If you weren’t aware, I am a Jamaican transplant who moved to the DMV area roughly ten years ago. One common complaint I typically hear from my fellow Jamaicans is that the Caribbean food/restaurant scene is vastly underrepresented in the DMV area compared to other regions like NY, where you have a plethora of options. I can probably count on one hand the number of Caribbean restaurants that are not fast causal dining within the area, which is why I was extremely excited when I found out about Bammy’s. Bammy’s is a Caribbean style restaurant that recently opened in the Navy Yard and is owned by Chris Morgan and Gerald Addison, who served as co-owner and co-executive chefs at Maydan. They conducted vast research for the restaurant dishes and have a Jamaican chef whose name is Nico, so I expected that the food would be pretty spot on. I checked out the restaurant last weekend with a friend of mine, who’s also a Jamaican transplant and neither less to say we were not disappointed.
Parking & Location: As mentioned, Bammy’s is located in Navy Yard, and the exact address is 301 Water St SE # 115, Washington, DC. I am a fan of dining in the Navy Yard area because there is always ample parking available. You should be able to find street parking fairly easy. There is also a parking lot a block away from the restaurant that offers parking at a reasonable price.
Ambiance: Navy Yard is a prime location for Bammy’s. Due to COVID, many individuals, including myself, prefer outdoor dining, and Bammy’s delivers on this front. The patio area is extended right by the waterfront. Tables are appropriately 6 feet apart, with reggae music playing in the background at a reasonable level. As my friend described it, you feel like you’re transported to Hellshire beach in Jamaica, enjoying a meal by the water with some good music playing in the background. This overall creates a good vibe and the perfect spot to have a casual meal. The indoor dining area has the resemblances of a jerk shack but elevated with a beach and bohemian influence. The aesthetic of the décor inside definitely adds to the dining experience and provides an authentic dining experience.
Food & Drinks: Every dish we had tasted authentic, and while it’s a Caribbean restaurant, the majority of the dishes on the menu are Jamaican. We started with the conch fritters ($12), made with sweet peppers, scallions, and allspice mayo. For a snack dish, it was a good portion size, flavorful, and created the right tone for our entrée. For our entrée, I naturally got the ½ jerk chicken ($20) because I thought it would be a good representation of what the other dishes would taste like because the taste of the jerk chicken is the ultimate test. The chicken came out crispy just how I like it and wasn’t too spicy, making the dish more accessible to individuals who are not fans of hot meals.
The dish was served with authentic jerk sauce, which provided the extra kick that I needed. The portion size is huge, so plan to have leftovers, but the dish is a reasonable price for the value. My friend got the brown stew snapper, which was also very flavorful. We also got a side of festivals($5) and plantains, which I would highly recommend getting with your meal.
We tried the painkiller ($20 makes two cocktails), a blend of Jamaican rums, coconut, pineapple, orange, nutmeg, and pina colada cocktails, which were equally tasty, but could have been stronger. Bammy’s opened during beginning phases of COVID, so they’re still experimenting with the menu and plan to expand what they currently offer. I look forward to when they offer brunch on the weekend because some ackee and saltfish by the water is calling my name. Overall, I was impressed with the food, drinks, and experience at Bammy’s and plan to visit again soon with my sister.
Ambiance : 9/10
Drinks : 7/10
Cost – 8/10