Winsome Douglas and Racquille ‘Abi’ Reid are bringing authentic Caribbean flavors to a new restaurant on the Black Horse Pike this winter.
By Matt Skoufalos | October 8, 2021
Despite the great variety of cultural cuisines available in South Jersey, Jamaican dishes still remain among the rarer to encounter.
This winter, Winsome Douglas and Racquille ‘Abi’ Reid will bring them to Haddon Heights when they open Irie Mon, an eatery dedicated to island flavors and culture.
Douglas, who hails from St. Catherine Parish in Jamaica, said it’s been her dream to bring authentic Jamaican cuisine to South Jersey since moving from New York to Glendora five years ago.
She toured commercial storefronts up and down the White Horse Pike before noticing the for-rent sign at the Plaza 500 commercial strip mall.
Its turnkey kitchen was exactly what she had been searching for.
“The whole point is to make authentic Jamaican food,” Douglas said. “We’re going to be branding ourselves as a jerk chicken spot; we’re getting all our spices straight out of Jamaica. It will be that authentic flavor.”
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The best-known dishes in Jamaican cuisine often originate from jerk cooking, a process of dry rub or wet marinade that combines Scotch bonnet chilies, allspice, and thyme before cooking over green pimento wood, which imbues them with its aromatic flavors.
Chicken is the most popular meat in these recipes, but Irie Mon will also offer other jerk dishes, including pork chops, Douglas said.
“It’s that taste that when you have it, you have to eat more,” she said.
Centered on traditional Jamaican recipes like jerk meats, patties, oxtail, and curried goat, the menu at Irie Mon will also feature some American soul-food dishes, like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens.
The 1,100-square-foot eatery will occupy the former Phở Ha Bac storefront at 507 South Black Horse Pike in Haddon Heights. Irie Mon is headed for a December 1 opening.
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