Jamerica opened as a specialty grocery and take-out shop on Williamson street in 1965. Soon after 1965, Martin Deacon, who was raised in Port Antonio, added a nine-table restaurant. "Ever since," he says, "the food's been flying." The menu includes fried plantains, jerk chicken and pork and other Jamaican standards, plus such specialties as pepper pot callaloo soup and mango rundown catfish. Says Martin, "The people who go to the island, they find the taste there, then come back and they can find it here."
There's a laid-back, be-yourself ambiance to the place, but seating is limited, so reservations are suggested. It's fun to sit near the reach-in cooler on the back wall, where, throughout the meal,
you can help yourself to Red Stripe, Ting grapefruit soda, or a sweetly stinging ginger beer, all from Jamaica and all effective counterpoints to a fiery heap of jerk pork or curried goat. (In true island cafe style, empties are left on the table until the server tallies the check)