Best Jamaican Restaurant (2000)

Jerk Machine

"We don't joke; we jerk," boast the folks at Jerk Machine, which serves jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk fish, jerk stew peas, jerk shrimp, and jerk crab at seven locations in South Florida. The chain originated in Jamaica where in days gone by the maroons, escaped slaves who established independent communities in the hills, built up their courage by eating mouth-scorching spices. The meat is marinated in Jerk Machine's secret and spicy sauce, then grilled. Hard-core fanatics douse the finished meat with more sauce. For those with more timid palates, Jerk Machine also serves milder curries, ackee and saltfish (cod), mackerel, and callaloo, the Jamaican spinach. But if you are looking for even more kick to your meal, try the rum-soaked fruitcake or a bottle of ginger beer. If you want a fancy ambiance, order take-out, because the décor is strictly fast-food. All the effort here goes into the jerk.


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