There is one Caribbean island that is well known for its sweet reggae music, talented athletes and mouth-watering spicy foods – Jamaica. Now, the Grambling community has another opportunity to taste the “Jamaican life.”
The Hot Spot CafÃ© opened its doors on Aug. 18 with the aim of providing an alternative eatery for the community. The restaurant specializes in jerk food, which is a special blend of spicy, natural ingredients used to season the meats.
Proprietor, Sheila Shorter from Manchester, N.Y., said, “I just felt there was fast food everywhere and I wanted to provide some wholesome food to the residents of this area.”
After relocating to Grambling, Shorter found herself craving Jamaican dishes. After a visit to New York, the idea was birthed to open a restaurant that could provide Jamaican cuisine to Grambling.
The new business has awakened the curiosity and interest of the Grambling community.
“It’s been pretty good …everyone has been asking what Jamaican jerk chicken is and I just tell them to try it,” said Shorter.
The response has been very good and we have several returning customers, who have been spreading the word to their friends and families.
Shorter was introduced to the Jamaican style of cooking while living in New York. Additionally, she is constantly researching Jamaican recipes
Shorter described jerk this way: “It’s a very spicy, with natural ingredients and is used to marinate the chicken or other meats such as shrimp, pork and fish.”
She admits to having help from a Jamaican studying at Grambling State who she said is “a great cook.”
The restaurant offers an American burger and a jerk burger. The menu also features jerk salad, jerk fish, and jerk wings.
“There is a special love in my heart for cooking and especially healthy cooking,” said Shorter, who outlined that in the future the management plans to further develop and expand to other services such as catering.
The Hot Spot CafÃ© is located on 100 College Ave. and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.