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Jamaican cuisine; not so irie

Mediocre Jamaican Food
Mediocre Jamaican Food
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If you are in the mood for Jamaican cuisine, you may want to loosely consider Jerk Machine in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Their Jerk Chicken, with extra sauce on the side, is spicy and has a pseudo authentic flavor. The chicken is chopped into small pieces, upon order, and served with an veritable choice of three of the following - rice and red beans, boiled green bananas, boiled dumplings, boiled cabbage, fried dumplings, and numerous other sides. They also have a variety of Jamaican protein specialties like, Jerk Pork, Oxtail and Brown Stew Chicken to name a few.

The menu certainly has a broad range. The food, though reminiscent of bona fide Jamaican dishes, is inconsistent relative to flavor, quality and availability. It is frequent that popular dishes are unavailable due to being sold out for the day. It is advisory not to crave anything in particular since the likelihood is that it would have run out by the time you arrive; it is almost as though ill-preparation for the days potential food sale demands is embraced by the management. It can be assumed that the mentality of not having enough is better than having leftovers, which could result in waste. It appears that recognizing this as an opportunity, and planning accordingly would be a beneficial business solution for the restaurant.

The restaurant is drab with artificial flowers speckled throughout. The exterior implies that it is not open for business. The building is uninviting and dismal; one has to actually approach the building and open the door to realize that there is activity inside. Though the food is passable and rises to the level of decent Jamaican cuisine, the cost is high. Unlike other similar establishments, the price point is expensive when compared to portions received elsewhere, not to mention the compromised level of quality. Sanitary conditions are questionable, and its often observed where the cashier has a dual role of handling money and serving food. The saving grace is that the staff tends to be very friendly, which somewhat compensates for the consistency issues. All in all, for basic Jamaican food to satisfy a desire or craving, this could be the place for just that, no frills and no lofty expectations. Picky eaters beware!

Jerk machine is located in Downtown Ft. Lauderdale at 111 NW 2nd Street. They have three locations in Fort Lauderdale.