Rosemary Parkinson, Freelance Writer
PHOTOS BY ROSEMARY PARKINSON: Warren the barman at the Jamaica Bobsled Café and Brooklyn Pizza in Montego Bay.
Jamaica Bobsled Café and Brooklyn Pizza
69 Gloucestershire Avenue.,
The Hip Strip, Montego Bay
Open: 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily. Pizza delivery until closing
Phone: 876-940 7009
YEARS AGO, living in Germany, I was watching the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, when out of nowhere came a bobsled team from Jamaica.
Well, mi brain nearly pop out a mi head. Mi eye fill wid water, and mi face light up wid a smile. The others in the room (all Europeans) thought the vision of those black guys from the Caribbean hilarious and scoffed. They made snide little remarks like, "What do they know about snow" and, "That bobsled won't even last the take off".
I left those idiots to their
hootings and tootings, I was just too thrilled and proud that "my island guys" would dare. So what if they came last, the fact that they were competing in a sport totally away from their sphere of things was absolutely amazing.
DEM MEK IT
You know the saying about who laugh last? Well, dem Euros did not but I did laughed with joy to be exact. Not only did that Jamaica team get more press than all di res' but dem make a top 15 performance, beating the well financed USA team. I didn't realise that they had in fact competed at the 1988 Calgary Olympics in Canada. The movie Cool Runnings released in 1993 tells the story of these brave, wonderful Jamaicans. I have become a total fan. Since a little kiosk opened at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, selling bobsled paraphernalia, I have become a "small buyer" every little bit towards the boys helps, think I.
I recently returned from my Barbadian sojourn to discover a new spot in Montego Bay, right
on the Hip Strip, dedicated to
these crazy Jamaicans whose
internal fortitude has placed them on the bobsled map. (Hey, this
season the team won a gold medal at the America's Cup in Calgary, Canada.) These days we hardly hear anything about the bobsled team. Shame, shame. These guys, competing in a sport that is out of their natural realm, create such excitement wherever they go that the press (abroad, of course), the people in the sport (abroad, of course) cannot get enough of them. They are some of our best
ambassadors because they spread Jamaica's name all over the world like butter on hot harddough bread.
THE BOBSLED CAFE
The Jamaican Bobsled Café opened on January 27 and is already showing its raison d'etre, drawing a good crowd. The
biggest attraction, of course, is
the Jamaican bobsled. You can
actually climb aboard, close your eyes and imagine flying down a tunnel of ice at amazing speeds. The tables and walls are decorated with photos that tell stories of the team's worldwide popularity. As I sat at the bar looking around I felt a great pride well up in me and I knew I had finally been given a chance to put pen to paper food had come to the bobsled boys straight into my line of business.
Now, I am not a pizza fan so when the menu arrived and it was all about pizza, I became just a tad despondent. However, between the guys behind the bar making jokes and the "Bushwacker" and "Hummingbird" cocktails, my friend and I succumbed, ordering a medium Jamaican Jerk Chicken Pizza and a serving of Garlic Cheese Sticks from the Brooklyn Pizza Menu. In no time the food was placed in front of us, piping hot and looking good. The pizza was covered with jerk chicken pieces, lots of onions, a 'spicy Caribbean' sauce. It was thick with cheese and Mama Mia good. The sticks were crispy, loaded down with garlic cheese and served with a delish spicy sauce.
NOT A CRUMB LEFT
Warren (our barman and waiter) giggled at us both who had earlier sneered at the notion of having to eat pizza. There was not a crumb left on the plates. I got a chance between bites to chat with Norris Taylor, one of the owners, who explained the work done by a
gentleman by the name of Anders Vestergaard the agent for the team since 2003. A New Yorker of Danish/German parentage, Vestergaard is the man behind the official team merchandise at the Montego Bay airport and then took the concept further with the café. What better way to raise money
for the team for promotion,
training and preparing. There are six athletes involved and the goal is to build a world class bobsled programme for them and others.
The Jamaica Bobsled Café is endorsed by the Bobsled Federation of Jamaica and a good percentage of sales goes directly
to them. The bar is definitely solid with a fine selection of rum, whiskies, brandies, vodkas, liqueurs and all those other
inebriating liquids. There are frozen drinks such as the Virgin Sled for those who wish to stay 'compus-mente' and an array of great cocktails with names like Cool Runnings (of course), Blue Moon, Jamaican Memory. Shots include the Kamikaze and B52.
It makes no sense to describe the menu in detail, suffice it to say there's a good selection of pizzas a medium is huge and other goodies. Drop in and find out for yourself.
Oh, one last thingie, there is a pizza delivery service right up until closing time which is great news for party animals and late night television viewers.
After this month's World Cup, members of the team will be
greeting the public at the cafe and the airport location. Look out for this chance to meet some real great good looking hunks in the flesh and, of course, the opportunity to make their dreams come true with your financial support.
I will ask myself daily,
"How can I serve?" and
"How can I help?" The answers to these questions will allow me to help and serve my fellow human beings with love.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra