Mad Girl Eats The Abbey, Tucson

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The Abbey, 6960 E Sunrise Dr, Tucson, AZ.   UPDATE:  Sadly, I must report that this restaurant has closed permanently.   😦

The Abbey, at the Catalina Foothills, is a hip spot for foodies looking for American cuisine with a twist. Very cool interior, with patio seating pointed to the mountains. Great place for sunset dining and don’t worry , even though the sun goes down and the desert air turns cool, their patio heaters work fabulously.

Perusing the menu, you definitely see a trendy take on American classics. Not wanting anything too heavy, the table ordered The Board. A mix of charcuterie, cheeses, crisps, salmon, nuts, dried fruit, olives, breads and spreads. Absolutely triumphant in serving a well-rounded, generous amount of superb tidbits. The Watermelon Margarita was a ridiculously good pairing also. Luscious!

Once the server mentioned the soup, my ears perked up and I was hooked on a feeling. Tomato basil soup with grilled cheese sandwich croutons. It came in a huge mug and was, incredible. I would have loved a few more “croutons”, but it was fantastic nonetheless.

A bit pricey, but fab food and atmosphere were worth it. Closed Mondays. Happy Hour in the bar, which is tiny if you’re planning on going, but great prices Tues-Sat 4-6pm + 8pm-close, Sunday HH all day 10:30am-close.

http://theabbeytucson.com

4.5 out of 5 savory smackaroos.

Scotchies in Jamaica

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Scotchies, Drax Hall, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The original. 2 more locations on the island.

Jamaica + Foodie = Jerk chicken! Just outside of Ocho Rios lies a place call Scotchies, a well-known restaurant to locals and visitors alike. Guy Fieri and his family recently ate there while in port on a cruise. Touted as “the best jerk chicken and pork” by his crew and many others, I knew my stop in Ocho Rios had to include eating at Scotchies.

You do need to take a taxi there. After numerous, and I do mean numerous, taxi drivers hounding and getting into my “dance space” to get my fare, finally a kind gentleman at a fair price whisked me away down the seaside highway to this hidden island gem.

You see nothing but greenery from the road, but once past the gravel lot you enter paradise. The sights of a Caribbean gardens, sauntering pathways, and the smell. A mix of fresh ocean air, island flowers, and meat smoking on the grill. Oooh weeee! That scent instantly makes my mouth water.

Stepping up to the order window, jerk chicken, jerk pork and festival is high on my wish list, so let’s try! Stepping down the line to hand in my ticket for my lunch, I watch the gigantic grills working their magic. Interesting wood logs and large sheets of metal roofing are used to adjust the temperature. My order is ready, scotch bonnet pepper sauce is in a cup on the side and I’m ready to go sit and enjoy.

Scotch bonnet pepper sauce is up with in heat level with Habanero. Be careful. The jerk chicken is awesome, juicy and not overly spicy. I hate when the spicy heat overpowers the flavor of the meat. The jerk seasoning is the perfect balance and both the chicken and pork is hands down fantastic. Smoky, juicy, spicy. Ya Mon!

Festival was a great pick for a side. It is a cross of a squishy breadstick and cornbread…but fried. It is yummy and inexpensive, just try it and don’t ask questions. Thank me later.

Tip: Taxi will try to rip you off, they start at $50 or $60 to take you to and from this restaurant. They will go down to $30, I got my ride for $20. Make sure your Taxi is licensed. There was so much food, I shared some with Woody, my driver. Menu prices are in Jamaican currency, not US. Half chicken, 1/4 lb pork, festival, 2 drinks = $17 U.S.

4.5 out of 5 worth-the-trip Mon!

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