Three ‘Summer Bites’ in one day? Food challenge accepted!
If challenges are meant to make life interesting, then consider me the happiest culinary camper. The heat was on this week as Food took on Summer Bites.
The mission, courtesy of Hamilton Smokehouse and Best Dressed Chicken, was to select three restaurants and see how creative each was in incorporating their meaty delights to select restaurant menus. The inner foodie in me jumped with joy at the wonderful occasion and immediately got to the ‘meat’ of the matter.
I was able to narrow down the top three in the nation’s capital, based on this rubric: something familiar, something brand new, and something blue.
Our first stop was at Cafe Blue on Constant Spring Road. With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, we had the menu black forest ham sandwich, which one could tell was made with love in the kitchen.
Classic ham and cheese is always a welcoming combination. But Cafe Blue invited us to take the profile up a notch with a balance of fresh vegetables and the sweet kick of pepper jelly, smack in the middle of beautifully toasted bread. Umm! Incredible!
This elevated approach to taste was exciting enough. But then the cafe’s manager, Tamika Thompson-Oliver, said there was more in store. The company decided to marry the Summer Bites with a trifecta of speciality beverages called Summer Bliss.
Customers are encouraged to pair their sandwich with the sipping pleasures of Mango Fizz, Lychee Blush, or a Salted Caramel Frappuccino. Don’t let the fizz fool you: this drink is anything but that, providing a refreshing complement to start your day. If you’re one for brunch, then the sophisticated rush of the Lychee Blush will be for you.
Stop number two brought us to my something new; Uncorked Too. There’s something about dining in the presence of corked and uncorked wines that always delivers on sophistication, relaxation, and great vibes. I was thrilled for this stop because, confession time, my name is Krysta Anderson and I have never had a corn dog before. Having no other experience to compare it to, I was eager to tick an item off my foodie bucket list.
Hit with the sweetness of the batter that contrasted with the seasoning of the jerk sausage, it was surprisingly exhilarating. We were given three dipping sauces: ketchup, in-house signature syrup, and honey mustard. Option three was winning in my book. And as corny as this may sound, I was biting away at this hot sensation! Consider me an official corn dog fan!
After ticking breakfast and lunch off the list, it was time for dinner. My solo adventures landed me at Tamarind Indian Cuisine. The restaurant, located in Orchid Plaza, Barbican, boasts romantic lighting and rich aromas that awaken all the senses. The familiarity of this culture always brings me home to stories, laughter, and yes, cooking. I’m a quarter Indian (although I don’t look it) and I’m very proud of every aspect of my heritage. Curry and roti are both staples in my home.
So please excuse me for jumping at the opportunity to try the tandoori chicken. I was happy I said yes to a dish that honours traditional Indian masala and is freshly prepared in a clay oven. I also couldn’t help but gush over the mint sauce! The interest in my dish kindled within me and I savoured every moment of the experience.
Summer Bites started in July and will run up to August 26. And with 17 restaurants to choose from, located in Kingston, Ocho Rios, Negril, and Montego Bay, brand manager of Hamilton Smokehouse, Lackesha Pitter, is encouraging newcomers and food lovers to treat their palates to the best in flavour.