Tue | Jun 28, 2022
STREET EATS

‘Out A Road’ Crabby to host seafood fiesta

Farmer who lost stock to praedial larcenists celebrating rekindled passion for crab and cooking

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2022 | 12:07 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Out A Road Crabby crabs are boiled in a signature broth and served hot.
Out A Road Crabby crabs are boiled in a signature broth and served hot.
Barbecued crabs overflowing with sauce and spices is a hot commodity, and the first of all the items on the menu to be set out for the day.
Barbecued crabs overflowing with sauce and spices is a hot commodity, and the first of all the items on the menu to be set out for the day.
Jermaine Morris, owner of Out A Road Crabby, delivers spicy, boiled crab to loyal customer Affrica Jones.
Jermaine Morris, owner of Out A Road Crabby, delivers spicy, boiled crab to loyal customer Affrica Jones.
Did someone say crabby patties? And no, not the ones SpongeBob prepares. These are made with a peppery crab-and-vegetable filling stuffed into a thick dough and baked over a coal stove.
Did someone say crabby patties? And no, not the ones SpongeBob prepares. These are made with a peppery crab-and-vegetable filling stuffed into a thick dough and baked over a coal stove.
These crab fritters are fried to perfection.
These crab fritters are fried to perfection.
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Along the Hellshire main road, Jermaine Morris has created a street-side eating venue. There the menu stimulates all your senses, and the main ingredient is crabs. The crab farmer and chef, more popularly known as ‘Crabby, Out A Road’, or ‘Indian’, by a smaller circle of persons, travels from Trelawny to St Catherine every Saturday to set up shop.

“It has been worth every dollar, and the time it takes to drive from my parish to Portmore is like nothing to me these days,” the Out A Road Crabby boss told Food.

As Morris packs takeaway bags, he does not forget to place flyers for the upcoming Portmore City Crab Fiesta, which he has curated with the help of SunCity 104.9 FM, into the hands of his customers. It is an event he is most proud to say he is bringing to the community, and is slated for this Saturday, June 25, at Green Area Portmore Mall.

Morris says it is a “celebration of crab – like no other,” and that the stomachs of seafood lovers will also be satisfied.

A carefully crafted menu and incomparable service finds residents from around the Hellshire, Braeton, Greater Portmore communities and Kingston lining up for the first bite. Morris not only knows how to run a farm, he knows how to ‘run a boat’, and does so with a wide knowledge of seasonings and spices. It’s not just the boil of ‘Moonshine’ crabs (the larger, bright yellowish-orange male crabs) that has mouths watering; the barbecued and curried crab and seafood soup are sure sellers.

BACK ON HIS FEET

Last June, Morris was thinking of a master plan to re-establish his first business – farming crabs for sale – after he suffered losses at the hands of praedial larcenists. After things picked up, it rekindled a passion for cooking and creating signature crab dishes.

“I did not allow the incident to be an actual dent into my business,” Morris shared. “Crabs is something I know well, that includes the ways it can be cooked. Trust me, if you are not a lover of crab, land or sea crab, I will convert you.”

And that he did – for me and for others. The juicy tastiness of cracking open a crab leg and having all the flavours of thyme, garlic, basil and hot peppers escaping in each bite of the meat changed me into a believer that land crab can be an epicurean feast.

He also had a few hidden treats, including patties filled with crab and vegetables, and crab fritters. As soon as those were revealed, it had customers who had entered their vehicles to leave, having had their fill, reversing at the sound of others ordering double servings of the golden baked and fried goodies.

If you’re ever driving on Hellshire Road, or passing through the city on a Saturday, look out for Morris’s large, stainless steel pots over coal fire. That’s if you can make them out through the fleet of cars and crowd of customers surrounding his tables.

“I know I’m a good host, if not anything else, so I am inviting everyone to come out, whether you like crab or not. Like I have converted others, I promise you will be, too,” Morris said with a laugh.

The menu has everything the Out A Road Crabby stall offers weekly, as well as crab pizza, crab burgers, pasta and crab balls; shrimp done in different styles and sauces, including coconut, curry, garlic, and peppered; as well as fried fish.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com