I normally do not review similar restaurants back-to-back, for the sake of keeping this blog diverse. However, as soon as I declared Caribbean Food Factory the king of jerk chicken in Montreal, I got wind of another fan favorite in this category. Since I was next door to the eatery in question – Pointe-Saint-Charles' Boom Js Cuisine – on this rainy Monday, I could not resist dropping in for a closer examination.
Helmed by Jermaine (Boom) Wallace, the unassuming Wellington Street outfit suggests an experience authentic to the chef's native land of Jamaica. The menu is chock-full of island classics – jerk, curries, stews – served in plates, patties and roti. Rounding all this up are chicken wings and a bountiful selection of Caribbean sodas and juices.
Boom's jerk is an excellent rendition of the Jamaican staple. Tender and full of flavour, with a pronounced clove taste emanating from the allspice, I only wish it gave a stronger kick. Sitting atop a mound of rice and peas, this makes a great all-in-one meal along with the plantain and sweet/sour coleslaw.
Following jerk, oxtail is my second-favourite Caribbean dish. The one here wasn't fully fall-off-the-bone, but almost there. The abundant gravy was rich and tasty; you will want to drizzle every last drop of it on the rice and fries. These were alright, but out of place; I'll stick to the slaw as a side from now on.
After licking our plates clean – with our spoons, not tongues – my wife and I recalled ordering Boom Js for takeout once before. A quick look into my archived emails placed this in 2016, three years after its 2013 opening. That dinner somehow slipped into the back of memory, probably due to the merriment of having friends over and sharing a few drinks with them.
With both in-restaurant dining and hosting people at home out of question seven months into the COVID-19 pandemic, individual takeout is our only option right now. Given Mr. Wallace's excellent, crowd-pleasing comfort food, I believe he will do just fine with this. After all, I had to wait behind three delivery app drivers to pick up my food today, with a couple more showing up after I left.
Price per person: $15.75
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.