[Corn Meal Porridge]
At first this little carryout, which is super easy to miss, may seem forbidding. A little small and dark, an overworked staff, eyeballing from the customers at the few tiny tables, unfamiliar dishes, etc. But catch them in an un-busy moment, and all your little questions will be answered with a smile. And the food is worth the trouble, man. It's all flash anyway, there's really no worries here. These are Jamaicans cooking old school breakfasts, traditional Jamaican meals, and hearty soups every day. I can't go through the whole menu, so I'll just hit the high spots.
Callaloo (pictured below) is stewed greens with flaked cod fish, great for breakfast or lunch. It's a little spicy with a deep fish flavor (salt cod is usually used-it's a long process to reconstitute the salted, dried, fish, but if it's done right, it is worth it). Try to add some 'boiled food', like a dumpling or banana to your order. The dumplings are soft, then substantial, but not at all doughy. Breakfast is officially served until 11AM, but sometimes there is still some stuff warming in the steam table dishes later in the day. This is food that will not break down from a long exposure to heat.
Corn Meal Porridge, of which I'll share with you (sorry), is a beautiful butterscotch color, silky and sweet, and slightly spicy. It is perfect on its own, or as a foil for rich or substantial dishes. Just be careful, as the near-16 ounce portion ($3), goes a long way.
And this being Friday, it's Goat Head Soup day. This dish needs no explanation or description, but I will try anyway. First let me simply say that goat does not taste like chicken. The soup is filled with morsels of potato, turnip (or maybe malanga), goat fat, banana, celery, carrots, herbs, including an entire sprig of thyme, and soft, succulent, goat meat. Doesn't taste like head particularly, and that's probably a good thing. No eyeballs, either, except upon request. (Just kidding.) A rich, nourishing soup that will last long into the (long) weekend. $3/small
Happy Indigenous People's Day...
Goat Head Soup
1340 NE 163rd St
North Miami Beach