There is a sense of serenity that overcomes visitors when traversing the hills of Newcastle to the mosaic sign that reads “Mount Edge Guesthouse.” Glimpses that hint at the bustle of Kingston play peek-a-boo with the lush green landscape of the St. Andrews Hills. Just beyond the colorful marbled sign is EITS Café, a French-style eatery that utilizes fresh ingredients from nearby farmlands to create flavors that fuse Jamaican and European cuisine.
Located at Milepost 17, EITS Café is far enough away from Kingston to feel like an oasis, yet close enough to be convenient. The name, short for “Europe in the summer,” was developed by an Englishman who founded the restaurant in 2011. Nestled on a beach along the southwestern edge of Newcastle, EITS is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with set rates for each meal.
With its close proximity to the cool climate of the Blue Mountains, the chef is able to access herbs and vegetables that are rare in Jamaica. By doing so, he’s able to experiment with a wider array of flavors, including those with a European twist. The café embodies a true farm-to-table experience, as ingredients are harvested within hours (or less) of being served.
The café came into existence after Robert Thunder, a man venturing through the area from Britain, offered to cook meals for his fellow travelers. Thunder had studied agricultural practices and local farming techniques, and enjoyed a passion for cooking rooted in sustainable development. He was also keen to use the freshest of locally-sourced ingredients, which he continues to insist upon to this day.
Having left school at the age of 16, Thunder joined the army in the United Kingdom as an apprentice chef. During this time, he won numerous competitions, including those against stiff competition from luxury establishments. He went on to study hospitality management and had an eclectic array of cooking gigs before coming to Jamaica.
Whether making the downward trip back into Kingston, or staying for a round of golf or other delight, your stomach will be pleased after a visit to EITS Café. Truly unique in its flavors and approach, the eatery blends Jamaica and Europe with perfection.