December 1, 2023


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Mad Cow Grill brings blend of American and Jamaican cuisine to Laurel and Brandywine

When individuals wander previous the Mad Cow Grill, they may well question why someone would name a burger restaurant immediately after a disease discovered in cows.

That is the conversation co-owners of the restaurant, Ed Reynoso and Neville Nugent said they want men and women to have. Reynoso, a Beltsville native, felt that the name Mad Cow was “edgy” and could be applied as an fascinating dialogue starter.

“You set a minimal controversy to it and men and women grow to be curious and it sort of paid out off for us,” Reynoso claimed.

The Mad Cow Grill is a restaurant with locations in Laurel and Brandywine that serves American food items with a fusion of Jamaican cuisine, specializing in burgers. But they serve other reliable dishes as properly. The cafe also has selfmade Jamaican dishes this sort of as jerk rooster and curried goat.

The cafe environment is one more way the eatery attempts to established by itself apart from other individuals.

“We do [the menu] from scratch and we do a cafe that has substantial vitality,” Reynoso reported. “Music is a minor louder than most dining places. We have a good deal of out of doors eating and, we just, we try and make it entertaining.”

Nugent is the inspiration behind Jamaican food items mainly because of his Jamaican heritage. Cooking was a relatives custom, as his household owned various places to eat in Jamaica. So, he grew up in the restaurant industry.

When he uncovered a large amount from his father, he worked as an intern chef exactly where he “filled up his enjoy for cooking,” he reported.

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Nugent moved from Jamaica to Atlanta above 20 yrs back and worked as a chef in numerous dining places, doing the job under numerous chefs from close to the entire world — a motive why Nugent has never ever identified as a Jamaican chef. Eventually, he moved to Washington, D.C., and labored at the Willard Hotel.

Soon after the hotel, he commenced a catering business enterprise and opened up Unforgettable Flavors Cafe in College or university Park with his wife Sandra Nugent in 2003, where by he obtained even far more experience cooking Jamaican foodstuff.

The cafe is also wherever Nugent met Reynoso, his recent co-owner. Nugent understood Reynoso was a chef when he ordered practically anything on the menu and started conversing to him about his restaurant, he mentioned.

“We had a few of business talks about the long term,” Nugent mentioned. “So equally of us was on a degree wherever if we come alongside one another, it has to be a dynamite.”

They started operating jointly as a result of Nugent’s catering business and had an “amazing” very first celebration, Nugent claimed.

Nugent and Reynoso talked over coming with each other for a even larger and improved task. And, therefore, the pair opened up the Mad Cow Grill together immediately after deliberating on the identify. At to start with, the operate was difficult given that they had been the only two performing, cooking and managing the consumers, Nugent claimed.

But the restaurant swiftly collected incredible consumer critiques. Nugent explained currently, they are constantly receiving organization and enjoys to see how considerably they’ve occur.

In addition to providing selfmade dishes built from community substances, the restaurant provides back to the neighborhood via donation drives, donating to charities and offering bargains to first responders, teachers and firefighters, reported Reynoso.

“Our purpose was to constantly make confident that we gave again to the group who aided increase us,” he explained.

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Nugent feels psyched when serving his group and serving people with a smile. He said the duo enjoys what they do and constantly desires the client to be joyful. And despite the fact that it can be challenging to get the job done in the cafe field, Reynoso enjoys doing work with diverse people and seeing them turn into chefs or go up in the business, he claimed.

“That’s often satisfying to me, viewing someone be thriving after they got via and perform with me for a couple of years,” he said.

Denise China-Johnson has been a returning client at the Mad Cow Grill for numerous birthday get-togethers. Nugent and Reynoso are really personable and make confident every person is enjoying their food and support. She calls the restaurant a massive “Mad Cow Loved ones.”

“If you give them a recommendation, they ordinarily take into account it … anything for the buyer,” she claimed. “So I’m a pleased consumer.”