ORLANDO, FL - It wasn't supposed to be a story about goat head soup.
But when you see that on the menu, plans quickly change.
Several months back, I was driving on Orange Blossom Trail and noticed a sign for a restaurant called Dumpling Spot. The restaurant was tucked back into a shopping center, and so I couldn't tell what kind of restaurant it was.
Asian dumplings? Southern dumplings? Indian? Korean? Polish?
All of the above...wrong.
Dumpling Spot is a Caribbean restaurant owned and operated by Paulette Clarke-Allen. Originally from Jamaica, Clarke-Allen is a former nurse who opened Dumpling Spot in June 2018. (She's also a preacher.)
I stopped in one afternoon thinking I'd shoot a video about the dumplings, but then I noticed something on her menu called "mannish water."
"What is mannish water?" I asked her.
In her island accent, Clarke-Allen explained that mannish water is, essentially, goat head soup.
A few days later, I got to see the soup-making process.
Clarke-Allen and her staff prepare the soup every Friday. It starts with a broth base and lots of veggies and spices. Pieces of goat head are then added, thought they must first be chopped up and the bones and teeth must be removed. (The eyes are removed as well.)
After simmering for several hours, it's ready to eat.
I ate a whole bowl.
Since then, I've been asked: Did you like it? Yes.
I'm a pretty adventurous eater. I'll try just about anything once. It did have to get over know I was eating a goat's head. But the chunks of meat were tender and pleasing. However, if you are going to try it, be aware that not every single piece of bone is removed.
If goat head soup isn't your thing, Dumpling Spot also serves a variety of traditional island dishes, including jerk chicken, stewed chicken, oxtails, mac and cheese and curry goat.
Address: 4300 Clarcona Ocoee RdOrlando, FL 32805Unit #201
Phone number: (407)-601-0570