I decided that I’m coming back as a Rasta in my next life. But then again – why wait until my next life?
A few days ago I had picked up some travelers that I met through this blog. We made arrangements a couple weeks ago to link up when they got down to the Knutsford Express stop in my neighborhood and then I would drive them to their destination in Treasure Beach. So we did just that the other evening and on the way into Treasure Beach they pointed out a vegetarian restaurant that we were passing by and I made a mental note of it. I’m not a vegetarian but you know, sometimes down here I’ve just had enough of chicken and fish, and in Black River there’s just no other choices. It’s a small, non-touristy town so the selection is very limited.
Yesterday after I finished work I decided that I needed to go on the road and look for something different for lunch and I couldn’t get this vegetarian restaurant out of my mind. So I set out on the 30 minute drive towards Treasure Beach hoping I’d remember exactly where the restaurant was. Thankfully it was super obvious and easy to find – it’s right on the main road going into the town.
When I walked into the restaurant it was empty, no guests so I walked all the way to the back where I could hear voices in the kitchen and made my presence known. There was an older Rasta gentleman in the kitchen who looked happy to see me and I was definitely happy to see him! I asked what’s on the menu today even though the menu is posted right outside the front door…but we all know that doesn’t necessarily mean that everything on the menu is available every day.
The Rasta, Delroy, listed off everything they were currently serving from the kitchen and I simply said, “I’ll have one of everything you’ve got!” I wanted to try it all and have plenty left over to take home in a box and eat it again for dinner. I was super excited. I CRAVE veggies in Jamaica because the diet here is so meat and rice based.
While Delroy was preparing my lunch I took the opportunity to take pictures in and around the empty restaurant and then seat myself at a table near the front door. Not more than five minutes later (yes, only five minutes!) he came out of the kitchen with a gigantic sampler plate full of every kind of food they were serving that day. When my eyes laid upon that huge plate excitement overwhelmed me! I know that sounds stupid but I literally could not wait to taste what was in front of me. It looked so fresh and amazing!
So now I’ll tell you what’s on that plate. There was regular fresh salad, curry tofu and veggies, curry veggie chunks with potato, callaloo, ackee and broad bean (the most amazing thing on the plate!) and bulger rice. I actually died and went to heaven that day. I was SOLD.
Each menu item had its own distinct flavor and I ate slowly to savor it all. If a Rasta can infuse so much flavor into food that has no meat, then I will surely be converting into a Rasta chef as of today lol.
Now for the best part of the whole meal…..guess how much Delroy charged me for that humongous sampler plate of food? A mere $700.00 JMD (about $7.00). I actually asked him if he’s sure that’s the right price and he said yes man, of course! So I then asked, “If I come back here on other days I can get this same order for that same price?” Yes man, of course! That is the precise moment when the love affair was carved in stone. I don’t care if I have to drive 30 minutes to get there….I suspect I will be making the drive at least once a week.
I should also mention that Delroy carries a variety of beverages including natural juices, tonic wines, etc. I noticed at the back of the shop he had several juicing machines and a table full of fresh fruit so I suspect that he’ll make custom juices for customers by request as well.
Right before I left the place some British Jamaicans came into the restaurant and when they saw me they asked how I was doing. I simply replied, “I’m very satisfied”.
If you’re in the Treasure Beach area and you’d like to try some very creative and flavorful non-meat dishes you should definitely find Gee Wiz restaurant and drop in for lunch! You won’t regret it! And Mike, if you’re reading this….I OWE YOU for pointing this place out to me!