As a writer and photographer I travel between my life in Toronto, my life in Antigua, and anywhere else my wanderings may take me ... writing my books and enjoying local arts and adventures along the way.

Chris on the Grill

After all our wanderings through the island we were all a little tired when we got home. The idea of eating out began to sound nicer and nicer to me. In the evenings on the way home we would always pass a bunch of cars parked on Parham Road. A number of large grills stood side by side while the smoky aroma of charcoal grilled meat, fish, and poultry sweetened the air. At some tables on the nearby outdoor patio a number of people sat talking, laughing, and enjoying the food, as well as enjoying the rich bass tones in the reggae music coming from the sound system. I could see a DJ, and some people were swaying to the music. The sweet aroma would slowly trail away from the car as we passed and we would feel like we had lost something without ever having had it. After being teased this way for many hungry nights in succession, the kids and I went down there Monday during the day for a mid afternoon meal. We were told that the restaurant was at that time in the afternoon closed for lunch service, and that the dinner service started at 7:00 pm except on Mondays, which that day was. But today was not Monday, so with no small amount of excitement we headed off.

When we got there the grill was in full swing. We placed our orders, me for jerk chicken and salad, and the kids for burgers and then we watched the cooking show put on by the chefs there. A master of the charcoal grill is a true craftsman; sprinkling water on the coals to lower the temperature and to produce steam, or alternately allowing the coals to grow hot in order to sear in the juices of meats, poultry, and fish. While the charcoal glowed with its mesmerizing orange, we watched layer upon layer of marinade be used to baste flavor so deeply that it could never be separated, no part of any morsel on a grill was left alone.

I asked one of the cooks what makes his barbecue so good. He laughed, and said “I love what I do. You can taste that in the food”.  The kids enjoyed their burgers. I loved the jerk chicken, the DJ’s selection of music, the sound system, and the atmosphere made by the people who came to eat there. In comparison to many of the places we have been Chris on the Grill was fantastically inexpensive. No wonder it’s a popular local spot.

These fish are known locally as shellfish. When roasted on the grill they are something special.

These fish are known locally as shellfish. When roasted on the grill they are something special.

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