Updated: Oct 10, 2019
MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica - Let's get turnt up 'mon!
That was the mission of my 10-day trip through the island nation of Jamaica. When I wasn't hanging on to the cliffs of Mandeville (and praying that our six-seater van didn't topple over the edge), my small entourage stopped at roadside stalls for tamarind balls and papaya.
But there was no way I was leaving Jamaica without first eating its most delectable dish.
Although this was my first time to the yard, my inner fat kid just knew that the Jamaican BBQ sauce that we got in Nassau wasn't the real deal. From the moment I stepped off the plane in Montego Bay, I yearned for real Jamaican jerk and pork. I found it at Scotchie's.
With thick smoke masking the no-frills outdoor restaurant and bar, it was hard to see that underneath long sheets of aluminum were pimento wood barks lined on top of hot coals. Among the layers were large strips of pork ribs and chicken halves glistening with sauce made mostly from scotch bonnet pepper seeds.
The smoky, spicy flavors of Scotchie's jerk chicken and pork (by the way, they also serve roast fish fillets & breadfruit) tease the tongue long before it gets to your mouth, but once it does, there's an instant fire storm. A firestorm that is so good. My inner fat kid was right. This is what jerk is suppose to taste like.
To mop up the excess sauce, most patrons use festival, which is a donut-textured bread that is long, fried and sweet.
There are three Scotchie's locations in Jamaica--in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and the capital, Kingston. There's also a Scotchie's in St Lucia.
I imagine that Scotchie's is to Jamaicans what Bamboo Shack is to Bahamians—it's that good. I have about five pounds along my waistline to prove it. In fact, if there are any Jamaican’s reading this en route to Mobay or Kingston, please… bring this fat kid some Scotchie's.