An interesting fact about Jamaica is that she has the most churches per square mile of any country in the world. Another interesting fact about Jamaica is that on Sundays almost everyone cooks at home for a family feast to be held after church....which makes eating out on a Sunday an almost impossible mission.
On our final Sunday in Jamaica, we were starving but wanted a good hearty Jamaican brunch. As a Jamaican now living in the states and a “JAmerican”, we assumed this was not an outlandish want. After-all, we were in Ocho Rios, the tourist capital of the Caribbean #OchiPassport. We figured that finding tasty Jamaican brunch wouldn’t be a problem. Oh, were we sadly mistaken…everywhere that we had our sights on was closed! We backtracked and went to places we previously dined at and they too were closed. Now there were a few places serving American food but let’s be honest, who goes to vacation in paradise and eats the same cuisine that’s available for us in the states 24/7? I don’t want no KFC, no pancakes, no Burger King, no pizza, nothing that I can easily get stateside! We wanted Jamaican food and I was determined to find some in the town of Ocho Rios. My wife’s “hanger” was an additional motivation to locate brunch quickly…#nosuchthinginJamaica
Luckily, we were persistent and didn’t settle for fast food. Ocho Rios, y’all saved the best for last! Patrick, #therealMVP directed us to a small restaurant near the town’s square and while en route we saw a line of people at the side of a building. Say hello to Soldiers Restaurant located on Pineapple St., Ocho Rios.
Soldiers is a grab and go, no fuss, no seating cafe, with a few chairs and tables outside. We walked in and literally ordered everything we saw (service was Luby’s or cafeteria style). My plate looked like a Thanksgiving helping. For the first time on our trip, wifey didn’t ask me to finish her plate. She ate two-thirds and took the rest to go (and actually finished it later!). We both had natural fruit juices to accompany our meal. It was the buffet we had dreamt of and super economical to top it off!
The pictures don’t capture the true essence of the place, but to be fair…the food was so tantalizing that pictures were the furthest thing from our mind.
My Plate: ackee & saltfish, curry chicken, callaloo, rice & peas, fried dumplings, pumpkin and provisions.
Wife’s Plate: escovitch fish, fried dumplings, callaloo & veggies, ackee & saltfish, fried plantains and Jamaican fried rice.
Please note, as I’m typing my mouth is watering. That’s how good the food was. If you’re in Ochi, please add Soldiers to your eating itinerary. Soliders, thank you! We will absolutely be back. With Tupperware. #iLBCeats