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Jamaican D’s: For Hefty Appetites and Not-So Hefty Pockets

As a college student, you’re never hard-pressed to come by run-of-the-mill pizza and french fries around campus, but Caribbean food isn’t as accessible. If you don’t frequent Pearson Hall or the Engineering building, it’s easy to miss Jamaican D’s, the brainchild of owner, Dave Dawes. Mark Gordon, the chef at the Jamaican D’s food truck, grew up making Jamaican food.

“I’ve been doing this all my life,” says Gordon. A native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Gordon’s grandmother began teaching him how to cook when he was 15. Because of his years culinary experience, nervousness didn’t play a factor for him when Jamaican D’s first came to Temple in 2013. In fact, Gordon was pleased with the amount of business they received.

Some of the staple items of the truck (which is located on 12th and Norris, across from the Engineering Building) are their jerk chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese. Dishes can be bought separately or in platters that could last you for days.

From wings, shrimp platters, beef patties, collard greens and stew beef, Jamaican D’s has many signature dishes that embody Caribbean culture.

Gordon’s favorite thing about Temple is its cultural diversity and his customers are representative of this. Gordon is responsible for all of the food served at Jamaican D’s. Theresa Clemmings greets and serves customers most of the time.  

Temple isn’t the only campus fortunate enough to have Gordon and Clemmings diversifying their everyday diet – Jamaican D’s also has a location at The Community College of Philadelphia. In addition, Jamaican D’s also has locations on Third and Spring Garden Sts. and a restaurant on Chelten Ave. in Germantown.

With three locations and a fourth coming on Cheltenham and Wiston Aves. in Germantown, Jamaican D’s is making a name for itself throughout Philly. 

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