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Coconut Grove (Dundas West b/w Centre & Chestnut)

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Went for the first time today. Busy little spot considering most people were off work today. Tried the butter chicken w basmati rice ($3.50 plus tax) - ok, obviously very reasonably priced. Would return but would order something else. A number of other people were having roti which looked good. Goat was almost sold out if that's an indication of what's good.

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  1. One of the best roti shops in Toronto, imho. And the couple that runs it are among the nicest people in any lunch place downtown. Been a regular client since the original location at Yonge/Dundas, and happily followed them to "the dark side" - that is, west of Bay.

    I always have the same thing - a vegetarian combo roti, which usually includes cabbage, carrots, potatoes, eggplant and sundry other items, plus channa. A meal bigger than your head for $5. Also worth trying: the homemade maubi, a licorice-flavoured cold drink that goes perfectly with the meal.

    Just don't check your blood pressure - or your cholesterol - immediately afterwards. :)

    1. I work around the corner from there, and I grab a roti for lunch every once in a while. But only on days when I'm really hungry, 'cause they're frickin' huge! They're not quite as good a Island Foods, IMO, but still some of the best roti I've had in Toronto.

      1. I might prefer Coconut Grove to Island Foods, myself -- but it's been too long since I had the latter to really compare. Some of my co-workers find the inner layer of the roti (chickpea flour?) to be too dry.

        Last few times I was there, they haven't had doubles -- perhaps they stopped making 'em?

        Either way, I've had the boneless chicken roti lots of times. It's quite large, and a little potato-heavy for my taste, but still yummy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: diathesis

          Thats me. I will never get past that inner layer of dry crumbly chick pea. Cant stand the texture/mouth feel. There are a couple of places that serve that style of roti. THANKFULLY Island never does!

        2. Up until this summer I worked around the corner from Coconut Grove, and do I ever miss their fantastic jerk chicken.

          It's not exactly the same each time, so some days it's better than others, but regardless of the low price it's my favorite in Toronto--the Halal meat is moist and tender, and the jerk seasoning is spot on. Disturbingly addictive!

          So far, I found their foray into East Indian foods to be... er, not so great... I recommend you stick to the West Indian goodies here.

          1. Where is Coconut Grove? I know Island Foods on Don Mills? BTW, the lentil layer is actually between two layers of roti, but it's so fine I guess it sticks to the one that it was rolled more onto... .... I have a great recipe for doubles if you'd like to try it at home...it's really simple but you have to roll the bara (bread pieces) really thin before you fry them or they come out huge!!! (by experience...)

            1 Reply
            1. re: BuggySer

              It's at 183 Dundas Street West, just west of Chestnut (south side). That puts it slightly closer to University than Bay.

            2. The prices are great at this place, the food, mediocre IMO.

              If your looking for Halal, that's another reason to go there.

              If you want good roti, you need to find a Trini place. I was unimpressed by the roti at Coconut Grove. Dry. The Jerk chicken was not flavor enough, and didn't taste well done enough. I prefer jerk chicken which has been BBQ'ed anyways, the skin should be atleast cripsy, if not burned. When I bake it in the winter time, I always Broil it a bit on high heat at the begining and then the end to get this effect.

              2 Replies
              1. re: redcoconut

                "If you want good roti, you need to find a Trini place"

                Such as? Anything in the area you /would/ recommend?

                1. re: diathesis

                  D & D styles at Gerrard and Greenwood is my fav. but not in the area you are lookin'. They got Doubles, Pulories and Aloo pies as well. They have daily specials which are usually good.

                  Tropical Joes in Gerrard Square is good for Chicken roti, but don't bother with the jerk or stew chicken, or the chow mein.

                  Crystal on Church at Dundas is great for Jamaican stuff, and the roti is decent. Good jerk chicken, good akee and saltfish.

              2. Just tried the butter chicken myself and was seriously disappointed, even for the money. They may as well call it butter bones, since the bones outweigh the meat by 10 to 1. Seriously, I don't have a huge appetite but there was next to no meat on those bones! Lots of skin and fat, too. Found the overall meal pretty greasy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: downtown

                  Sorry to hear that you found the food greasy. Never having eaten the meat, I can't speak to your experience.

                  What I *do* know, though, is that the veg roti at CG is one of life's little - and cheap - pleasures.

                2. I too have found their East Indian dishes disappointing... stick to the West at Coconut Grove

                  1. I tried the jerk chicken at Coconut Grove while attending a day course nearby last summer - maybe it was an off-day, but I found the chicken to be so greasy it was inedible, with strangely off-tasting peas and rice.

                    1. Yes, I have to admit, I tried their butter chicken once, and regretted it. The boneless chicken roti, on the other hand, has always served me well.

                      D&D is in my neighbourhood; only tried them once, wasn't thrilled, perhaps I'll give them another shot. Crystal sounds interesting as well.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: diathesis

                        In the same neighbourhood, Island Foods in the Village by the Grange (Dundas & McCaul) serves a much better roti than Coconut Grove.

                        1. re: diathesis

                          i didn't want to respond to two posts... but i'm noticing you likely tried d&d based on redcoconut's suggestion.

                          i agree with you whole heartedly about the roti. we dropped in on a tuesday to try them out (toonie tuesdays you know ;)) and were completely disappointed. the roti itself was just dull and the flavourings in the curry chicken were just average. they actually almost reminded me of the curry cubes you get in grocery stores.

                          however, those doubles are the best in town. at least to my palate.

                          island foods has a doughy bread that's terribly greasy, thick and heavy. their channa filling was liquidy and the whole dense chick peas were popping out everywhere. the spicy burn was simply just burn and the flavour.... oh just not quite right. d&d has chewy thin doubles with a nice stewed channa that's flavoured with a fruitier chili and holds up together so incredibly nicely. i can't get enough.... no one has compared so far.

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            That's odd, I found their dhalpuri roti to be nice and the curry to be pretty good. But I have not been there in about 6 months or so.

                            I am married to a trini, and have tried roti from the different family members, have helped make it, etc. so I have a good idea of what good roti is.

                            I must admit however, I barely ever buy it outside because of this. Usually I get doubles, poulorie, aloo pies, etc. as this is rarely made at home and more served for parties and such. Doubles are mostly considered street food in Trinidad; i.e. something your grab on the way to work or at lunch.

                            Next time you go to D & D try some of the other things, like Palau, coconut bake and shark, stew chicken / beans rice, etc. if you disklike their curry.

                            At Gerrard Sq. Tropical Joes has good chicken curry roti; but the rest of the stuff isn't good. The stew chicken is an ugly colour bright brown, the Jerk chicken is the crappiest I have ever had.


                            1. re: redcoconut

                              Last year ( 2011 ) I visited toronto from the netherlands. I think the rotis of coconut grove are
                              very good . If you compare it with the rotishops here in amsterdam , they would belong
                              to the best rotishops . I advise evrybody to try the rotis of coconut grove . Very good and
                              nice people .
                              from amsterdam