Pride of Jamaica

Photo credit: Yadira Lopez

Photo credit: Yadira LopezPhoto credit: Yadira LopezPhoto credit: Yadira LopezMake a left on Dr. MLK Way. Drive until you see the Jamaican flag. You can’t miss it.

The locale is nothing special, but anyone who’s from South Florida knows the drill. Unassuming decor usually hides phenomenal flavors.

Pride of Jamaica has been serving up Caribbean delicacies in Newtown since April. Owner Opal Belle cooks all the food – “All of it cooked country-style,” Belle said.

Walk inside and be assaulted by the smell of spices. Oxtail, stewed chicken, curry goat. Belle scours neighboring Tampa for her herbs and spices.

A toasty oven near the door warms up the Jamaican patties. And a nearby fridge contains favorite drinks from the island including Jamaican kola champagne and aloe juice. But if you’re looking for something different, try Belle’s homemade juice made from soursop, a sweet, green-fleshed fruit.   

Belle is generous with her portions. She’s also just plain generous. When a local student arrived a few minutes late for the discounted lunch, Belle decided to make the $5.99 chicken lunch special available for students with ID at all hours.

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