Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica
Chances Negril Reviews
Feb 13, 2008
Perhaps Chances is better known for throwing good beach parties and other sponsored events or for having cold Red Stripes but one thing I would definitely not recommend it for is its restaurant and the laughable creation they call a pizza. It's not often I give a scathing review and when I do, a modicum of guilt comes with it but, this is for the good of my fellow travelers. (I took no photos to accompany this review since I didn't deem it even worthy of memory card space to do so.)
With a recommendation from a local, which 9 times out of 10 would end up being a success, this place ended up being that 1 time out of 10 exception to the rule. After this visit, I concluded that 1) perhaps most Jamaicans don't know what pizza is supposed to taste like and 2) my friend's Cousin had just never had any better which would be the only explanation for recommending this place to us for pizza. Maybe it shouldn't have shocked me but, being situated directly on Seven Mile Beach, it would seem that a lobster pizza would be the perfect menu offering for such a locale. Instead, the menu consisted of your standard boring pizzas like cheese, pepperoni and the blandest of combinations. Disappointed, we settled for a plain pepperoni pizza and hoped for the best.
To add to the experience, the staff were less than enthusiastic (that's actually a raging understatement), friendly or attentive. After ordering the pizza, the woman who took the order didn't even ask us if we wanted anything to drink let alone anything else on the menu or from the bar (at least she didn't ask if we'd like sand kicked in our faces). As we waited at our table on the wood patio dining area, the same overplayed reggae tunes played from the speakers more than twice, suggesting that a very small selection of songs was put on repeat and left to torture patrons.
After what seemed to be all too long although it was probably just the cold, uninviting atmosphere that made time stand still, our pizza was plunked down on the table and at which time we requested water to go with our meal since still nothing had been offered or suggested. The best part of the meal was the water because it's exactly what was needed to choke down that pizza. The crust makes Dominoes pizza seem gourmet, the sauce seemed to be opened from a can of plain tomato sauce and spread about and the cheese and pepperoni toppings were standard but somehow, seemed to lack even flavor there. I attempted to spruce up my slice with the ground chili pepper and that managed to make it tasteless with a kick. Truly, Dominoes would smoke this place...Pizza Hut would seem as if you'd died and gone to heaven. This should tell you just how bad it was. My dining companion who is a born Jamaican and shouldn't know better even said it was horrible. The price was probably somewhere in the range of $16-20 and overpriced at that. We took the remainder home after forcing ourselves to eat a few slices since we were hungry nonetheless. We gave the leftovers to Grandma, who also doesn't have much frame of reference on pizza being a poor, rural Jamaican woman and even she said it was awful....couldn't even finish it and gave it to drunken Uncle who was probably just happy to have something to soak up the rum.
I've read reviews that say this place has good pizza and all I can glean is that the writer of said reviews has never had anything better than a box of Red Baron pizza from the freezer section. Unless, they just happened to go on some miraculously good night. Don't believe the hype, this place is vastly over-rated. Now, perhaps the writers of these reviews went on a night when they had a good beach party and that slanted their opinion....of course, if you're drunk enough, this pizza might actually be good...but not as good as Dominoes! To end this with a corny pun of sorts, Chances does NOT deserve a second chance. Or even better, you're taking your "Chances" when you eat here! (Feel free to submit your own bad puns/slogans.)
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