Comments: Neat, under the radar spot in town for Jamaican-style Seafood with a different presentation and its own unique, flavourful taste. It is a simple and comfortable atmosphere for a date or groups of families, friends or coworkers to dine where the food is visibly prepared, fresh to order.
Two Wednesdays ago, my husband, Randy and I still had family visiting in town and we wanted to all meet up for some Dinner. Being Jamaican-British, their choice was Seafood and the natural decision would be to go to Gloria’s in Port Royal. However, we were back at work and we deciding we would not be doing a trip to Gloria’s at night, mid-week.
Randy always passed a Seafood Restaurant by Balmoral Avenue, but never got to stop by and try it. I told him with Seafood there is usually a wait. It would surely be a gamble with it being a fairly new Restaurant too.
Prices online looked reasonable, generally $1600JMD+tx for Fish any way you like it. We decided to brave it.
Randy called ahead to order and for them to expect our group of almost 20 persons. However, they cook everything not only to order but fresh to order, that is, prep and everything. So when persons arrived they would need to pick out their Fish.
My Fish was picked out for me about half an hour before I arrived at 8pm. Everybody was seated and looked comfortable chatting in the well-lit Restaurant that was quite cool with the A/C. The décor was interesting as it included light fixtures made from liquor bottles along with simple furnishings.
I heard I missed Chef and Owner, Lloiid Thomas who came out to greet everyone and was quite confident about the quality of food he would be serving.
He also explained the authenticity of how Organic his foods are and how he liaises with suppliers to ensure that is reinforced as well as keeping seasonings, herbs and spices organically farm to table. It was evident from the shelves stocked with ground provisions and more and the staff who handpicked items from it back and forth, that meals were prepared fresh.
Our Conch Soup came out first. I loved that it wasn’t salty, noting that MSG is not used at Organic Seafood. Instead, even though I did not have any conch in my cup, it was thick with a rich flavour.
Food started to come out by 8:30pm. My in-laws had the Caribbean Salmon.
The Salmon was well cooked and creatively presented on a fresh bed of lettuce that rested on a furnished portion of tree bark. The sauce was what added the special touch and flavour to the Salmon.
Their sides of Plantain, also well presented were tasty. I had to ask for some.
Orders of Brown Stewed Fish and Steamed Fish followed. The family was pleased so far, including myself who had the Steamed Fish. It definitely wasn’t like any Steamed Fish you would normally get. The Chef had a right to be confident, as the richness in flavour of the dish was truly unique. Snaps for offering it with the option of Wheat Crackers too.
We had family that decided they were still coming, so we picked out fish for them at that point in order to get things moving before they arrived.
The tiniest member of that party had a Shrimp Pasta that had a huge serving he could hardly make his way into.
Two brothers enjoyed their Fried fish to the bone. They were the second to last to get their food, but stated that it was definitely worth the wait.
The sides of Festival and Bammy were enjoyed as well. The Festival was done true Jamaican style and it was delicious.
It was reported that the Fried Bammy tasted as if it was soaked in sugar-water or cinnamon rather than milk, but it was tasty nonetheless. Perhaps it could be requested that it be soaked in Almond milk.
There were two diners that were not so pleased with their food though, including our cousin who was a member of the late party (arrival a bit after 9pm) and got her Fried fish last, some time after 10pm. They were very disgruntled.
They stated that their Brown Stew and Fried Snapper were fresh, needing more salt and seasoning. I can testify to the Fried Snapper needing more seasoning because I tasted it after her complaint.
The sentiment of not getting to eat together was also expressed, but personally in a situation like that, I prefer to get food once it is ready. Even though food came out at different times, there was a steady flow once service started and the wait was not unusually long for such a large group. The wait was definitely shorter than what you would have at Gloria’s.
With that aside, to please a hard crowd of 15 out of 18 diners is quite an accomplishment on their part. Each person’s meal including Soup, a Main dish with sides and a drink came to about $3000JMD including tax and service charge, which was reasonable.
I must mention though, that the winner of the night was Randy’s Jerked Fish. It was not oily, even though it was fried, then jerked. The burst of flavour as you had one bite was amazing.
It was nice to see courteous Diana, a member of staff who had a long night on her feet, come out and take some time to have a little chat with some of the gentlemen in the family.
Owner and Chef Lloiid Thomas also came out to receive his honest feedback and pleasantly said he is open to requests to cook fish the way it is preferred. Whether it is more or less seasoning, herbs etc., he can be notified from the fish is picked out and adapt to such requests.
Chef Lloiid came from Atlanta, Georgia, to set up his Organic Jamaican Seafood Restaurant and it has been open for 9 months.
I intend to return to compare service with a smaller group or even when just two persons are dining and I am interested in trying their Smoothies. I am already impressed and happy to see almond milk as an ingredient option. Many other places need to do so. Straying a bit from that healthy note, they also had a salivating video on Instagram of their creative preparation and plating of Shrimp. That is on my list as well.
Kudos to Chef Lloiid and his team who remained pleasant and professional with a hungry set of almost 20 demanding diners and still produced predominantly good food to please the majority.
Organic Seafood Network – Restaurant, Bar, Market
Location: 19 Balmoral Avenue
Facebook: Organic Seafood Restaurant
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Suga hasn’t had a decent Burger in a while, but this B.O.B Burger from Margaritaville, Ocho Rios hit the spot! But when I ate it, I felt no pain.
Layered with smoked Applewood Bacon, shoe string Onion Rings, Bleu Cheese dressing, lettuce and tomatoes, you would think that is all the flavour you need. But they went even further and topped it off with Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles and served it on a Brioche Bun.
My friends got other Burgers from the menu too, all served on a wooden guitar, but the B.O.B Burger was the clear winner. Just tease your eyes now and reward yourself the next time you are in Ocho Rios! #SugaEndorsed
Suga’s Ratings for Margaritaville Ocho Rios!
NB. Ratings fill 5 stars maximum
Value for $: ★★★★★
Suga Endorsement: ★★★★☆
Comments: They shouldn’t just turn up the music and entertainment when tourists from the ship arrive. Good service otherwise and Best Burger for Suga right now!
Margaritaville, Ocho Rios
Location: Island Village Plaza
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Comments: Great Service in a cosy setting. Authentic Jamaican cuisine with portions to leave you satisfied and not overfed. Attentive, courteous staff that leave you wanting to return.
The Pallet, owned by Chef Shea Stewart has been tempting me with salivating Jamaican dishes on their Instagram page for some time now.
The Pallet started Lunch Orders last September 29th and I finally got to visit them while I was on vacation from work. My husband and I visited last Friday at about 2pm.
The Décor is modern-rustic, clearly influenced by their name, as most of their furniture is made of pallets. There were covered areas for seating but seating was predominantly outdoors. I hope it is in their plans to put umbrellas by the tables in the direct sun.
Lounge areas seem to also be available for rental. They can be seen upon entering the venue.
We were greeted by their jovial and welcoming Host and Entertainment Coordinator, Keon. We then grabbed a table in the shade with the Bar in view and it was actually quite cool. The staff was attentive, our waitress was pleasant and service was quick.
We had to swat a fly or two but we still enjoyed our Lunch. Their BBQ Chicken had an authentic, smoky flavour complemented by a flavourful sauce that was not overwhelming. The Mac & Cheese to accompany it was delicious, while my healthier side option of Roasted Garlic Potatoes was tasty as well.
The Pallet’s Lunch options usually include Soup ($350-$450JMD), Pork, Chicken and Fish Dishes cooked Jamaican style for prices up to $900JMD. Mac & Cheese may be a side option for $300JMD, Rice and Peas, as well as the healthier, Sweet or Roasted Garlic Potatoes for $200JMD and Sautéed Market Vegetables.
The Pallet delivers Lunches for $300JMD, but delivers to Businesses and Students for FREE with 5 or more orders.
They are still waiting on a card machine, but The Pallet is #SugaEndorsed. Give them a visit for your Lunch today!
Location: 5A North Avenue. Kingston (By Kings Plaza off of Constant Spring Road)
Opening Hours for Lunch: 11am – 3pm Mondays-Fridays
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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Three Mondays ago on a sunny day in Florida, my husband and I went to lunch at Boatyard at 1:30pm.
I was instantly impressed by the courteous staff, who were well uniformed from head to toe. They looked comfortable but professional in their loafers and quite preppy in khaki pants and shorts, topped off by baby blue Polos to complete the look.
The restaurant had a spacious layout with tasteful décor. My husband, Randy was in disbelief that I chose to dine outside since it was a sunny day out, but I could not pass up dining dockside with a scenic view. He was pleasantly surprised by how cool it was out there and umbrellas provided shade by the table as well.
What is Boatyard Known for?
Boatyard is known to serve fresh catches from local fishermen and premium cuts of meat. They also boast about having the highest quality raw bar, which usually includes oysters, shrimp and ceviche.
Boatyard offers Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Cocktails and Wine. They are also called Bimini. Their Brunch, familiarly known as ‘Brunch at Bimini’ is quite popular.
You can enjoy unlimited Bloody Mary, Bellini and Mimosas for $25. In addition to that, you can hit the Omelet Station for $14USD or the Benedict Bar for $16USD. If you would like other options, you can order from the main menu that offers Bimini favourites such as Steamed Eggs, Buttermilk Waffles, Shrimp and Grits, Smoked Salmon, Bagel platters and more. So even though I love Tap 42, Suga will switch things up for Brunch at Bimini next time.
What Suga Wanted but Could not Have
I missed out on the Florida Paella that I was looking forward to. The original plan was to have dinner at Boatyard, but we had dinner at our family’s house instead. Realising that the Paella was not on the lunch menu, I expressed my disappointment to our lovely server, G.G. She did her best to check if they could still serve it, but it wasn’t possible because they didn’t prep for it yet. You can imagine the prep that goes into it too, because Paellas are usually stacked with Seafood. Their Paella has Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Calamari, local Fish, Saffron rice and housemade Chorizo. I definitely will return for it!
G.G. came back to us with other options and really sold us on their Healthy Bowl for the day, which was a Salmon dish. Boatyard is another restaurant in Florida that keeps it fresh. They change items on their menu often, but usually keep the favourites.
We started off with the shareable Charred Octopus ($17USD). I loved that they managed to keep the meat tender and saturated with flavour. It was also value for money with the serving size given.
I decided to have the Grilled Swordfish ($26USD) complemented by a tasty lemon flavoured sauce, along with fresh market greens. It was delish! It had a moist and very meaty texture as it should.
Randy’s Healthy Bowl ($22USD) was quite delightful. Thanks for the recommendation G.G.! It consisted of Grilled Salmon topped off with a Cilantro lime sour cream drizzle, accompanied by Avocado, Mango and Black Bean Salsa, Sweet Corn Salsa and a Petit salad.
Courteous staff, spacious Layout and tasteful Décor, impressive Menu Options, Quick Service and most importantly, Delicious, Flavourful Food a.k.a Value for Money. Boatyard is Suga Endorsed and I will return.
Location: 1555 SE 17th Street. Fort Lauderdale. FL 33316. USA
Market 17 is known for local farm fare and their adventurous option of Dining in the Dark.
Their menu has a list of products supplied from farms that meet their standards and are available.
The Dining in the Dark Experience takes place in a special dark room. A Blindtasting menu is served after all food allergies, dietary restrictions and extreme dislikes are declared. The goal is to heighten the senses without the help of sight. The Blindtasting menu starts at $75USD per person, excluding Beverages and taxes).
All of my friends were not in agreement to do the Dining in the Dark Experience, so we decided to go with the main menu.
Two Saturday nights ago, my friends and I were out and ready to dine at 8:30pm. We were pleasantly greeted and seated at our reserved table for seven. Our waiter, Daniel was unforgettable. He reeled off the menu from his head, explaining our options and giving suggestions eloquently. He had a personality that definitely kept the mood light.
He took our orders when we were ready and the Appetizers and Drinks came out quickly. They have a wide selection of Wines, Craft Beers and a few listed Cocktails.
It was said that the Appetizers were shareable, however hints were given as to what we may not want to share.
We had the Grassfed Beef Tartare, which was tasty, but a bit on the salty side.
The Crispy Miso Pork Belly was succulent, but the portion was small.
Rock Shrimp, Chicken, Ceviche, Meatballs and Salads were also available as Appetizers. However, their menu changes quite often and the Restaurant’s website is updated accordingly.
The Housemade Charcuterie served with Chutneys and Picklings usually stays on the menu. We made our own platter with our choices of Meats and Cheeses that was delightful.
Just when I started to wonder when our greatly anticipated Entrees were coming out, Daniel informed our table that our Entrees were coming forthwith! They surely did.
Tasting options were available for the Entrees at a reduced cost. When Daniel mentioned the pairing of Antelope Filet with Whole Key West Pink Shrimp at the start of Dinner, it created a ripple effect amongst the Suga Daddies*.
I definitely had to try it. The Grilled Antelope Filet, that was cooked medium rare, did not disappoint. It was tender and juicy with fresh farm to table greens, of which the Okra was a hit. The Whole Keywest Pink Shrimp that I tasted was delish! Sadly, the salt seemed to have gotten away from the Chef again on one of the Shrimp Tastings. This information was relayed to Daniel, who remedied the situation by removing it from the bill, since another serving was not desired at that time.
The Tasting portions definitely made up for the small portions of Appetizers. Imagine what the actual Entree portion may look like. Persons were satisfied by the end of the night, therefore since the small portions of Appetizers sufficed, perhaps the pricing could be reconsidered.
I paired my Tasting of Grilled Antelope Filet with Togorashi Seared Rare Yellowfin Tuna that was cooked medium rare. It was divine. Have you had Black Rice?! Phenomenal. It was refreshing to get such exquisite healthy options while dining out. Black rice has more micronutrients than Brown and White rice. Ancient Chinese mythology claims that Black rice was reserved solely for the Emperor and the Royal Family, due to its nutritional content and healing abilities. In those days, your life would be in danger if you were caught eating it without permission.
The Grilled Grassfed Beef Filet Mignon and Pan Roasted Chicken Breast did not spend much time on the table. They were thoroughly enjoyed.
The Pan Roasted Chicken Breast ($18/$33USD) was accompanied by Spiced Bulgur Wheat, Roasted Cauliflower, Squash, Pickled onion, Kale, Charred Eggplant Pudding and Marinated Tomatoes.
Dessert topped off the night for a few. Thankfully I did not indulge. Market 17’s strong points seem to be their Entrees and Beverage selections. The Vanilla Cake with Pastry cream was just up to typical standard.
Dessert Options range from $8 to $18 USD and included Cookies, Brownies, Parfaits, Ice Creams, Sorbets and a Cheese court.
Market 17 is a fine dining Restaurant to dress up and go to with excellent service, delish and unique Entree options, along with fine Beverages. Head to Market 17 and Eat like Royalty!
*Suga Daddies – Men who think they are too manly to be called a Suga Bear (Foodie in association with Suga Lifestyle)
Location: 1850 Southeast 17th St. Fort Lauderdale, FL. USA