There are actually two Ms Ivy's Restaurants and Bar in the Boston District of Fairy Hill Portland, Jamaica. The first is at the location of most of the contemporary Boston Jerk Pits. The second is Ms Ivy Brown's Restaurant and Bar at Boston Beach, a less than five minute walk from the Boston Jerk Center. I will speak first of Ms Ivy's Restaurant at the Boston Jerk Center, then of Ms Ivy's Restaurant at Boston Beach.
Miss Ivy's Restaurant in the Boston Jerk Center is tucked away in the building behind Bumpy's Jerk Chicken grill. She has been serving meals there since 1999. She serves authentic, homestyle, Jamaican meals. As can be seen in the picture above she takes the time to do prepare the food Jamaicans of two generations ago had. No blenders existed so coconut had to be grated by hand for the coconut milk used in Run Down or Rice and Peas. She says she likes to grate the coconut by hand because it tastes nicer than when you use a blender. This is because you get more milk out of the hand grated coconut, and it has a higher oil content, consequently you get more flavor.
She serves Brown Stew Chicken, Brown Stew Pork, Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, Fried Fish and Dumplings, Run Down and Saltfish, Rundown and Salt Mackeral, Ackee and Saltfish. There is usually a soup of the day well.
Ms. Ivy Brown opened her restaurant and bar at Boston Beach in 1985. She has been there now for almost 30 years this year, and is excited about Boston Beach finally being refurbished after the Gilbert hurricane mostly destroyed it in 1988. The beach has never been fully refurbished since then.
She was inspired to start her restaurant by her family, because she loves cooking, and they knew she could successful. The building for the restaurant and bar had been vacant for a while, and with family support she went through the application process with Portland Parish Council, and was successful in getting their permissions.
The restaurant and bar was her first entrepreneurial business endeavor, as well as her first time cookig professionally. Beyond learning cooking at home, when she worked at Frenchman's Cove as a housekeeper, she would spend some of her break time watching the preparation of food in the kitchen there. I can attest to Ms Ivy's cooking being authentic, home style Jamaiaca. Everytime I've eaten there it has genuinely reminded me of my Mom's holiday cooking.
Her favorite dish personally is brown stew fish. Fish is also steamed, or fried, to order based on your request. She also serves lobster, fried, curry, brown stew, and of course, jerk chicken. Sides include plaintain, bami, rice and peas, festival, steamed vegetables, cole slaw, potato salad, fried dumpling and roast breadfruit. Ackee and saltfish is availble for breakfasts, too.
Ms Ivy says you should come to visit her, because she "cooks very well," and her cooking is "very tasty." I concur. She's grateful to all of you who have supported her over the years.