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Caribbean Getaway

A restaurant that will transport you to Jamaica



ired of fast-paced, stressed-out city life? Cruise into Flames for some Jamaican and West Indian food and a mellow vibe that will make you feel as if you’ve escaped to the Caribbean, at least for a while. The three locations seem held up not by columns, but by palm trees, with wainscoting made of bamboo stalks and bright and sunny colors accented by Jamaican art and throw pillows. As for the food, it’s tasty and exotic—from spicy jerk chicken to curried goat, stewed oxtail, tripe, cowfoot, curried conch, Jamaican cornbread, and saltfish and cabbage, plus rum cake or bread pudding for dessert; breakfasts include callaloo—a leafy vegetable known as amaranth, simmered and stewed—and ackee, a kind of berry. The Mattapan flagship is mostly for takeout, and is open till midnight, while the casual Brigham Circle dine-in location features Carib and Red Stripe and beer and the Grove Hall store offers daily brunch. Check the website for frequent coupons and promotions. Healy


Just as there’s a Jamaica Plain in Boston, named for the Jamaican rum trade, there’s a Boston Bay in Jamaica, a popular surf spot and the birthplace of Jamaican jerk named for the Boston Fruit Company, which loaded bananas there for sale in the United States. The company later became the United Fruit Company, then United Brands, and is now Chiquita.