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Caribana Food places for next weekend!! any suggestions? caribean foods like Roti places,Jamaican and good jerk chicken?

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  • Justo Jul 22, 2010 10:16 AM
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Coming into town next weekend for caribana festival any suggestions for good carnival food.? caribean foods like Roti places,Jamaican and good jerk chicken?(first timer on chowhound from boston)!!

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  1. Depending on where you're staying there's a place on Oakwood Ave. called Randy's...good roti and patties but I have yet to try anything else from them.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Sarah_G

      2nd vote for Randy's here. Best Patty I have tasted outside Jamaica. Allens in Peanut Plaza is an alternative.

      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

      Good Jerk Chicken? Sorry doesn't exist in TO unfortunately. The lack of Pimento Wood and Leaves in the market really doesn't allow for real Jerk to be cooked. For regular Jamaican cooked food, if you are in a pinch there are a few places, but if you spend alot of time in Mattapan/Dorchester in Boston and eat at Lenny's or Flames then you may be disappointed.

      Stick to the Roti and Doubles because the selection in Toronto is greater than Boston IMO.

      1. re: Matt H

        I like the doubles and aloo pie at Ali's on Queen west just before lansdown.

      2. re: Sarah_G

        Randy's is actually on Eglinton just a few shops east of Oakwood. Love their patties!

        WON
        http://whatsonmyplate.net

        1. re: Sarah_G

          I will be dropping by this neighborhood this weekend for some good old fashioned Caribbean food at RAP`s which is just a little west of Randy`s between Oakwood and Marlee. Saw Horace the owner working the BBQ outside the shop grilling his jerk chicken while I was on the bus. Didn`t get a chance to get off the bus to grab some food, but I will this weekend. Been craving RAP`s food since I saw him working the BBQ and the jerk chicken looked delicious. Been ages since I had some of his mouth-watering food.

          1. re: Sarah_G

            Anyone know if there are Caribana festivities around Eglinton/Oakwood this year? If so, I'll bet Rap's will be doing jerk in their drum.

            1. re: snackysmore

              There usually aren't. All the vendors head to the CNE Saturday and the island Sunday.

          2. Cool Runnings on Main St. near Gerrard has really good jerk chicken. The chicken roti is just ok. Haven't really had anything else on their menu.

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            Cool Runnings
            146 Main St, Toronto, ON M4E2V8, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: vcm

              Theres a place called Carribean Palms located in a plaza in Flemingdon Park(plaza with the McDonalds) on Don Mills south of Eglinton. Their Roti is great and Ive heard good things about their Jerk Chicken but havent tried myself.

              I dont know what the options are like in Boston, but theres lots of great Carribean food in Toronto, im sure if you go to Caribana there will be food for sale all over the place, so it wont be too hard to get what you want!

              1. re: jmarcroyal

                My chowpal and I go to Caribbean Palms regularly and really enjoy their food...great roti and the jerk chicken is good too...the owner is a very nice guy!

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

            2. Im staying Near union station off lakeshore drive but i am driving to toronto so Driving wont be an issue. I will have to check out Randy's(Sarah_G) thanks!! @Matt H I will take your advice and stick to Roti! Your right about boston can;t find true jerk chicken out of all the places you said Flames would be ok but lenny's has good patties. I too am from trinindad but haven;t experienced toronto well.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Justo

                Mr Jerk on Wellesley between Parliament and Sherbourne has jerk chicken and tasty jerk pork. For doubles and roti I like Ali's on Queen st W in Parkdale - they'll be serving up at Carribana as well. Spence’s Bakery (1539 Eglinton West) has great jerk chicken smoked outside on the sidewalk, I haven't been there for a while though.

                1. re: mariecollins

                  Toronto Star did a feature on some of the vendors that will be serving up all these goodies. I think it was yesterday's paper in case anyone's interested.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Caribbean Roti Palace (on Bathurst, just south of Bloor) has authentic Trini roti and doubles.

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

                    1. re: psyrel

                      Its also not as oily as a lot of other rotis in the city and the prices are decent (~5.50 for channa, 6 for channel + 1 veggie, etc.).
                      The hot sauce is quite weak, though (IMO). And they never had aloo pies when I ask for them....

                  2. re: mariecollins

                    That place seems pretty close will check it out tomorrow!!

                  3. re: Justo

                    Have a good trip, as someone who has lived in both Toronto and Boston I wanted to steer you in the right direction. One more point though, while Lenny's makes incredible Patties in Boston, Randy's in Toronto is a must visit. So while the Jamaican cooked food in TO is pretty bad, the bakeries are probably amongst the best outside of Jamaica.

                    1. re: Matt H

                      Randy's indeed!! making a list!

                  4. Well one obvious option is the food stands at the Caribana parade. They are on the south side of the parade by the water. To get to them you need to go over the footbridge to Ontario Place and walk west from there, or take the footbridge at queen and roncesvailles and walk east from there.

                    Many to choose from.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: William Taft

                      I'm lazy. Where is good roti downtown?

                      I used to get my fix at Carribean Island at Dundas and McCaul. But there is a new indian place there now.

                      1. re: Chocaholic

                        hmm well I was just assuming that the original poster would be at the parade if they are coming in for Caribana.

                        There's another location of Island Foods that is still open at King and Dufferin if you want the same kind of roti

                        1. re: William Taft

                          The Island Foods at the Grange food court was awesome; since it closed down i went to the one by the Dufferin Gates one time and the vegetable roti tasted like a ton of roti, with a tiny bit of cabbage and the saffron tastes was too overpowering. Really disappointing.

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                          Dufferin Cafe
                          2917 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON M6B3S7, CA

                        2. re: Chocaholic

                          Vena's Roti...Bloor just before Landsdowne on the south side of bloor. Best roti in the city by a mile

                      2. some more general recommendations:

                        For patties I like Randy's or Allen's. Randy's are a bit more stuffed with a tastier more liquid filling and thinner shell. You probably want to order some coco bread to make a sandwich out of them. Allens is more flakey with a thicker shell and less sloppy filling. I prefer Randy's overall but both are good.

                        For jerk chicken downtown I like Pat's Homestyle (formerly Albert's) at Queen and Bathhurst. I can't vouch for authenticity, but I always find the Jerk chicken with oxtail gravy to be consistent and tasty.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: William Taft

                          I dont know if im gonna get yelled at for saying this, but if you are interested in Jerk Wings, order from Wing Machine. I know its a chain, but they do wings pretty well. The wings are cooked in the oven, not fried, and the jerk wings have a really good flavor with a nice bit of kick to them. I always order the blue cheese with them!

                          The wings are kinda small compared to other Wing places in the city, but the bonus is these wings are weighed after they are cooked, so you order 1 pound of wings, you get 1 pound of cooked wings.

                          If you are feeling lazy and dont want to go out but still need that jerk chicken taste, I highly recommend these wings!

                        2. The Now newspaper today has a list of downtown/midtown spots:

                          http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                          http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                          http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Herb

                            This thread reminds me how much I miss Planet Crystal... they had great fried chicken with a spicy sauce on it. Now it's a Wimpy's - blech!

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                            Planet Crystal
                            225 Church, Toronto, ON M5B1E1, CA

                            1. re: LovelyAsia

                              Venas roti....can't believe nobody rec'd venas ???? home made roti shells, kick ass hot sauce, generous fillings and reasonable. I think he's open on a sunday as well. No jerk....alas....but if you want roti downtown...this is the place....(take out only). For good jerk...other posters are right, its slimmer pickins...