Island Delight at Dexter: Montgomery, AL
Who would’ve thought it was possible to find authentic Jamaican food in ALABAMA?!
While doing my "black owned restaurants" research for Montgomery I was struggling to find anything that looked or sounded appetizing. I eventually came across Island Delight, and was still hesitant. I figured I would keep it on my radar but definitely confirm with locals first before visiting.
Quick explanation (because everyone has been asking "why did you go to Alabama?"): my primary reason for traveling to Alabama was a training for work.
After the second day of training my boss and I ordered a Lyft. During that ride we asked the driver if he knew of a good place to eat, and without us mentioning any specific places he brought up Island Delight so I took that as a sign.
Island Delight is located on Dexter Avenue: down the street from Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church (the church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached, view the church's website here) and a few minutes' walk from the home where Dr. King lived as a child.
The restaurant has a clean, open and vibrant interior with colorful decor and paintings. These photos don't do it any justice!
Island Delight also has a robust food and drink menu (this isn't even the entire menu)
including vegetarian and vegan options!
For my meal I decided on a dinner platter: jerk salmon with mango salsa and sides of plantain and cabbage. During my time in Alabama it was challenging to find vegetables, so when I finally came across some I was hype (those who know me, know that I'm serious about my veggies).
*my boss had oxtail with mixed veggies and cabbage; also MAD good*
Through general conversation with our waitress Ashley (who was very kind and attentive) she asked the owner of Island Delight, Mrs. Mellissa Smith, to come and meet us!
Mellissa is hands on and is at the restaurant almost everyday. Mellissa shared her story with us, and was kind enough to take pictures with my boss and I. Mellissa came to the United States from Jamaica in the early 2000s and started a smaller restaurant on the military base where her husband is stationed. In this smaller location she only sold lunch, and has since opened the location on Dexter Avenue to offer lunch and dinner. Mellissa's mother still manages the military base location.
In addition to serving lunch and dinner Island Delight on Dexter has dine in and take out options, offers private catering, and even has an event space in the back.
Overall, my visit to Island Delight was excellent!
Connect with Island Delight at Dexter on Facebook !