Eating Jamaican Style

by DanicasDaily on November 29, 2012

Happy Thursday all!  I have had a blast sharing our Jamaican vacation with you all.  I think I have pretty much decided there are still so many things to try and to do in Jamaica after hearing about your vacations.  I saved the best recap for last ~ The Food!

While I did miss having Turkey with all the fixin’s this year, the resort did go all out by decorating with fall leaves and straw hat people on the beach.  Nope, they didn’t have jerk turkey but I imagine that would’ve been awesome!

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Our first trip each day was to visit the Perfect Coffee People.  They could pretty much whip up any coffee, espresso, tea or coffee+ alcohol drink you could imagine – hot or iced.

I loved them and Blue Mountain Coffee…I made sure I stopped by a few times a day Winking smile

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The World Café Buffet is the only place open for breakfast at the Secrets Resort, but, they really do have a station for everything you could imagine from eggs to cereal to pastries and international breakfasts.

My breakfasts usually stayed close to the same.  I would get a veggie egg white omelet with all the veggies, no cheese and drumroll please…..plus BACON!

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I did venture out once and try the “Jamaican” breakfast sort of – I couldn’t do fish in the am, but, did try the beans, potatoes and greens.

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We are spoiled on our fruit here….while they had the traditional fruit we have in the US, the best fruits were the locally grown versions and the imported grapes.

I am not really a fan of star fruit.

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But, I do like the soursop.

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There are 3 restaurants open for lunch along with the Barefoot Grill and several food vendors on the property.  Lunch almost always involved big salads of all types at their make your own salad bar.

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And sometimes a build your own wrap….all veggies plus pepper jack & BACON!

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This guy is by far my BFF!! We seriously would walk around the resort each day looking for the Jamaican BBQ Chicken Cart Guy.  I ate it every day we were at the resort!

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It doesn’t look good, but, I guarantee it will have you licking the plate.  It’s this moist, smoky chicken that has a delicious spicy (think cajun) rub on it and it’s topped with a Jamaican Jerk BBQ sauce that is a little spicy and a little sweet.

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The other two people I loved were the coconut and fruit Rasta Guys.

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You would just pick out the fruit you wanted to eat and they would take the machete’s out and peel it so you could eat it right there….The whole pineapple is the best!

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The Husband’s favorite stop was the self serve ice cream machine.  We pretty much had daily contests to see who could “build” the best cone.

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A few times a week they would have cocktail parties that you could attend before dinner to snack on appetizers and have rum punches or whatever drink you fancied.

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Looks pretty, right?  The pineapple is really the only fruit that tastes delicious in Jamaica ~ probably because it is locally grown.

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The parties always have a fantastic view of the outdoor ocean fish aquarium or the ocean as the sun sets.

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Almost every restaurant is open at night, but, they do alternate nights off.  At Secrets, they have restaurants that are: Italian, French, Jamaican, Mexican, Japanese, Thai/Chinese, Steakhouses x’s 2 and a Buffet that serves anything else you might like, including late night snacks until 2 am.

The one thing I LOVE about this place is no reservations are required and we only waited one time for 5 minutes.

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You have your choice of sitting inside or outside looking out at the ocean and sunset.  We always chose outside.

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My “date” was always doing something clowny each night….this is his bread cigar impression.

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The only problem about dining outside is that the ONLY light you have is the candle on your table which isn’t great for pictures (I refuse to use flash, ever!)  All of the food was pretty tasty….even when we ate at the Buffet for Rib Night (ribs prepared in every nationality!)

This was my “surf and turf” dish ~ filet mignon, shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes & veggies.

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At the steakhouse, I ordered grilled shrimp & bbq ribs with pesto mashed potatoes & veggies.  It really was as good as it sounded!

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There was usually a band or show going on that you could watch after the sun set while you had dinner or after dinner during another cocktail hour.

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My personal favorite was Himitsu….Japanese, Chinese & Thai Food in one….what else do you need?!

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They even have HIbachi Grills to cook in front of you!

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Our Jamaican Grill Chef was hilarious….the skits they put on will have you cracking up the entire time.

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This was the appetizer you start with at the Hibachi Grill ~ hello sushi with two types of hot sauce!

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Miso!

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Action shot!

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The veggies were my favorite along ~ I love that they included greens in the mix – go local!

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They give you steak, chicken and shrimp, but, the shrimp was the best of the three.

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You also have the choice of doing a sit down dinner instead of the HIbachi Grill which we did on our last night instead of going to Surf & Turf night (can you believe it? It was a tough choice for me lol.)

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You can choose vegetable miso or hot miso….both are delicious and come with noodles!

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The spring roll appetizer with hot chili sauce….we also shared the potstickers.

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Shrimp Prik King ~ believe it or not, this tasted almost as authentic as the places back here.  This was probably my favorite dish (aside from the Jerk Chicken) that we had all week long.

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We shared the pad thai with shrimp which reminded me of top ramen….still tasty though.

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His “cheater” chop stix…..notice anything funny about them ~ clown Winking smile

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Lunch was included on the two excursions we took.  First up was the Ultimate Jerk Center.

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You get Jerk Pork & Jerk Chicken served family style with this crazy hot jerk sauce on the side that was so incredibly good.

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This bread is made out of Cassava….I think she called it a johnny cake.

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This is a “Festival” ~ it’s made with cornmeal, flour & sugar and tastes just like fried corn bread.

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I’d go back just to go to this place….it doesn’t look fancy, but, it’s smoky, spicy, sweet, and just plain good.

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Before we did the Dunn Falls Hike and Snorkel, we had mild jerk chicken (like bbq chicken), peas & rice, salad and two types of sweet breads.  The cinnamon spice bread was my favorite – soft, sweet and sort of like a cinnamon roll.

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The one recommendation I would make if you go to Jamaica is to upgrade your departure using Club Mobay.  This was probably the BEST $30 we spent on the trip.  Not only do you get to fast track service (no waiting through immigration), you get to wait in this lounge where they have free wifi, tv’s, a place to get pedicures or massages, showers, and feed you all types of food.

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CATCHING UP ON JAMAICA ~ Here are my other two recaps:

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Have you ever had Jamaican food?  What did you have and did you like it?

See you all later!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Robyn @ Blueberries and Oats November 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

Haha the first thing I do when I walk into a restaurant is look at the lightning. When you said you ate outside the first thing I thought was “Oh noes there will be no light!”. Still, I would have made the same choice for those beautiful sunsets.

Thanks for sharing your food journey! It did not disappoint.

2 Melissa @TryingtoHeal November 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

Whoa, you seriously had some awesome food! I am so jealous!

And was the starfruit bitter? It looks a little green, which means it wasn’t entirely ripe. If you eat them when they’re nice and yellow they are super sweet! i bet you’d like them then!

3 Donna Kreiser November 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

Oh Danica- You had me at Blue Mountain Coffee. :)

I probably would have contemplated ditching my clothes just to pack my luggage with the stuff to bring home!! YUMMY!! Love it!

4 Jenny November 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

Yum! So jealous. Thanks for the suggestion about Club Mobay. If we ever go there we will definitely seek out the upgrade!

5 Meg Hartman November 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

Thank you so much for these reviews! My husband & I & my in-laws are going to Secrets Wild Orchid in February and these reviews make me so excited!! It’s one thing to read reviews on Trip Advisor but it’s another when it’s coming from a blogger (I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now). :) Thanks!

6 Roz@weightingfor50 November 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I’ve really enjoyed the Jamaican recaps Danica. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us.

7 Catherine Beaudet November 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I had a co-worker who was Jamaican and used to tease us about her jerk chicken, saying we were too “white” to deal with how hot she usually made it for her family. So I dared her to make a batch as if she was to serve it at home and to bring some extra sauce. It was good with lovely fruity tones and nice spices, but I found it very tame. Supposedly there was four Habaneros in the mix. Either they were mock-Habaneros or my spice tolerance really is high.

Glad to hear you had an awesome time on the jewel of the Carribean. I need to get my passport to be able to partake someday.

8 Colleen November 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Never been to jamica, don’t think I will ever make it, but I live and travel through you Danica and I thank you ever so much for it all!

9 Becky November 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

I love Jerk Chicken!!

last time we went I ahd fun at a local grocery store, and came back with some spice mixes etc. i love to hit grocery stores on vaaction & find new things.

One of my fave fruits on vacation (because it’s exppensive here) is papaya…but you have to put a squeeze of lime on it.

Did you try a banana? my boys were amazed at how much better they taste when they haven’t travlled so far.

10 Gail H. November 30, 2012 at 4:17 am

Lots of the folks I work with are from Jamaica, so I get a bit to try fairly often, and LOVE the spices they use! Your vaca looks marvelous, as usual!!

11 Tami @Nutmeg Notebook November 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Looks like you had a great time and wonderful local food! My kind of trip. :)

12 DanicasDaily December 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Hi Melissa,

Yes, it was totally bitter….next time I know to look for the yellow star fruit – Thanks for letting me know.

Danica

13 DanicasDaily December 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Hi Becky,

We never had the chance to try any bananas in Jamaica as hurricane sandy destroyed their harvest for the year. Next time though for sure!

Danica

14 Sarah September 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I am super excited I found you blog on Secrets Wild Orchid! My husband and I are going in a few weeks for our honeymoon. Your tips and advice are going to be a huge help!!! One issue we are having is that he is worried about the ‘all inclusive’ portion. He thinks there will be a HUGE bill at the end for everything we ate or drank that was not ‘included’. We have both worked at resorts where you just have to give your room number and they will give you anything…but then it shows up on your bill. We have heard arguments with guests over $5,000 bills etc. We don’t want that nightmare. Any reassurance you might be able to offer would really help.

Thanks!

15 DanicasDaily September 24, 2013 at 7:08 am

Hi Sarah,

You are going to love Secrets Wild Orchid! I can honestly say it is one of the few places we have been where practically everything is included in you all inclusive fee. We booked their package that included airfare, the all inclusive fee and tip. The only things that are not included would be any additional excursions or items you purchased at their stores. Other than that, everything was free even the coffees at the coffee bar and ice cream. I can’t recall if all alcohol was included or not, but, they are very good at letting you know if something costs more to have it or to upgrade (like one of the premier restaurants charges $20 more). The shows are free each night as well and we loved dining outside.

Have fun and I’d love to hear what you think!

Danica

Danica

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