We recently heard a rumor that spicy food can help cool you down on a hot day (scientific proof here) — so as temperatures started to climb, a co-worker and I headed to The Breadfruit in downtown Phoenix for some spicy Jamaican food.

The Breadfruit is located on Pierce between 1st and 2nd streets on the North side. It’s a blink and you’ll miss it type of place so keep an eye out for the door with 108 over it and their logo painted on the glass. Inside, the restaurant is painted bright green and you can see the chef cooking behind the ¾ wall. If you walk to the back of the restaurant you’ll see The Breadfruit’s new Rum Bar that features over 100 types of rum from around the world. You can also bring your own cigar to smoke outside on their new patio, perfect for a summer evening.

The Breadfruit is easy to miss. Keep an eye out for this door on the North side of Pierce.

Now, back to the spice! My co-worker and I walked over to the The Breadfruit from our office so by the time we arrived we were both very thirsty. I ordered my favorite mango mint lemonade (pureed ripe mango, juiced lemon, organic mint and local raw honey) and my co-worker got the Sorrel (house brewed hibiscus tea infused with ginger and pimento berries).

The Breadfruit's Mango Mint Lemonade is very refreshing on a hot day.

We decided to start with the Appleton Rum Sea Scallops, delicious! The diver scallops are coated with Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum and house hot and spicy jerk rub, then seared in a cast iron skillet. They were perfectly done with just enough spice, but not too overpowering. Next time I go back I will be getting the full order for dinner, of which I may or may not share!

Appleton Rum Sea Scallops appetizer

For lunch I decided on the Jerk Chicken off the Grill, chicken breast marinated in house hot and spicy jerk rub and grilled over pimento wood with house mango chutney on top served with fresh baked festival (a corn bread like breadstick), ital coleslaw, roasted corn on the cob and roasted pineapple. Wow, this was a lot of food and I probably could have saved half for dinner later, but it was so good that I couldn’t stop eating. The jerk chicken is definitely for those who like their food spicy — it was a slow burn that built up as I ate, but the mango chutney and my mango mint lemonade kept the fire in check.

Jerk Chicken off the Grill

My co-worker ordered the Jerk Prawns off the Grill, and when it came out we were impressed with not only the presentation but how large the prawns were! Like the jerk chicken, the prawns were seasoned with the house hot and spicy jerk rub then grilled over pimento wood and served with fresh baked festival, ital coleslaw, roasted corn on the cob and roasted pineapple. Again, this dish is for those who like their food spicy and it probably could have been shared between two people if you got an appetizer and another side such as the oven roasted plantains.

Jerk Prawns off the Grill

At the end of the meal we were both stuffed and I would say cooled off. When the waitress asked if we wanted dessert we had to pass although she tempted us by describing the Sweet Potato Pudd’n — next time.

The Breadfruit is one of those unique local restaurants that you don’t find anywhere else. They use fresh ingredients in all of their meals and drinks and you can taste the difference. I’ll be heading back soon to pretend I am on a tropical vacation and to cool off with this delicious island fare.

The Breadfruit is located at 108 E. Pierce Street, Phoenix.  See more photos on Flickr.