This BBQ stand easily ranks as my all-time favorite place to eat in all of Jamaica. Scotchie’s serves what is arguably—and Jamaicans will argue this point for hours—the best jerk chicken on the island. Scotchie’s is the exact opposite of fancy: Just a collection of tin-roofed structures around a few palapa-shaded tables by the side of the road.
The massive cooking station is perennially wreathed in smoke where workers keep the meat cooking, sandwiched between a “grill” of sweetwood and pimento sticks and large sheets of corrugated tin. The menu couldn’t be simpler: ¼, ½, or a whole chicken—or the same in poundage of pork, chicken sausage, or pork sausage (or a roasted fish filet).
Get a side of roasted yam or sweet potato (yes, those are two entirely different tubers), or rice & peas (which actually means “kidney beans” in Jamaica), sweet corn, breadfruit, festival (like a sweet hush puppy), or plantains; maybe some conch or shrimp soup.
Take your foil-wrapped bounty to a picnic table, a high wooden chairs at the bar, or a padded keg stool at a table under a palapa—spice it up, if you dare, with the homemade fire sauce made from the joint’s namesake Scotch Bonnet peppers—and wash it all down with a Red Stripe, juice, soda, or ice tea.
- Reid Bramblett