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Jamaica Kitchen

 

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Jamaica Kitchen is brightly lit and petite, housing just a single two-seat table and eight stools. Photos of about two dozen menu items are posted high on a wall, and coolers below beckon with a wide sampling of drinks (coconut water, ginger beer, aloe juice, Coca-Cola, etc). Imported Jamaican groceries are stocked on shelves in the back.

The mom and pop here are Cheryl and Anson Chin, a Chinese-Jamaican wife/husband team. They seem to know most of the customers, a steady stream of whom stroll in, place their orders at the main counter, and exit bearing plastic grocery bags that can barely contain the foods' aromatics — all to an island beat that bounces about in the background. Diners eating in also transact their meals at the counter. The workers here, many of whom are family, couldn't be nicer.

"Wi ah di bess!" is the motto, and when it comes to low-budget dining, the boast holds merit. Lunch and dinner get served all day, the latter of heftier portion and dished into a larger styrofoam container. Both come with fried planks of sweet plantains plus a heaping portion of white rice or rice and peas. Lunches cost $8.00 to $12.50 (a little more for market-price fish offerings such as curry shrimp or ackee-and-saltfish); dinners run $11.00 to $16.50, with the same seafood caveat. All items are also available by the pint or quart.

By: Lee Klein (Miami New Times)