First Look

Blue Mountain Jamaican Restaurant in Lauderhill May Look Strange, but This Jerk's for Real

Recently, I asked a crew of ten Jamaican guys where they go when they want real Jamaican food. The consensus? Blue Mountain Restaurant. So a friend and I made our way to one of the generic shopping centers across from the Lauderhill Mall. We headed up to a deeply tinted glass door. As we opened it and made our way inside, we stopped short and shared a confused telepathic glance. Was this the right place? 

The room had the feel of a secret meeting place. Behind a long bar table sat three small tables, some DJ equipment, and poker machines. Some men with heavy Jamaican accents sat at a back table. There was no hostess and no menus.

A bartender walked over and asked, "What can I help you with?" 

Umm, food? I thought.

She rattled off the options: "Curry goat, brown stew chicken, oxtail, jerk chicken, jerk pork."

As we talked, another table of gentlemen walked in, sat down, and promptly ordered. They already knew the menu and the necessary requests. 

A couple of minutes later, our food arrived: huge pile of peas and rice, chicken, and iceberg lettuce with a large tomato on top, no dressing for the salad.

We both bit in at the same time. The looks on our faces must have been priceless. It was probably the best Jamaican either of us has ever had. 

My brown stew chicken had the perfect blend of savory and spice. The stewed meat fell off the bone as I dug in with my fork. My friend's jerk chicken was spicy and succulent. Both sides of rice and peas came out with an ample serving of gravy, the sauce from my brown stew chicken.

The food was great. The service was strange. I must admit, I am still confused about the lack of salad dressing. Regardless, I wasn't there for the salad. After calling to inquire, I discovered that the owner comes from Santa Isabel, Jamaica. Is that the major contributing factor to the intense flavors? Or can it be chocked up to superior homestyle cooking? Either way, Blue Mountain restaurant is an experience -- whether it be for the food or the interesting atmosphere.

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Sara Ventiera