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The Dutch Pot Overfloweth

I've been really digging me some Jamaican food lately, so it's a good thing that South Florida houses so many islander restaurants. Two weeks ago, I mentioned Kelsie's Place on Sunrise as a great place to get fast, cheap Jamaican classics. But I recently visited the Dutch Pot on 441 and Kimberly Rd. in North Lauderdale, and found that it's not quite as cheap, but portions are even bigger.

The Dutch Pot shares a plaza with two other restaurants of ethnic

origin, a Colombian bakery and bar and a Salvadorian lunch spot that

serves pupusas. I'd like to return and eat a little something at each

place. As far as the Dutch Pot goes, there's a big lunch counter with a

glass case when you walk in. All of the dishes are served sort of

cafeteria style, spooned from metal warming trays by the Jamaican

ladies behind the counter. You can get oxtail, curry goat, curry

chicken, jerk chicken, cow foot stew, tripe and beans, and a whole lot

more, and everything comes in three sizes -- sample, small, and large.

The sample is just $4.95, and just gives a taste of the main dish, but

the small, for $3 more, comes with a huge pile of rice and peas and a

side of stewed cabbage or plantains. You can also get whole steamed

snapper smothered in rich brown gravy or jerk sauce with onions and

peppers for about $12.

I ordered the curry chicken, and my

companion got the jerk chicken. The curry was loaded with onions and

thyme, and the sauce had a really vibrant stock flavor. The chicken

itself was completely falling apart -- at one point I stabbed a piece

with my fork to give to my friend and it fell apart before I could pass

it to his tray. Because of its texture, the curry is ideal for that

habit islanders love so much: sucking on the bones. For a non islander,

I think I cleaned mine off pretty damn good.The curry wasn't much on

the spice, however, so I grabbed a bottle of Gracie hot sauce from a

nearby table. This stuff was super hot -- a blend made from

Jamaican-grown Scotch Bonnet peppers. I only needed a few drops total

to turn the curry up to scorching.

The jerk chicken was good too, but I prefer a bit more jerk flavor than what this provided. The

meat was smokey and grilled, though it had sat in the warming tray for

a while after cooking, I think. It tasted mostly like pretty good

grilled chicken, without much spicy/sweet jerk flavor to speak of. My

companion did get some fantastic oxtail gravy ladled onto his rice,

however, rich and almost sticky with rendered marrow. A couple pieces

of oxtail even found their way into the mix.

I'd definitely

return to the Dutch Pot. The portions are huge and the food, though a

little light on spices, is made very well. And I really would go back

to tour that whole plaza. I could kill a puposa right now.

Dutch Pot
6029 Kimberly Blvd., North Lauderdale

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John Linn

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