1. re: Nab
                                  Matt H RE: Nab Jul 28, 2010 03:48 AM

                                  Your barbers know the deal Nab, tough to matchup with a Yard man (or woman) when they are cooking at home!

                                2. re: Prav
                                  Matt H RE: Prav Jul 28, 2010 03:47 AM

                                  Overall I think its inconsistent, but the Tripe and Bean is world class (like cook at your home good) So just like many of the other options they have their strong points and weaknesses.

                                  Speaking of Pepper Pot in general, I would love a place that makes an excellent Pepper Pot soup.

                                  1. re: Matt H
                                    Nab RE: Matt H Jul 28, 2010 08:19 AM

                                    Matt, have you tried the pepper pot at The African Cuisine in Hyde Park ?

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6616...

                                    It seems to me a hybrid of Jamaican - West African style of soup and, indeed, The African Cuisine offers both cuisines on the menu.

                                    -----
                                    The African Cuisine
                                    1248 Hyde Park Ave, Boston, MA 02136

                                    1. re: Nab
                                      yumyum RE: Nab Jul 28, 2010 09:25 AM

                                      That soup was so good. I still think about it. Definitely worth a trip.

                                3. re: Matt H
                                  s
                                  scratchie RE: Matt H Jul 26, 2010 10:44 AM

                                  Thanks for the recommendations. I don't make it down to that area as much as I used to, but I'll definitely try to get some brown stew chicken at Flames the next time I do.

                                  Is the Champion Dish still around?

                          2. re: Chrispy75
                            Prav RE: Chrispy75 Jul 21, 2010 06:22 PM

                            I'm legit - I used to live right off Blue Hill Ave.

                            Besides Lenny's bakery, I haven't really found anything that I'm itching to go back to.

                            And, as Scratchie pointed out, I've not seen jerk prepared in the traditional way, anywhere.

                            1. re: Prav
                              s
                              scratchie RE: Prav Jul 22, 2010 05:34 AM

                              I do recall getting some jerk pork at Rhythm and Spice that seemed bbq'd, now that Chrispy mentions it. But I used to play there a lot in my old band and I don't ever recall seeing bbqs set up in the back, so I'm not sure what the deal was.

                              1. re: scratchie
                                Chrispy75 RE: scratchie Jul 22, 2010 02:49 PM

                                Sorry, I wasn't referring to Rhythm & Spice, but rather R&S Jamaican Restaurant on Blue Hill Ave.

                                My one and only experience with Rhythm & Spice went something like, are you really charging $15 for couscous, plantains and chutney? And this was like 15 years ago!

                                1. re: Chrispy75
                                  s
                                  scratchie RE: Chrispy75 Jul 22, 2010 02:51 PM

                                  Ah, don't know that place. Champion Dish was my favorite when I used to spend a lot of time down there... are they still around?

                                  Rhythm & Spice was definitely pricy, but that jerk pork was probably the best jerk I've had outside of Jamaica.

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