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New eatery brings Caribbean flavor to Lancaster

by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

May 09, 2019
LANCASTER — A new restaurant has opened in Lancaster and it's like nothing else offered in town. The Caribbean Spice Cafe is now located at what was JL Sullivans, across from Town Hall. New owners Andre and Kadeen Moncrieffe offer an authentic Caribbean cuisine that many locals have already come to enjoy.

The interior of the restaurant has been changed into a colorful environment that represents the owner's home country of Jamaica. On the walls are famous Jamaicans such as Bob Marley, Usain Bolt (the fastest man alive) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (the first Caribbean woman to win the 100m gold at the Olympics) with many more that will soon don the walls. Through the speakers a mix of reggae music can be heard but what makes this cafe special is of course it's unique cuisine.

Included on the menu are green plantain nachos, island jerk burger, oxtail, curried goat, cajun chicken, shrimp pesto and ocean caught snapper to name a few. For the not so adventurous eater, there are more common menu items such as jerked pork, mozzarella sticks, pineapple chicken, surf and turf, fish and chips and the simple BLT. The full menu includes various dishes that continue to receive rave reviews from all who walk through the door.

Moncrieffe sat down with the Democrat last week and explained his journey to Lancaster, explaining that "I've always been involved in the food industry with my entire family working in the tourism field. In Jamaica tourism is huge."

Moncrieffe went to college where he earned a degree in business. He then furthered his career in culinary arts at the push of his father.

"In Jamaica's tourism industry, everything has to be perfect and on point. This training is what brought me here today," he said.

Moncrieffe made the move from Jamaica to New England in 2000. As for the North Country, he likes it.

"I grew up in the country side in Jamaica, where my grandfather and father were both farmers. I enjoy the peace and quiet. I fell in love with New England right away and I'm a Red Sox fan all the way," he joked.

When he first sought to open a Caribbean restaurant in town, others told him it simply wouldn't work. Moncrieffe, had a different perspective however, commenting that "The key is, if you're Jamaican, you won't crave Jamaican food. If you're used to another culture, you want to experience another culture's food. I walked through Lancaster and realized it needed a place like ours."

Moncrieffe, was right. Since the doors opened in early April business has been thriving.

"The locals have welcomed us with open arms and really seem to enjoy the food and the company," said Montclief.

The staff includes a chef and bartender from Jamaica, however the Moncrieffe's have hired locals to grow their staff.

The restaurant is open for a traditional breakfast, that includes the basics, however the menu does include Jamaican style breakfast as well. The cafe is open seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

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