Who was the first to make an ackee & saltfish loaf? According to Michael "Moppy" Daly, he was. And he did it at The Patty Place, his shop in Miami Gardens. In 2008, the place won our Best Jamaican Patty award. But that's not all you'll find there.
Moppy says, "Ackee is basically our national food....we mix it with cod fish. A loaf is like a sandwich. When I put them together, nobody else was doing it. Now everybody is. I should have patented it. People come from Homestead to Coral Springs just for this little treat."
But patties are definitely the name of the game here, and they're of the old-style flaky variety.
Back in 2006, in an article on cheap Caribbean joints, Lee Klein described them as "Fresh, soft, pumpkin-hue patties slenderly laced with beef, chicken, or vegetable filling ($1.10 to $1.50), all possessing a similarly spicy and slightly sweet flavor hopped up with garlic." That is still the case, the patties are simple, cheap, and tasty.
Daly says, "Another old custom Jamaican product is plantain tart. We cook and season the plantain with spices. I'm from up in the hills of St. Andrews. I been here in Miami 28 years, but I brought the traditions with me."
By the way, the hills of St Andrews are the famous Blue Mountains, where the best coffee in the world is produced, so the food traditions up there are probably inspired by early risers with great dirt under their feet.
Patty Place is located in the Caribbean Shoppes plaza and surrounded by other great places to eat. It's definitely worth checking out.
19547 NW 2nd Ave., Miami Gardens
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