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Best Caribbean in Toronto?

munchieHK Apr 22, 2010 01:05 PM

I love Caribbean food. Sorry, let me qualify that:: I love GOOD Caribbean food. Since I have been in TO I have had a lot of BAD Caribbean food. I have had a couple of very good meals, but most have been meh.
What is your favourite Carib joint? It can be Jamaican, Guyanese, Trinidadian...you name it, but it must be great.
I don't mean fancy, which runs completely counter to the cuisine and the culture. I mean good, spicy, stick to your ribs soul food. Served in a friendly, laid back place is a bonus.

  1. t
    tochowchick Apr 22, 2010 01:17 PM

    Well...I'm not sure if this would qualify as GREAT...but this to me, is good solid food and very enjoyable. It's Guyanese...love their boneless chicken roti...great spicing.

    Caribbean Palms Restaurant
    Don Mills Rd. north of Overlea in the Flemingdon Park Plaza.

    -----
    Caribbean Palms
    747 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C1T2, CA

    1. j
      jaedalaurez Apr 22, 2010 02:44 PM

      Jerk King at Morningside and Kingston, in the No Frills plaza. Their jerk pork would make me push your mama down a flight of stairs! They have decent stew beef and their jerk chicken is really good too, but the pork is IT. They do really good patties too, homemade.

      -----
      Jerk King
      2079 Lawrence Ave W, Toronto, ON M9N1H7, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: jaedalaurez
        c
        C mac Apr 27, 2013 12:20 AM

        im in there area about twice a month and never knew it was there. I'm going to give it a try.

      2. y
        YummyYummy Apr 22, 2010 07:11 PM

        I really cannot quantify what "best" is exactly and can only make recommendations for what I like. However, for years I'm still searching for the "perfect" roti and great Caribbean food in the GTA myself.

        Just a few hours ago, I had a goat roti at Island Foods at the King/Dufferin area. It cost $6.25 plus taxes coming to a total of $7.06. Anyway, the establishment is "safe" in my opinion of good Caribbean food. They are Trinidadian and I definitely feel they are better than Ali's another Trinidadian fast food place in the Parkdale area on Queen West and Lansdowne area. Island Foods is better than Ali's, The Roti Lady (Indo-Guyanese) and Bacchus (Afro-Guyanese) all in the Parkdale area.

        My all-time fav Caribbean joint used to be the Mr.Jerk right at the heart of downtown located at Yonge/Dundas owned by a Chinese man from Jamaica with the accent too. LOL That store has been closed for years, but the other franchises such as the stores at Wellesley near Sherbourne and the other shop up north at the Peanut Gallery along Don Mills Rd. just aren't as good as my favorite Irie hole-in-the-wall.

        I've also tried Caribbean Palms and think they are okay as well. In all honesty, I've tried lots and lots of different places in search of the best Caribbean food in the city.

        My quest continues for both the best Caribbean food and fish & chips in the city. Two very different cuisines, but I have yet to be fully satisfied by either so far. The very reason for this is because Toronto has just too many choices when it comes to variety and personal taste.

        -----
        Caribbean Palms
        747 Don Mills Rd, Toronto, ON M3C1T2, CA

        2 Replies
        1. re: YummyYummy
          prima Jun 15, 2013 07:48 PM

          Noticed The Dish provided the calorie lowdown for Island Foods boneless chicken roti last month. No wonder I always feel like I need a nap after eating roti. http://www.thestar.com/life/health_we...

          1. re: prima
            Googs Jun 16, 2013 09:48 AM

            Oh yeah, not exactly diet food. Designed for having an active lifestyle in the hot sunshine.

        2. BamiaWruz Apr 23, 2010 01:39 AM

          Barb's roti on lakeshore rd E in mississauga is great!

          1. g
            garfield Apr 23, 2010 10:02 AM

            Never had a bad meal at Carribean Bistro.

            1. Matt H Apr 23, 2010 11:18 AM

              Bacchus (Queen & Dufferin), Drupati's (Albion & Islington) and Blue Water (VP & Lawrence) are my favorites for Roti (My wife who is from Trinidad agrees as well)

              For Doubles ACR (Lawrence and Midland) is the best you will find IMO

              For the best Patty I have tasted outside of Jamaica Randy's at Eglinton and Oakwood is a cant miss. Allans in Peanut Plaza is the runner up.

              As far as Jamaican cooked food is concerned, honesty don't bother. No one knows how to do it right in TO. Give the options above a try and see how you like them.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Matt H
                mrbozo Apr 23, 2010 11:24 AM

                Second Allan's. Best patty in town. I remember picking them up at Meschino Banana Shop at Caledonia/St Clair long time ago when that was a shop and not just an office.

                What's the best downtown Guyanese right now?

              2. smudgebee Apr 23, 2010 02:07 PM

                I really like the Caribbean Bistro, north of Eglinton on Yonge Street.

                The lady who runs it makes her own amazing hot sauce and the doubles and roti are damn good!

                What I like about the place is, that if something is not her best that day, she will tell you and guide you on what to order!

                Did I mention the hot sauce?

                1. l
                  lululemon Apr 24, 2010 02:27 PM

                  Roti Palace at Bathurst/Bloor is pretty good, one of the better roti places in Toronto.

                  Bhara Hut is Mississauga is good but be prepared to wait a long time.

                  Island Foods has to be the worst Caribbean food out there. There curries are watery and their service is very lacking. It is no wonder they shut down the one in The Grange, you had to wait almost half an hour for those slow pokes.

                  -----
                  Roti Palace
                  1845 Finch Ave W, Toronto, ON M3N2V2, CA

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lululemon
                    y
                    YummyYummy Apr 24, 2010 06:20 PM

                    There's only one thing I don't like about the Caribbean Roti Palace and it is the reason I haven't returned in about six months. Sadly, it is this one lady I keep getting who takes my order. Not very friendly and no customer service or people skills whatsoever. Definitely know I'm not the only person who feels this way about her. Pretty sure somebody else mentioned her unfriendly nature in another thread here or was it BLOGTO. LOL

                    -----
                    Caribbean Roti Palace
                    744 Bathurst St, Toronto, ON M5S2R6, CA

                  2. y
                    YummyYummy Apr 24, 2010 06:06 PM

                    I still can't tell you where the best Caribbean joints are exactly, but the Roti Hut on Pitfield Rd. and Mona's Roti on Sheppard east of McCowan are good places in Scarborough. Personally, I can only get to these places when I've convinced a hungry friend of mine to drive to these places since I don't drive and live downtown.

                    Here's a little secret I wanted to keep to myself, but I'll let it slip out. I'll never say this place is the "best", but I keep returning again and again because it is not too far from where I live. I go to TROPICAL JOE'S a Caribbean fast food take-out and eat-in place at Gerrard Square's food court. Over the years, I've tried probably 50 Caribbean food places locally and abroad, no joke and no other place gives you BIGGER PORTIONS than this place, at affordable prices.

                    I return again and again for this very reason...TROPICAL JOE's is very generous with their portions and the opposite of the cheapest and most stingy place ISLAND FOODS.

                    BTW, one of the employees mentioned to me they have another place in Scarborough under a different name just in case there are some Chowhounders interested in trying the taste of TROPICAL JOE's, but don't live near Gerrard Square. If I remember, I'll try to get the name and address of the Scarborough location next time.

                    -----
                    Roti Hut
                    351 Pitfield Rd, Toronto, ON M1S3E5, CA

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: YummyYummy
                      g
                      Gary Apr 26, 2010 05:02 AM

                      Yes! Tropical Joe's is probably the best food court food I've ever had. Great jerk chicken, generous portions at amazing prices. We look for excuses to go to the mall just to eat there.

                      1. re: Gary
                        grandgourmand Apr 26, 2010 05:53 AM

                        I enjoy their rotis as well. Love the tangy heat of their hot sauce.

                        1. re: Gary
                          y
                          YummyYummy May 3, 2010 02:09 PM

                          Just came back from Gerrard Square and I probably jinxed it by talking about Tropical Joe's here. Their prices have gone up more or less by $1.00. Used to pay $6.25 for my large goat roti or dinner with rice and peas and now it is $7.25 plus taxes coming to $8.19. :( Anyway, at least the huge portions are still happening. Now I'd better shut up or something may change about that. Hope not! LOL

                          1. re: YummyYummy
                            Davwud Dec 1, 2011 11:34 AM

                            Had TJ's today and loved it. The Jerk Chicken was excellent and the sides R&P and Chowmein were great too.

                            DT

                          2. re: Gary
                            c
                            C mac Apr 27, 2013 12:14 AM

                            Drives me crazy that I live so far from these guys. I've only had it like twice and absolutley looooove it.

                          3. re: YummyYummy
                            c
                            C mac Jun 9, 2012 08:50 PM

                            I tried tropical joes once. It was amazing. Its too bad i live woodbridge

                          4. Davwud Apr 26, 2010 07:47 AM

                            Absolutely the best I've had is A Taste of the Islands in Newmarket. A small simple place in a strip mall. We've had just about everything on the menu and it's all good. They alternate Saturday's between Akee and Saltfish and Liver and Onions.

                            http://www.atasteoftheislands.ca/HOME...

                            DT

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Davwud
                              a
                              Attknee Jan 7, 2011 11:06 AM

                              It's gone now. Seems to be a hairdresser.

                              1. re: Attknee
                                Davwud Jan 7, 2011 11:32 AM

                                Moved to the plaza at Bayview and Mulock. Prices went up too. Food is still great though.

                                DT

                            2. Herb Apr 26, 2010 09:27 AM

                              One Love, Bathurst north of Bloor across from the subway/streetcar loop,

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Herb
                                c
                                c_snapper Apr 26, 2010 11:58 AM

                                my fave is Shandra's in Mississauga on Eglinton just west of Dixie.

                                The Goat and OxTail dinner is f'ing Ah-MAZING!!! it's a hole in the wall type place, but the food is tasty as hell. This dinner is about $13.xx and when you're paying this much for food without atmosphere, you know the food is epic!

                                1. re: Herb
                                  Davwud May 4, 2010 07:33 AM

                                  Not a chance.

                                  DT

                                  1. re: Herb
                                    munchieHK May 4, 2010 12:51 PM

                                    I've been here. I found it incredibly bland.

                                  2. s
                                    SNACKeR Apr 27, 2010 07:19 AM

                                    No one has mentioned Albert's at St. Clair and Bathurst - is it safe to say that the places mentioned here are as good or better? I haven't tried any of them here, but do like Albert's. Always happy to taste something even better, though, and Albert's is a trek for me.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SNACKeR
                                      s
                                      sumdumgoy Apr 27, 2010 08:11 AM

                                      Don't hurry to Albert's

                                      For 20 years I got my monthly Roti fix at Albert's but in the past few years they have been disappointing as well as expensive.
                                      5-6 weeks ago I went back for old times sake for a take home Roti. It was terrible. About 4 ounces of chicken curry (mostly chickpea and potato) wrapped in a pound of roti skin for about $9!!!
                                      I had been speaking to Albert while one of his people made my Roti and so I phoned back 20 minutes later to register my displeasure, but he had left.
                                      I am aware that Miller's Mess has really screwed up St Clair West and at some stage I will go back to speak to Albert but I will not be buying his rotis until he has made good on the last one.

                                      -----
                                      St Clair Restaurant
                                      69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

                                      1. re: sumdumgoy
                                        Matt H Apr 27, 2010 08:36 AM

                                        I have also always found Alberts to be a perfect example of what is wrong with the Jamaican food scene in Toronto. Very mediocre, under spiced, inconsistent and no real burst of flavor that those of us who grew up eating Jamaican food have come to expect. I have never been to a JA Restaurant in TO that has blown me away.

                                        I have alot of family in the Supply side of the West Indian food business in Toronto, and they say the main reason why the food is so mediocre is that Toronto does not have the consistent ingredient trade that cities like NYC and Miami do (For example you can get Pimento Wood Chips in Minnesota of all places, but not in Toronto) so the Chef's and restaurateurs are working at an immediate disadvantage.

                                        The Bakeries on the other hand are great, one of the best cities outside Jamaica for pastries like Patty's, Gizzada and Plantain Tarts, but the cooked food just always falls short.

                                    2. y
                                      YummyYummy Apr 27, 2010 01:58 PM

                                      Another old school favorite of mine from when I lived in the area was RAP's on Eglinton Avenue West just west of Marlee Avenue and east of Oakwood. It was my favorite late night after clubbing take-out place for great Jamaican food.

                                      Do a search on this site if you want to find more info about RAP's here. I know it has been mentioned before.

                                      Never mentioned Albert's because I've only had negative things to say about them. Starting with their overpriced and terrible food. Now Randy's I'd better revisit again because I forgot how great their Jamaican beef patties were.

                                      Now I'm getting nostalgic and really miss being young and living in the "Little Jamaica" area in my early twenties and sticking out like a sore thumb. That was a different lifetime ago! LOL

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: YummyYummy
                                        f
                                        FishinWitGummyWorms Aug 31, 2011 08:39 PM

                                        Always wanted to go to RAPS in late 80's/early 90's because the were advertised continuously on a reggae show that use to air every Sunday night. Never got there though. Was it good? Still Good?

                                        1. re: YummyYummy
                                          c
                                          C mac Apr 27, 2013 12:16 AM

                                          Mainshaw which is almost right beside RAP's is also pretty good.

                                        2. w
                                          William Taft May 4, 2010 05:35 AM

                                          My favorites are

                                          Randy's at Eglinton & Oakwood - best patties I've ever had

                                          Spence's Bakery - Just a bit east of Randy's. I like their Oil Drum Chicken w poundbread cooked outside on the sidewalk during the summer. I've had Rap's as well but it was so long ago I can't remember what it was like.

                                          Pat's Homestyle - Queen & Bathhurst - some may disagree, but I still love the jerk chicken with oxtail gravy, and that tasty sweet slaw. Hasn't failed me yet

                                          Someone mentioned upthread the Mr. Jerk that used to be on Yonge street, and I have to second that. It was inconsistent, but when it was good it was hands down the best.

                                          I'm still looking for a really good place for curry chicken. Any suggestions?

                                          If you are really into good carribean, and don't mind crowds and LOUD noise: Caribana parade. The best stands are on the south side of the route, west of medieval times.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: William Taft
                                            s
                                            SocksManly Jun 12, 2013 05:04 PM

                                            Love Pat's Homestyle (beside Gandhi) some of the tastiest food I've had all year. Can't recommend it enough, that man can cook.

                                            1. re: SocksManly
                                              prima Jun 13, 2013 07:12 AM

                                              Do you tend to get the roti or jerk at Pat's?

                                          2. m
                                            madhatt May 4, 2010 08:31 AM

                                            Brendan Roti Corner @ 345 Bloor St E. has never let me down.

                                            Teekam's Taste @ 1160 Bloor Street West is new and tasty. I grabbed a small veg plate for about $4, tasty okra and squash!

                                            Also, Coconut Grove is decent and cheap near the finance district @ 183 Dundas West.

                                            -----
                                            Coconut Grove
                                            183 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G1C7, CA

                                            Brendan Roti Corner
                                            345 Bloor St E, Toronto, ON M4W3J6, CA

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: madhatt
                                              y
                                              YummyYummy May 4, 2010 02:13 PM

                                              Brendan's Roti's has let you down by being closed for about six months now. Still don't know if Coconut Grove food is anywhere near as good as when the old owners use to make the food?

                                              -----
                                              Coconut Grove
                                              183 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G1C7, CA

                                              1. re: YummyYummy
                                                m
                                                madhatt May 31, 2010 08:13 AM

                                                Wow, Brendan's is closed? :( Coconut Grove isn't the best, but it's cheap -- and central.

                                                Went to Teekam's Taste again on Friday - they're becoming my favourite in Toronto. $4 and I had an entire plate of great food! Ask for the homemade hot sauce.

                                                -----
                                                Coconut Grove
                                                183 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M5G1C7, CA

                                                1. re: madhatt
                                                  g
                                                  garfield May 31, 2010 08:49 AM

                                                  I don't want to do this but sorry I have to. I was in Teekam's taste ordering a takeout but noticed that the server was wiping the plate for an eat-in order with the t-shirt that he was wearing , and that too in full view of everyone. I wouldn't go there again.

                                                  1. re: garfield
                                                    c
                                                    C mac May 31, 2010 09:31 AM

                                                    For take out, i like Mainshaw's at Allen Rd. and Eglinton

                                                    1. re: garfield
                                                      foodyDudey May 31, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                      Yikes, thanks for telling us. That is just unacceptable. I guess the secret herbs can make you do things like that. :-o

                                                      1. re: foodyDudey
                                                        c
                                                        C mac May 31, 2010 09:06 PM

                                                        Yikes??? I know tons of people that love this place.

                                                      2. re: garfield
                                                        t
                                                        terrycar May 31, 2010 10:20 PM

                                                        Well as long as it was a clean t-shirt.

                                                        1. re: garfield
                                                          m
                                                          madhatt Jun 1, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                          Hopefully this was an odd occurance... can't say I've ever had any concerns eating there.

                                                  2. d
                                                    DVT78 May 5, 2011 08:58 PM

                                                    I have been lurking on this site for a while and I wanted to mention a small take out place that IMO has the best jerk chicken in the city, it's called Sansimian at Victoria Park and Sunrise Ave, it's one block south of Victoria Park and Eglinton in a small strip plaza.

                                                    It's owned by an older Jamaican lady, the chicken is flavourful and moist and the rice and peas with oxtail gravy on it, is pretty tasty. It's not well known because of the area and the people that frequent it from the closeby government housing, never post online reviews. Also, the owner doesn't seem too friendly unless she knows you but the food is excellent nonetheless.

                                                    I tried numerous different jerk chickens all around Toronto and they definitely are one of the best, one place commonly mentioned is the Mr.Jerk at Peanut Plaza which is a favourite of a few posters on this site, it's not even close in comparison.

                                                    1. m
                                                      MurkyMar Dec 17, 2011 12:07 AM

                                                      The best Caribbean food I've had in Toronto is a place whose name I'm unsure of, but it is on the east side of Yonge St, just north of College. For lunch, they also have a $3.99 jerk chicken special, and the line-ups are really long here in the summer so get there for 11:45, because if you get there at 12:15; you'll be waiting outside.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: MurkyMar
                                                        munchieHK Jan 24, 2012 02:02 PM

                                                        You're referring to Ritz. It's OK, in a pinch.

                                                        1. re: munchieHK
                                                          jennjen18 Sep 15, 2012 06:26 AM

                                                          Actually, I quite like the Ritz near Eaton Centre, on Yonge, between dundas and queen.. Awesome jerk chicken, beans and rice.. with gravy..... omnomnom.

                                                      2. f
                                                        fryerlover Jan 24, 2012 03:51 PM

                                                        I enjoy the meals I get from Michael's in South Etobicoke, on Lakeshore Blvd near 13th Street. I always get stew chicken, rice and peas and the chicken is very moist and flavourful. The rice is also really tasty. The don't need to add gravy tasty........lol. They also have jerk chicken, goat and I think ox tail. They also have fish.....forget the kind. Yummy food.

                                                        1. Dr. John Jan 24, 2012 04:02 PM

                                                          Bacchus has been a favourite for me for nearly two decades.

                                                          I used to eat at Coconut Grove and liked it, but haven't been in several years.

                                                          Mr. Jerk was great when I used to live near it, but also haven't been back in years.

                                                          Sounds like I should check out Tropical Joe's since I live near Gerrard Square.

                                                          -John

                                                          1. k
                                                            kingkolo Jun 10, 2012 06:38 AM

                                                            Jerk King is the best and I have been to a lot of these restauraunts. The Jerk pork and chicken is dynamite. The fish tea is also stellar!!! I actually like the small shop beside Nicey's Market in North Toronto. The soup at this place is great as well. Have also had excellent ackee and saltfish (although I like my home version better;) I think it is Finch and Vic. Park area. Lastly, I did really enjoy sitting at The Real Jerk all of these years. Food is usually good but it is all about the Red Stripe, the reggae and the irie vibe...I hope the new location has the same feeling.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: kingkolo
                                                              c
                                                              C mac Jul 11, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                              Tropical Joes in Gerrard Square mall is really good.

                                                              1. re: C mac
                                                                Davwud Jul 11, 2012 06:03 AM

                                                                I agree. It doesn't seem to get a lot of love though.

                                                                DT

                                                                1. re: C mac
                                                                  Matt H Jul 11, 2012 06:42 AM

                                                                  What type of food is it? What do you recommend there?

                                                                  1. re: Matt H
                                                                    s
                                                                    scottl Jul 11, 2012 07:49 AM

                                                                    I really like Peppers West Indian Restaurant at 3125 Dufferin Street. It is a couple of block north of Lawrence. It is an order at the cash sit at a window counter kind of place. I find the jerk chicken to be great. For $7, the chicken is a leg and thigh cut up with rice and peas and coleslaw. The heat level is just right. It is run by a nice couple and seems to do quite well.

                                                                    1. re: Matt H
                                                                      c
                                                                      C mac Jul 18, 2012 05:30 PM

                                                                      I've only had the jerk chicken and absolutely loved it. Only problem is I live in Vaughan now so I never have it anymore. I used work a guy who live near Gerrard Square so he would pick it up for us once in while. I would actually even agure it's the best jerk chicken I've tried in toronto made by a restaurant. (as in not by a friend) If they had one even close to Vaughan I'd be hitting it up all the time.

                                                                      1. re: C mac
                                                                        Davwud Jul 22, 2012 01:03 PM

                                                                        Try Albion Centre. Keep in mind that this place is franchised but when you buy they name, you get the recipes as well. Caribbean food is one that tends to do well if you follow the directions.

                                                                        DT

                                                                        1. re: Davwud
                                                                          Googs Jul 23, 2012 08:19 AM

                                                                          You know I like you, Davwud, but I have to take exception to that. The best Caribbean food is made by people who have had generations of practice. It can't be well made by a novice kid with a cookbook. Never tell your mother you said that homestyle can be faked.

                                                                2. a
                                                                  AConACon Jul 24, 2012 02:24 PM

                                                                  The best jerk I've had was from Mr. Jerk at Yonge & Dundas. That place has been long gone now, and nothing that I've tried in Toronto comes anywhere close to that. I've been settling for the jerk pork at the Mr. Jerk on Wellesley in Jamestown, but, sadly, it's quite a few notches below what the Yonge/Dundas location was serving.

                                                                  Right now, the best jerk pork, in my opinion, can be had at Beryl's Pepperpot - 467 Westney Rd. S. in Ajax. (south of Bayly).

                                                                  The best roti I've ever had is from Roti n Ting at Kingston Rd. & Liverpool. I no longer live in Durham, but, those two places were my fave places to get Roti & Jerk pork.

                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                  1. re: AConACon
                                                                    f
                                                                    fickle Jul 26, 2012 05:28 PM

                                                                    You might want to try the Mr Jerk at Lawrence & Keele, one of the owners used to work at the Yonge & Dundas location 20 years ago so he might have replicated what he produced there on Lawrence.

                                                                    1. re: fickle
                                                                      a
                                                                      AConACon Jul 27, 2012 10:04 PM

                                                                      Thanks for the tip fickle! Wow! Has it really been 20 years already? Sheesh!

                                                                      I'm scratching my head trying to remember the employees there. I think there were two Chinese Jamaicans that worked there. The main guy, a lot of the customers would refer to as Mr. Chin. Not sure if that was his real surname, or just a racial slur on the customers' part, but either way, he didn't seem to take offense to it. There was a black lady and a younger black man there too - I always got a chuckle out of his way of dealing with barking demands from the over-zealous West Indian patrons. They'd be saying: "Put in more meat!" or "Give me more gravy!", and he'd fill the gravy spoon with gravy, bring it close to the styrofoam container (that was already overflowing with rice & peas, jerk pork/chicken, oxtail or stew beef), and pretend to pour it into the container, but it actually went back into the warmer. LOL!

                                                                      1. re: AConACon
                                                                        y
                                                                        YummyYummy Sep 15, 2012 12:22 AM

                                                                        I've posted in this very thread before and also stated that Mr.Jerk at the Yonge/Dundas location was hands down the best Caribbean food on this planet. No other Mr.Jerk franchise location even came close to matching the Chinese Jamaican owner's taste and quality in food.

                                                                        I am so curious if this owner did relocate to the Lawrence and Keele location??? I've been in search of this man for years. When I investigate and if indeed it is the same man, I will report back ASAP. From my memory, I believe his name was "Roland" and he wore thick glasses and had a mustache. This Chinese man had the best authentic Jamaican accent ever. I just loved hearing him speak Patois to the black Jamaican customers during lunch hours. LOL

                                                                        It hasn't been quite 20 years since it disappeared, however it has been many years. The restaurant still existed back in 1998 before the Adidas store and movie theatre in that corner were ever built. God, I miss this place! :(

                                                                        Mr Jerk

                                                                        8 Dundas St E, Toronto, ON M5B 2G9
                                                                        Phone: 416.596.7782

                                                                        1. re: YummyYummy
                                                                          Matt H Sep 15, 2012 05:24 AM

                                                                          Looking forward to the report back. My favorite location was always the Peanut Plaza one though. One question though, why on earth would he have any different an accent from the "Black" Jamaican customers? We're all from the same place afterall...

                                                                          1. re: Matt H
                                                                            y
                                                                            YummyYummy Sep 15, 2012 08:44 PM

                                                                            First of all nobody said his accent was different from other Jamaicans. I just found it very cool to hear a Chinese man with a thick Caribbean accent, you don't see it that often in Toronto. LOL

                                                                            Here's my quick report after visiting this afternoon. Of course, I went there to eat and sample the food. The curry chicken was very good and did not disappoint. I did not try the jerk chicken today because I ate some yesterday at Tropical Joe's. Plus, I was really in the mood of curry chicken so that's what I had for lunch. However, I mostly went to follow the above lead from "fickle" hoping the Chinese Jamaican owner was the same guy. Drum roll...

                                                                            It was a very busy Saturday afternoon for this hole in the wall restaurant, so the guy running the restaurant only had a quick minute to chat with me as it was busy. Here's the scoop, he is actually the nephew-in-law of this infamous Chinese Jamaican man that I was seeking. His aunt is married to the "Mr.Chin" I was looking for and his first name was Charles not "Roland". My mistake as it has been roughly 15 years since I last saw the man. Now Charles brother also had a Mr.Jerk franchise once at 1552 Eglinton Avenue West. Both brothers are currently no longer associated with any of the 6 Mr.Jerk franchises that exist in the GTA now. Both restaurants that the brothers owned have been closed for a long time.

                                                                            Here's the bottom line "Mr.Chin" or "Mr.Jerk" or simply Charles moved to the U.S.A. some time ago. He doesn't even live in Toronto anymore according to his nephew-in-law. Well, this is everything I learned in my short conversation with the proprietor of this Mr.Jerk located at Walmart Plaza near Keele and Lawrence.

                                                                            http://www.mrjerk.com/index.php/locat...

                                                                            Now there you have it...A bit of a semi-wild goose chase for my nostalgic and illustrious Mr. Jerk hoping it was the same guy from the Yonge and Dundas location from the 90's, but it was not. :(

                                                                            1. re: YummyYummy
                                                                              f
                                                                              fickle Sep 16, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                                              Thanks for the update. Sorry your goose chase didn't end the way you wanted but at least you got part of your mystery solved.

                                                                              I frequent the Keele/Lawrence location for my jerk pork cravings and will enjoy it more now knowing this extra tidbit of history with it ;-)

                                                                              1. re: YummyYummy
                                                                                Matt H Sep 20, 2012 05:00 AM

                                                                                I guess I have to keep in mind what is regular for some people is rare for others. Being a "non black" Jamaican myself I guess its pretty normal ; )

                                                                                Thanks for going on this hunt was an interesting read.

                                                                      2. re: AConACon
                                                                        a
                                                                        AConACon Jun 11, 2013 05:42 PM

                                                                        Good news to all you Torontonians that live close to the Beach. Beryl's Pepper Pot has opened a location in Toronto right near Queen & Coxwell. (north west corner, just two stores east of The Tulip Steakhouse). I believe the exact address is 1610 Queen Street East.

                                                                        Beryl's Jerk Pork is the best I've had since the good ol' days of Charles' Mr. Jerk location at Yonge and Dundas. They just opened up Friday June 7th, and I've already eaten there three times! :)

                                                                        I haven't had everything on the menu, but, I can tell you the jerk pork, beef and pumpkin soup, red bean soup, and boiled yam, are my favourite items here. Finally, some good Jamaican food minutes from where I live! Now I don't have to drive all the way to Ajax just to get my jerk pork fix!

                                                                        1. re: AConACon
                                                                          Full tummy Jun 11, 2013 07:19 PM

                                                                          Do they have rotis? And if so, do you recommend them? Also, what are their hours? Thanks!

                                                                          1. re: Full tummy
                                                                            a
                                                                            AConACon Jun 11, 2013 08:15 PM

                                                                            Yes they have roti, but, I've never tried it there, so, I can't comment on whether it's good or not. Personally, I think the Guyanese and the Trinis make the best roti, not the Jamaicans. The best roti I've ever had was at Roti n Ting in Pickering. 1298 Kingston Rd (Kingston Rd. & Liverpool Rd.) Everything I've ever eaten at Beryl's has been delicious, so, I would imagine their roti is very good too.

                                                                            The best roti I've had in Toronto has been from Roti Hut at 351 Pitfiled Rd. (Sheppard & McCowan area)

                                                                            The hours at Beryl's Pepper Pot (Toronto location) are:

                                                                            Mon: 11:00 am. - 9:00 pm.
                                                                            Tue: 11:00 am. - 9:00 pm.
                                                                            Wed: 11:00 am. - 9:00 pm.
                                                                            Thu: 11:00 am. - 10:00 pm.
                                                                            Fri: 11:00 am. - 10:00 pm.
                                                                            Sat: 8:30 am. - 11:00 pm.
                                                                            Sun: 9:00 am. - 9:00 pm.

                                                                            They have a website:

                                                                            www.berylspepperpot.com

                                                                            Hope this helps, and if you go to try the Jerk or Roti at either of these places, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

                                                                            ACon

                                                                            1. re: AConACon
                                                                              Full tummy Jun 11, 2013 09:05 PM

                                                                              Yes, I love Roti Hut, but it's so inconvenient for me. I live reasonably close to the new location of Beryl's, though. I will definitely try it!

                                                                              1. re: AConACon
                                                                                y
                                                                                YummyYummy Jun 11, 2013 10:54 PM

                                                                                ACon, I'm really glad you posted this and gave us an update here. Good thing, I stumbled on tonight as I haven't browsed this website in quite sometime.

                                                                                I'm actually very ecstatic about this new Caribbean restaurant and wish I saw this thread before I actually picked up some jerk chicken and a beef roti at Tropical Joe's @Gerrard Square's food court earlier tonight. LOL I live in Leslieville and so it's close by. I would have tried the new Beryl's immediately instead of going to my usual Caribbean place Tropical Joe's in the neighborhood.

                                                                                Guess, I'll have to wait until this weekend before I taste this new place. Really looking forward to it! I may not be able to wait/resist that long so I'll probably try the jerk pork tomorrow since I already had some roti and jerk chicken earlier tonight. :)

                                                                                BTW, I just saw the post you left for me on April 2013. Great to hear that you paid a visit to that particular Mr.Jerk franchise after me! ;)

                                                                                1. re: AConACon
                                                                                  mariecollins Jun 13, 2013 06:55 AM

                                                                                  I now work very close to Roti n Ting and have tried two rotis, vegetable and goat. The vegetable roti was the worst I've ever eaten. It was filled with what seemed like coleslaw without the dressing. The goat, happily, was a normal goat roti. Not the best ever, but quite fine.

                                                                                  1. re: mariecollins
                                                                                    a
                                                                                    AConACon Jun 13, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                                                    @Marie Collins - That is surprising to me, as I've eaten there numerous times, and each time it has been fantastic. Mind you, I've never tried either of the items you had the bad experience with. Roti-wise, I've only every tried the chicken and beef varities. They also sell, or at least, used to sell, a smaller version of the standard roti. This was done during their lunch hour time slot, which I believe was something like 11:30 to 2:30) which was perfect for those who found the standard roti to be too big for lunch. I've also had their doubles and polourie (sp) and they were all very good. I've now been living in Toronto for 3 years, so, I don't really go to Roti n Ting anymore (I go to Roti Hut if I have a roti craving), but, I'll have to go there again and see if it's the same quality as I remember.

                                                                                    Perhaps you could try the beef or chicken roti and see how it is?

                                                                                    Sorry to hear your experience was not good. I would not recommend a place without it being warranted, and while my recommendation cant be based on everything they sell, as I haven't tried, nor am in interested in trying, everything they sell, the items I have eaten there on numerous occasions, has always been excellent.

                                                                                    AC

                                                                                  2. re: AConACon
                                                                                    prima Jun 13, 2013 07:13 AM

                                                                                    Thanks for posting this about Pepper Pot. I'll let some friends that live nearby know about Pepper Pot.

                                                                                    Would you travel out of your way (on the TTC) for their roti or jerk?

                                                                                    1. re: prima
                                                                                      a
                                                                                      AConACon Jun 13, 2013 07:56 PM

                                                                                      @Prima

                                                                                      You're welcome.

                                                                                      I've never tried the roti there, so, I'm not really in a position to recommend it. I've had the jerk pork and chicken, as well as the beef and pumpkin soup, the red bean soup and boiled yam, and I thought they were all excellent. Just yesterday, I tried the curry chicken with rice and peas, and it was good as well, but, the jerk pork is my favourite.

                                                                                      Yes, I would go out of my way for their jerk, and I did go out of my way, making the drive to Ajax from Toronto just to get their jerk pork and beef & pumpkin soup. My 6 year old loves the soup and even knows to ask for "lots of dumplings". He has been eating it ever since he was 3!

                                                                                      I hope you and your friends enjoy the food as much as me and my son do.

                                                                                      1. re: AConACon
                                                                                        prima Jun 15, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                        Thanks AConACon,
                                                                                        I'll give their jerk a try. The soups sound good.

                                                                                2. re: AConACon
                                                                                  Matt H Jun 13, 2013 07:39 AM

                                                                                  Not to rain on anyone's parade, but last visit to Toronto a family member and I ordered some take out from Beryl's in Ajax and it was dreadful. I got the Oxtail and rice n peas and the Oxtail was skimpy, dry (even though I asked for extra gravy) and lacking in flavor. The rice n peas were clumpy and had no coconut milk flavor at all.

                                                                                  I also tried a couple bites of my family members Curry Goat. It was not as bad, but very mediocre and had a very muted flavor like the chef was holding back for some reason.

                                                                                  Are there consistency issues at that location in Ajax? As I said I have only one visit to base this on but after that I do not think I would be rushing back anytime soon.

                                                                                  1. re: Matt H
                                                                                    a
                                                                                    AConACon Jun 13, 2013 08:20 PM

                                                                                    @ Matt H

                                                                                    Wow! Doesn't sound like Beryl's at all. I've only ever had one complaint at Beryl's in Ajax, and that was when I ordered the jerk pork, and they gave me the jerk chicken. I didn't notice until I got home. I really had my heart set on the pork, so, I was definitely disappointed, but ate it anyway. It was good, just not what I wanted. By and large, the jerk pork is my favourite item here.

                                                                                    I'm not a big fan of oxtail or goat, so, I don't know what the general consensus is when it comes to Beryl's oxtail and goat dishes.

                                                                                    I think you'll find this sort of experience with a lot of places in general. I always read reviews about places, whether it be Carribean food, or Fish n Chips, or Wings, etc.... and even places that I know I've been to, and the food was amazing, there's always a few people who didn't have the same experience, and I'm not sure if it's just a matter of different criteria of what good fish n chips are, or what good wings taste like, or what a delicious roti should taste like, or perhaps the food really was bad the day these people went there. I guess everyone is entitled to an off day...

                                                                                    I've always had positive experiences at Beryl's, and that's why I continue to go there. I went to that other Carribean place on Queen Street called The Hummingbird, and ordered the Jerk Chicken (they didn't have pork) and I threw it out after one bite! It was nasty. Tasted like the chicken was off. I'm surprised I didn't get sick or anything. It's one thing if food isn't as tasty as it could or should be, but, it's a big no-no to serve bad meat. I will never step foot in that place again.

                                                                                    So Matt H, if it's Oxtail and Goat that you really like, perhaps some of the other members here can post their opinions on whether or not Beryl knows what she's doing when it comes to these two items, and if it's positive, you may want to try it again. If it's not, maybe you could try the jerk pork? :)

                                                                                    1. re: AConACon
                                                                                      a
                                                                                      AConACon Jan 30, 2014 04:18 PM

                                                                                      Hey everyone, I have a new favourite place to get my jerk pork fix. In my opinion, this place is even BETTER than Beryl's, and the ironic part, is that I found out about it while talking to a customer when I was wating for my food at Beryl's. The place is called Nun Such Jerk Inc. and they're located at 1180 Kennedy Rd. (just north of Lawrence on the west side, kinda across from where The Brick is. This place is run by Chinese Jamaicans, and IMHO, their food is delicious! I've had the Jerk Chicken, I've had the Oxtail, I've had the Pork, and they're all VERY good. Though, I'm not that big of a fan of oxtail. I've had their Chicken soup, as well as their beef soup, and they're also equally delicious. If you're ever in the area, I suggest you try it out, I've gone about 4 times so far, and each time, all I can think about is that I'm glad I started up a conversation with that guy in Beryl's who told me about this place!

                                                                                      1. re: AConACon
                                                                                        Googs Jan 31, 2014 09:35 AM

                                                                                        #68 on the Scarborough Hit Parade.
                                                                                        http://goo.gl/maps/lYFJg

                                                                              2. g
                                                                                garfield Jul 24, 2012 02:34 PM

                                                                                Recently been to Cool Runnings on main street. Their vegetarian roti is very good - tastes like homemade. Now this place is not better than Carribean Bistro, but I will have their Vegetarian Roti once a week.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: garfield
                                                                                  prima Apr 27, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                                                  What do you like best at Caribbean Bistro lately? I remember liking their roti and pholourie, but I haven't been for a few years.

                                                                                  1. re: prima
                                                                                    g
                                                                                    garfield Jun 13, 2013 07:34 PM

                                                                                    Sorry prima, I didn't notice your question. I like their doubles and the vegetarian roti. I have had doubles from Drupati and Caarribean roti place near Bathurst Subway - but it is the Carribean Bistro's that I like best.

                                                                                    1. re: garfield
                                                                                      prima Jun 15, 2013 07:46 PM

                                                                                      No worries, garfield. Good to hear their doubles are still good.

                                                                                2. p
                                                                                  plug Apr 25, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                                  Jerk Joint....

                                                                                  Quality and taste is top notch.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: plug
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    C mac Apr 27, 2013 12:22 AM

                                                                                    I noticed nobdy mentioned "the roti hut" on pittfield near MaCowen and 401. I think their roti is great.

                                                                                    1. re: plug
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      C mac Apr 28, 2013 01:02 AM

                                                                                      Where is it?

                                                                                    2. a
                                                                                      AConACon Apr 28, 2013 06:48 AM

                                                                                      Roti - I was recently informed of a place in Scarborough that has very good Roti. I tried it out, and it was very good, though, they did mess up my order. LOL!

                                                                                      The place is called Roti Hut, and they're at 351 Pitfield. Which is basically Pitfield & McCowan. (major intersection is Sheppard & McCowan)

                                                                                      I would rank this place #2 for roti out of all the places I have tried. #1 would still be Roti n Ting in Pickering. If you haven't tried Roti n Ting, I would highly recommend it. It is absolutely delicious!

                                                                                      Roti n Ting is located at 1298 Kingston Rd., which is the northeast corner of Kingston Rd. & Liverpool. It's a small place, with just one, or maybe two tables. It has been years since I have been there last, but the Trinidadian women running the place there know their roti, and are tops on my list.

                                                                                      Jerk Pork - Best jerk pork I've ever had is still the one that no longer exists. Charles's Mr. Jerk franchise that was located at Yonge & Dundas was the best for me! Sadly it is gone, and as one of the posters here (YummyYummy) determined, he is gone too, having moved to the US. :( There is hope still though, as that same poster discovered a relative of his (nephew in law, I believe) is running the Mr. Jerk store at Lawrence & Keele. I went there a few weeks ago, but, as luck would have it, my visit coincided with their relocation (apparently, they're moving just a few doors down from where they once were) so, I didn't get to try this location's jerk pork yet. :(

                                                                                      I did try the jerk pork at this Peanut Plaza mall, and it was okay. Nothing I would highly recommend to anyone here. The server was very friendly, but the jerk was average.

                                                                                      As I've mentioned in an earlier post, the best jerk I've had, post "Mr. Jerk at Dundas & Yonge days" would be the jerk at Beryl's Pepperpot in Ajax. In my opinion, it rivals Charles's jerk pork. The place is located on Westney Road south of Bayly in a somewhat deserted strip mall. The exact address is 467 Westney Street South, and it's in the same mall as Silver Carpet & Rugs. The beef & pumpkin soup is also excellent here, and they also have food in the form of boiled yam, dumpling & banana. I believe Beryl has also opened a location in Oshawa.

                                                                                      I tried the Jerk Joint just last week, which is located at 238 Queen Street West, and it was good. The female employee seemed somewhat disorganized but was quite friendly. It was a bit of a wait to get my food, as they don't really have the food sitting in a heated case or anything, but, with so few good jerk places around, I don't mind waiting for something that's even average to good, like this place was. I'll want to try it again soon just to make sure my experience wasn't a one-off, as someone else here posted quite a rave review of this place.

                                                                                      Jerk Chicken - This is not something I prefer to order very often, but, when jerk pork is not available, I usually defer to this. Two places that I have had jerk chicken from are the two locations of Ritz on Yonge St. One is at Yonge & Shuter (211 Yonge St.) and the other is at Yonge & College (450 Yonge St.). I find both to be equally good, though, I think I prefer the one at Yonge & College.

                                                                                      A new place I tried out when I was testing the roti at Roti Hut over at 351 Pitfield, is a place called Island Spice. It's literally 5 stores over from Roti Hut. I went there for jerk pork, as I was told they had jerk pork there, but, sadly, they did not. So, I settled for the jerk chicken, and it was delicious! So, if you're looking for a place to try jerk chicken, and you haven't tried Island Spice yet, I'd recommend it. It was my first time there, and I felt it was very good.

                                                                                      @YummyYummy - Thanks for finding out that information on Charles and his Mr. Jerk franchise.

                                                                                      If you're looking for great fish n chips, I would recommend the following places:

                                                                                      Olde Yorke fish n chips at 96 Laird (Laird S of Eglinton)

                                                                                      Kingsway fish n chips at 3060 Bloor St. W (Bloor W of Royal York)

                                                                                      Off the Hook fish n chips at 749 Broadview Ave. (Broadview S of Danforth on the east side)

                                                                                      Sun Crisp fish n chips at 2047 Weston Rd. (Weston Rd. N of Lawrence).

                                                                                      AC

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: AConACon
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        C mac Apr 30, 2013 02:32 AM

                                                                                        Funny, whenever I'm at the Roti Hut I always wonder if that place like 3 stores down is any good. Maybe Ill try it. I'm also curious to see what the jerk chicken at roti hut is like but I never get it as Im always there to get roti...lol

                                                                                      2. b
                                                                                        bobbob911 Jan 31, 2014 10:49 AM

                                                                                        I'm not sure if this is relevant, but what the heck. I just came back from a week in Jamaica, and one of the things I wanted to try was authentic Jerk (pork and chicken). I did my research and found a place called Scotchie's, which is supposed to be one of the best places for Jerk on the island.

                                                                                        I have to say, I was pretty underwhelmed. Yes there was a nice smokiness to the meat (it was cooked right over pimento wood branches), but the chicken was bone dry, the pork less so but clearly inferior cuts of pork were used because half of my serving was either gristle or pure fat that was not edible. The jerk seasoning was almost non-existent, and what little was there was completely overwhelmed by the scotch bonnet hot sauce. Loved the festival and sweet potato though.

                                                                                        Anyways, I guess it opened my eyes to the reality of what "real jerk is" - its nothing!

                                                                                        (flame suit on :-) )

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: bobbob911
                                                                                          Matt H Jan 31, 2014 11:48 AM

                                                                                          I guess the question should be, which Scotchies did you go to? (There are three locations) and they vary as far as quality is concerned.

                                                                                          Personally I eat at the Ochie location quite often and have had the opposite experience to you. It is definitely one of the best if not the best Jerk spot on the Island.

                                                                                          1. re: Matt H
                                                                                            b
                                                                                            bobbob911 Jan 31, 2014 12:28 PM

                                                                                            Ochie is where I went - we were staying in Runaway Bay.

                                                                                            Don't get me wrong, it was fairly tasty, in the same way all bbq is at least fairly tasty (meat+fire=yum). But IMO there was nothing exceptional about it.

                                                                                            1. re: bobbob911
                                                                                              j
                                                                                              julesrules Feb 19, 2014 04:00 AM

                                                                                              I ate a lot of unresearched, prechowhound jerk in Jamaica and I did find that especially later at night you would sometimes get meat that had been on the grill too long. Never experienced underseasonig however, quite the opposite. I do find generally in the Caribbean that meat might be overdone and not great quality by our expectations (ok now I am flame worthy... Maybe it is actually better quality, super naturally raised etc but not the same as what we are used to here).

                                                                                        2. c
                                                                                          catherine88 Feb 18, 2014 08:21 PM

                                                                                          Shout out to the hummingbird on queen east - yummy jerk and the patties are great! Plus it's small, the owners cook and serve all the food and it just feels right.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: catherine88
                                                                                            mrsleny Feb 18, 2014 08:42 PM

                                                                                            And the only place I've seen bammy bread. So yummy.

                                                                                            1. re: catherine88
                                                                                              Full tummy Feb 19, 2014 02:09 AM

                                                                                              Do you recommend eating in? What are the rotis like?

                                                                                              1. re: Full tummy
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                catherine88 Feb 19, 2014 03:40 PM

                                                                                                Definitely eat in, as long as you're ok with being on island time :-) very authentic that way. I haven't tried any rotis there.

                                                                                                1. re: catherine88
                                                                                                  Full tummy Feb 20, 2014 07:12 PM

                                                                                                  Ok, thanks!

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