Melissa Poiter follows her passionDa Hut Take-Away is quickly acquiring a following with its down home favorites with Creole and Jamaican influences
Melissa Poitier has no formal culinary training — she learned how to cook from her deceased mother, Marilyn Poitier, watching food shows on television, and taking in all she could from a chef at a now closed restaurant where she used to work as a server.
She has put that all together with the love she herself has for eating a delicious meal in the food she serves at Da Hut Take Away.
Poitier’s menu is Bahamian with a mix of Creole and Jamaican influences, in a nod to the mix in her heritage. That means serving the obligatory snacks — that are always a Bahamian favorite intermingled with curry chicken and chicken and waffles, to griot (pork, chicken, fish fingers, and conch).
She has developed a following at her Market Street and Wulf Road location, as people compliment her daily on her food.
“What makes all of my dishes so good is that we cook with love. I just enjoy cooking. We cook with care. A lot of customers return and say they really enjoy the food.”
She had a patron return to her restaurant to tell her that the fish fingers he had at her restaurant were the best he’d had in a while. Her response: “I said that’s because we cook our food with love.
From comfort meals like steamed ham, turkey and salmon; must have souses — chicken, pig feet and ribs; snacks — chicken, fish, conch, shrimp; burgers that run the gamut; pasta salads with almost all proteins; to waffles and pancakes with chicken, shrimp and fish; and griot (pork, chicken, fish fingers and conch) served with plantain and pickliz, Poitier offers a meal to accommodate almost all tastes for this type of food.
When pulling up a chair in her restaurant, you will find Poitier opting for the griot which she learnt to cook from her aunt, Helen Brown, or the sweet and spicy bam bam shrimp, or shrimp fettuccine. But she admits that her biggest seller has been her burgers. She estimates selling at least 50 daily. And she has seen people in the neighborhood who were not previously been exposed to the idea of eating chicken and waffles become more curious about the dish.
“In this neighborhood, they are intrigued. They would see me or someone eating it and then say they want to try it.”
Open from 6:30 a.m. she offers all the local breakfast staples.
Poitier decided to follow her passion and open Da Hut earlier this year after quitting her job, and after engaging in a 40-day corporate fast at her church to help her figure out which direction she needed to go in.
“I did the fast and I got the answers that I needed. I was actually supposed to open another business, but then God led me to this place,” she said.
Da Hut is open Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. It is located at the light at Market Street and Wulf Road, in the building on the right.