If you've always wanted a Jamaican grandmother, then get yourself over to Ruth's Jamaican Hot & Cold Deli, 255 Battle Avenue, White Plains. It's a storefront (a counter and a few formica tables -- mostly caters to take-out) on a street that runs through a residential section, kind of out of the way. Maybe that's why we're the only non-Jamaicans I've ever seen in there.
It is presided over by the serious, no-nonsense Ruth, or sometimes one of her relatives. Each day she cooks up pots of great, comforting food. There are no signs, so you have to ask her what's cooking. Today it was "oxtail, stew chicken, curry chicken, curry goat, jerk chicken, pepper steak, fish." She also had a chicken and pumpkin soup, which I had never seen before. What she calls pumpkin tastes more like melon to me. Anyway, it was utterly delicious, like everything else she makes.
And it's a bargain, to boot. A "small" dinner -- a hearty serving of one her main courses, accompanied by rice and beans, a mix of cabbage/carrots/broccoli (crisp/tender!) and a couple of slices of fried sweet plantain, packed into an aluminum take-out container -- runs about $8. A couple of times I've just ordered the sides without the main course, which was even less.
I think this is the kind of place that Chowhound was created for, and I hope other chowers find their way there.
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