Cheap Eats: Nice Mon

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Where: Nice Mon. 19695 NW 2nd Ave, Miami.

What $15 Gets You: Jerk chicken meal, Jamaican beef patty, a drink.

As I was traveling down Northwest Second Avenue one day, I noticed this green roofed building with a big yellow sign in front that said Nice Mon: Jamaican Restaurant and Bakery. The following week I decided to stop by, the lure of Jamaican food was too hard to resist. Or maybe it was the big green roof that stands out next to the other commercial buildings and shopping plazas in the area.

The restaurant’s menu is sparse compared to other places but since this is more of a fast food joint, it’s acceptable. You have your choice of curried or jerk chicken and pork, or you can go for some curried goat or oxtails. It really is the place to try something new if you’ve never had something like goat.

The menu also features some Chinese fare like egg rolls, although you could count those items on one hand.

I ordered the jerk chicken. I was a little upset that the sauce was set on the side in a little plastic container. When I think of jerk chicken I want my poultry drenched in the seasoned sauce.

The bird should be spicy even with out the sauce because the spices are added to the chicken (or whatever meat a person uses) before it is slow cooked. Perhaps the problem was that being a fast food place they don’t really have time to let it slow cook, the chicken was ready in 15 minutes. Aside from the tameness of the chicken, it was actually quite tender (once you get through the charcoaled skin). And it is a lot of chicken so the fact that I didn’t have to struggle with the thing was definitely a plus. The small plate (labeled lunch on the menu) is anything but small, the portions will definitely leave you sleepy afterwards.

My friend Levi ordered the curried chicken, and he had to ask for a cup of water after finishing it off.

“It wasn’t spicy, just salty,” said Levi.

Final Verdict: The food is good but not great. I really do wish that some of these restaurants would only label their food as spicy when the food actually is spicy. The jerk chicken tasted more like grilled chicken than anything else. The rice was good, but it’s really hard to mess up rice so that’s a given. For $15 you can get a lot more than the meal, but trust me the amount of food you get will be enough. --Elvis Ramirez

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