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In praise of doubles

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Is there any better food under $2? I just inhaled a couple of doubles from Island Foods. Two chewy, crispy-edged, slightly greasy (in a good way) channa flour patties filled with chickpea curry and a bit squirt of hot sauce. At $1.25 each, I don't see how you can go wrong.

I love Island Foods!

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  1. I've never tried a double. Is it similar to a Jamaican beef patty or an Indian roti (like from Ghandi)? Where is Island Foods?

    3 Replies
    1. re: peppermint pate

      Nope, not like a patty at all... closer to a roti, but with a much thicker, chewier bread. Doubles are Trinidadian (as far as I know). They are small (about 4 inches across) and have a much higher ratio of bread to filling than a roti. The bread is made from chickpea flour and deep fried. Take one piece of bread, put some curried chickpeas on it, squirt some hot sauce and sandwich with a second piece of bread. Voila, a double is born!

      They are definitely meant to be a snack, rather than a meal. But two doubles and a ting make for a mighty fine, cheap meal. :)

      Island Foods is a haven of Caribbean goodness on the north end! It's located at 1310 Don Mills (between Lawrence and York Mills). But I'm pretty sure there are several places downtown that make doubles (one in Kensington Market, I think).

      Update: just found this old thread on doubles:

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. re: TorontoJo

        Mmm, sounds good - I'll have to check them out. I wonder if "ting" is like "toronja", a grapefruit soda I had (and loved) at Cafe Habana in New York. Thanks.

        1. re: peppermint pate

          Ting is its own thing!

          But definitely try it if you like grapefruit soda.

    2. Yes. Banh Mi for $1.50 or possibly a nice piece of nigiri from T&T for $1 or even a piece of chicken from KFC.

      You see it is a good snack but not phenominal. I think a piece of fried chicken with 11 herbs and spices is highly underrated for a snack under $2. maybe KFC should consider selling chicken in singles and people will start talking how brilliant of a snack it is for under two bucks!

      Want to go wrong? try a double from Patty King.

      BTW, Island Foods doubles pale in comparison to D&D and Drupatis.

      Chow!
      HL.

      7 Replies
      1. re: HarryLloyd

        Is D&D the place on Gerrard near Greenwood? If so, I don't "get" doubles, cause theirs did nothing for me.

        1. re: julesrules

          What does it for me is the combination of deep fried dough (always a good thing) with spicy chickpeas. It's not an explosion of flavours, but I love 'em for being a hot, filling snack. Perhaps they just tasted particularly good to me on this damp, gray day because I would really prefer to be in Trinidad. :)

          I'll have to make a trip to D&D and Drupatis, thanks!

        2. re: HarryLloyd

          Hey! I like Patty King Doubles! D&D is much better, but I'd have a Patty King right now if it were to appear.

          That said, all in all I agree with you. A double is a good snack, but it isn't to die for. I would drive across town for a double. I might do that for good bahn mi. Even then, probably not.

          A double is much beter than KFC! Real fried chicken? Maybe! But, but not KFC!! KFC is great if you only eat the skin and then STOP. Otherwise you regret the greasy, greasy, greasy, meat. Try some Mary Browns or even Popeye's if you can't find an indie place near you.

          1. re: Atahualpa

            Where is D&D??...Thanks

            1. re: BloorWestie...

              on Gerrard near Greenwood

              1. re: Atahualpa

                Thanx...

          2. re: HarryLloyd

            I agree, the ones at Patty King are uninspired. I don't like how they all sit around pre-made.

            WON
            http://whatsonmyplate.wordpress.com

          3. Island is across the street from work, and their doubles & patties are both excellent, cheap snacks. Banh mi definitely wins as a more substantial possible meal for under $2.

            I also like to pick up some samosas or light Indian snacks if I am in the right neighbourhoods. South Indian Dosa on Bloor east of Landsdowne is closest for me. Their samosas & other fried goodies are only $1/3, and heat up nicely in a toaster oven if needed.

            There are also interesting savouy snacks in Chinese places like Pacific mall - $1-$2 for things like curry fish balls, marinated gizzards, etc.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Orange

              if you're in the bloor landsdowne area and you haven't tried it yet... i really really like the carribean queen patties. spicy as heck for someone like me but really good shell, filling and flavour. it's a bit of a pasty saucy interior that's stuffed with the right proportions.

              before we get into the best patty's in the city, i have not tried the ones in the peanut plaza yet but these make me quite happy as it is.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                There are good patties in the peanut? At mr Jerk?

                1. re: julesrules

                  the place is called allen's and as far as i can tell no one has said a single word against them yet. i really do need to give them a try to find out what they're like. my sources say the meat is chunkier/bigger pieces and saucier? we shall see....

                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                    Allen's is really good. But, I find them a little too saucy and prefer Randy's (which is still plenty saucy). The only complaint you might level against Randy's is that it is quite salty. I haven't made it to try the Queen of Patties at Bloor and Landsdowne yet.

                    Just so you know that you can indeed level a small criticism against Allen's. However, since I'm not shopping for frozen patties to take home, I just go whichever is closest when I get a craving -- they are both very, very good.

                    Also, do you know where exactly is it at Bloor and Landsdowne. I had read that it was at Bloor and Dufferin and then couldn't find it when I drove by!

            2. Love Island Foods as well. The one I go to is at King and Dufferin. Doules are great...like a curried chickpea mini sandwich - yum! But my favourite is the shrimp roti - AWESOME!

              2 Replies
              1. re: TOfoodie

                I've heard that you call it a 'doubles', even if it's just one. Love 'em!

                1. re: Doopsylalolic

                  Yes, I asked when I tried my first doubles. You do order just one doubles.

                  DT

              2. A C R Hot Roti and Doubles 2680 Lawrence Ave. East. These guys make really good doubles and theres always a lineup, Sign inside says he's "The original doubles man" from some place in Trinidad. Doubles are only $1.00 and man are they good.

                1. Most of the good Trini places seem to be in the west end, but D & D has served us well out here in the east. There are some good places in Scarborough as well.

                  My wife is Trini, and doubles isn't something that is made often at home. Usually it's special occasions like prayers or parties. In Trinidad doubles are sold from carts (like hotdogs are here) and sometimes from trucks, and are considered a fast breakfast food on the way to work, also eaten at lunch or any other time though.

                  Also try aloo (potatoe) pies. Some places put the double's filling in them as well. Poulories, sahina, etc. are al good snacks as well. Great stuff for vegetarians.

                  1. carribean roti palace on bathurst south of bloor is a great trinni place with excellent fresh spicy doubles and pholorie

                    1. Buggy, do you know Uwee Doubles at the UWI campus in TT? that was my first stop visiting with my partner's family and although we had doubles at many places (Deen's, Uwee, the doubles man at Piarco, and this stand that was only open at night somewhere near Trincity), I thought Uwee was the very best, just amazing.

                      In Toronto, I was first introduced to Trini food compliments of my sweetie and it was and has always been about Island Foods for us, the one at King and Duff, even though we lived west of the Annex and the Roti Palace by Honest Ed's was much more convenient for us. We live in Calgary now and are thrilled that there is a decent trini roti place here now (it's called Tropical Hot) where we can get serviceable doubles and aloo pies too, but man, Toronto does not know how food it has it. Doubles and Burrito Boyz too. Makes me cry.

                      1. The buns filled with beef rice or chicken rice etc at the chinese pastry shop on Baldwin are also one of the city's cheapest lunches (around $2)

                        1. What are Poulories?