There are a lot of places in this small island that when discovered you wonder why haven’t you been there before? These places are not mega Resorts, or richly styled places of business. Far from it. They are usually the regular mom and pop joints, the ones that you hear from a friend who discovered it before you and felt compulsed to spread the word. and when you discover it you also feel compelled. I discovered such a place and felt it was my duty to spread the word as far and wide as everyone should visit this plsce. It’s called Salz & Pfeffer, thats the German translation for Salt & Pepper. No, its not a rum bar on the road, neither is it a typical Jamaican entertainment hole where locals gather. Rather it is a quaint little eatery and retro lounge just as you pass the Ian Flemming aero drome, about 400 yards later you arrive on this gem of a place.
Operated by the charming host Shirley you drive into this 1930s fashioned house with well manicured lawn, rustic trimmings and props. Tables are placed on the lawn. You step into the cozy eatery and immedaitely you can feel the warmth of the place as the host welcomes you with the biggest Jamaican smile. The tables are duo, small enough for a comfotable romantic evening and big enough for friends to sit and let their hair down. The eatery is equistely fashioned from old theatrcial furniture, soft velvet curtains, crystal candelabras and silver candle holders reminiscent of the faily tale Cinderella. The mood is theatircal , classy yet comfotable allowing you to snuggle in the large oversized sofa chair if you wish. You are at home. Its a feeling you cannot buy or express. You have to experience it yourself.
No pomps and circumstances here. The new staff is attentive and friendly. The menu has just enough for adequte selections but a word with the chef/hostest will confirm your selections. Everything is cooked to order. While you are waiting you are served appetizers with delicate flavored butter with a selection to suit anyones palate. The potato soup was the best I ever had and when the entre was served, pork with lemon sause I was now in heaven. My friends were already in heaven. Grandma has just cooked a meal and no one can cook like your grandma! The food was simply delicious. The price – under US$80 for 3 persons. Who could have asked for a better way to pamper yourself. We left the restaurant at midnight unaware of the time entertained by the gracious host. Salz & Pfeffer is now at the top of my favourite eatery. Finally a place that is small enough for comfortable social gatherings, hip enough with the best jazz and standards by world famous artiste, great serivce and fantastic food all rolled into one. It is a gem that hopefully will attract the right clientelle to sustain its existence.
I am spreading the word. If you are in the Ocho Rios area , rush to this place. You are best served if you call and make a reservations – 975 3717. It opens from 12noon everyday until the last person leaves and it serves pizza for lunch , and not the dreadful Americanized pizza hut type and various sandwiches of sorts. This is not a paid or authorized advertisement. I hope the owners read this review. It is one person who discovered a gem of a place sharing it with the world. It a classy place, nestled on the highway of the Port Maria road where anyone can eat exquisitely and at the same time eat and feel like a local. I love the feeling of having a place that is thoroughly entertaining and yet you have the feeling that you never left home. THAT to me is a special place. You get class and warmth, service and relationship all at the same time creating something very special. Thats what I am looking for when I go out any evening. No need to get pompos here, you will loose everything.