Winsome Douglas and her daughter, Racquille ‘Abi’ Reid, welcome visitors to their authentic Jamaican eatery for imported classics, fresh-smoked jerk chicken, and specialty dishes.
By Matt Skoufalos | December 3, 2021
After months of work, Winsome Douglas and her daughter, Racquille “Abi” Reid, opened the doors of Irie Mon, their authentic Jamaican restaurant, on the Black Horse Pike in Haddon Heights December 4.
On Thursday night, Douglas was overjoyed at the opportunity to see her dream realized, and hustling to wrap up the final details.
“It’s a blessing,” she said. “I’m a spiritual person, and everything is falling into place.
“Everybody has rallied around and helped and gotten us to this point,” Douglas said. “At this point, it’s go time.”
Inside the vibrantly decorated storefront at 507 Black Horse Pike in Haddon Heights, Reid was putting the finishing touches on the dining room and stocking the display case with imported Jamaican treats to a soundtrack of dub and dancehall music.
“We’re bringing straight Jamaican vibes,” Reid said. “We’re trying to create the Jamaican feeling. We expect to give our best effort to bring the authentic Jamaican taste to South Jersey, and [guests] can expect to have the highest quality of Jamaican food.”
Reid described a months-long, “very selective process” to shore up the logistical lines that will deliver a steady supply of island flavors to the restaurant. Familiar products like D&G sodas, bulla and rock cake, and Jamaican bread from Golden Krust bakery will be served alongside stuffed patties.
The centerpiece of the menu, however, is jerk chicken. Smoked onsite with traditional flavors of pimento, scotch bonnet pepper, and all-purpose seasoning, jerk chicken and wings will feature heavily alongside curried chicken and goat, stewed and fried chicken, oxtail, and mutton.
Fish dishes include escovtich, a fried fish seasoned with a tangy, peppery, pickled sauce comprising bell peppers, onions, carrots, and other spices; fish tea soup, a thin broth that also doubles as a popular cold remedy; and steamed red snapper.
Side dishes feature authentic Jamaican recipes, like cornmeal porridge, rice and peas, and fried plantains, as well as crossing over into familiar American soul food favorites, like macaroni and cheese, collard greens, rice and beans, and candied yams.
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“It is full of flavor, bursting with color and everything,” Reid said; “that’s Jamaican food for you. Once you hit outside, you’re going to smell it.”
The restaurant is also hiring for cashiers, servers, and drivers; Douglas and Reid invite interested parties to apply in person.
Irie Mon is located at 507 Black Horse Pike in Haddon Heights. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Local delivery is available. For more information, call 856-323-8688.
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