Peppered shrimp aplenty!
Latoya Grindley, Gleaner Writer
You think Middle Quarters in St Elizabeth and you think of peppered shrimps. There are several vendors selling small packages of shrimp, ranging in prices according to size. Competition is stiff, and so as not to be missed, vendors will come running towards approaching vehicles, trying to entice customers and, ultimately, secure a sale.
At Billy's Grassy Park, located a few metres away from the bulk of vendors in Middle Quarters, buyers can purchase and enjoy peppered shrimps in comfort. "We don't run down customers, we have our things on display and customers can walk or drive up and make the order."
Known for its divine peppered shrimp and soup, operator of the establishment, Bilroy Kerr, says the shop is considered a must-stop for many. "People from all over come right here for the shrimp and soup. Tourists even know about this place right here and, when they come, they enjoy the shrimps."
Consistent good taste
Started 40 years ago by Kerr's parents, the management and times may have changed, but the consistency in taste has remained the same. "I took over from my parents many years ago, and the place still remains popular," he noted.
Offering distinct services from its competitors, the shop also differs in the proportions of shrimps sold. "We sell by the pound and if persons don't want a pound, they can buy a half or quarter pound," Kerr explained.
Kerr said the shrimp is priced according to its source. "Sometimes, in like drought season, we have to import shrimps, and this will cost more than the local ones." He said the going rate for a pound of local shrimps is $1,000.
The ever-burning pot, perched on charcoal in full view of passers-by, is an indication that there is always hot shrimp soup to ignite the appetite. "People love our shrimp vegetable soup. We have small and large for $50 and $100."
A well-known and favourite for many, Billy's Grassy Park, commonly referred to as the 'Blue Shop', is open every day between five in the morning and 10 at night. However, there are days when the hours are extended.