Some of our favourite North American cities are currently enduring winter along with various stages of lockdown/coronavirus-curbing measures. Thoughts and prayers. However, here on The Rock, we are fortunate, nay blessed, to continue enjoying al fresco dining, numerous socially distanced outdoor activities, and temps in the 30s. Now that the phrases “Friday drinks” and “touch road” have returned to our vocab (fingers crossed we don't jinx it), why not make The Steak House on the Verandah your Friday spot for drinks and oysters?
Each Friday, starting at 4:00 pm, The Steak House on the Verandah principal Chef Christian Sweeney invites veteran Old Harbour fisherman Ruel “Pinchers” Mackie to shuck oysters caught earlier that day. Pinchers, as his long-time customers and fellow fisherfolk call him, has been fishing Jamaican waters for over 30 years. He knows all the best spots and if you think that delicious oysters can't thrive in Old Harbour Bay, well, think again. Also, his mignonette sauces (mild, medium, and hot) are divine. You can purchase bottles of the stuff, and you should. Thursday Food suggests calling ahead to confirm they'll have oysters that day, as Mackie sometimes has catering orders to fulfil. The fisherman is booked and busy! And whenever he's on-site, get there early, sidle up to the bar, order a few dozen oysters and wash them down with cold beers or rum-based cocktails.
We understand the critical contributions local fisherfolk make to the economy. What would Easter, Sundays at the beach, and well, our weekly meal plans be without them? According to the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), “Fisheries play an important role in trade, employment and food security in the Caribbean.”
We're grateful that Chef Sweeney sees it fitting to highlight Pinchers and allow his patrons to slurp delicious fresh-shucked local oysters on the verandah.