Friday, September 26, 2014
Hungry? The Food of Jamaica
Previously...Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Before I get too deep in this post, I know that little of what follows would be considered true Jamaican cuisine. It's just a tour of the selections we had while on an "all-you-can-eat" vacation with no limits on when or where we could dine.
Starting off in the buffet, we could mingle with the proletariat in the main buffet or stick with those in our wing in the Palmyra buffet. On arrival, that's what we did...go to the Palmyra for dinner. The nicer, a la carte restaurants would come later.
Breakfast was at the main buffet, which had a vast array of selections with an equally vast number of guests with large appetites. Beware if you get get behind the Russian guests when they put out the bacon tray, they can clean it out in about 30 seconds. Never seen such mounds of pig flesh on one plate in person before.
Still, the eggs were good and occasionally they would put out an offal dish (kidneys, hearts, livers, etc) that Letty enjoyed on the side. The breads and donuts were also pretty delicious but watch out for the corned beef hash.
Lunch usually meant the snack bar at the beach. Another extensive buffet awaits here, steps from the sand.
While you can munch to your heart's delight on burgers, hot dogs, and other usual suspects, the main attraction here is the jerk bar where you could get the juiciest jerk chicken and pork, with your choice of three sauces to put on it. While the crawfish looked real good, they weren't so good upon opening. Still, a lot of great food here. Jerk and rice were outstanding.
Although we had unlimited a la carte dining, we were only to make it three nights during the week. These are the nice, sit down and waiter serviced restaurants as opposed to the buffet. Each has a theme like Italian, Japanese, etc.
First was Dolce Vita, a long walk down to the beach from our room nextdoor to the jerk bar. The food was great, such as the saltimboca I had, above, which was more like a good steak with sauce.
Letty and Tim were fine with their pasta dishes.
Next up was Picasso, which was just downstairs from our room. The lighting wasn't as good for pictures of our entrees and neither was the food. While serviceable, it wasn't as good as Dolce Vita but the desserts were outstanding, like this cream puff dish Tim ordered.
The highlight of the week, though, was the Don Pablo restaurant. It's the gourmet selection of the a la carte lineup. They were a bit late in opening, however, and Tim and I had to wait outside until the staff decided to open up.
Once there, all was forgiven. The food was outstanding. The talk of the resort was the incredibly delicious Chateaubriand that was carved table side and served with your choice of Roquefort or peppercorn sauce. I ordered mine rare with the peppercorn sauce. I still dream about that dish.
For dessert I got the bananas flambe, which is prepared with a flourish tableside.
I'm not really a dessert person but I ordered it mainly for the show. On the other hand, I've had bananas Foster before but they are only a dim comparison to the sweet, rummy sauce burned up to perfection to go with that unbelievable warm banana taste. This was another outstanding dessert from an island full of them.
So, as you can see, you needn't worry that we'd be going hungry in our time on the island. While there were a few less that great food options here, they were easily avoidable and we had a great time feasting on Jamaica.
Copyright 2014 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2014-Letty Musick
All Rights Reserved