Tag Archives: jerk chicken

PATIO LIT EATS: Fountains of Flavour @ Casa Loma Gardens

Now, last weekend at Cabana was probably the prettiest patio I’ve been to since this whole thing started. But this place has gotta be a close second. We’re hanging out at The Gardens at Casa Loma, this massive castle courtyard at a local tourist attraction. Now, I’ve eaten inside at BlueBlood Steakhouse before, but this was something totally different:

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What we’ve got here is a crab cake BLT with a side of jerk chicken lollipop wings. When I ordered ’em, I thought the wings would come out first, but hey, it’s not like I can’t eat two things at once. And for the record, I did NOT ask for a side salad — this dish couldda came with fries, but the server didn’t even ask what I wanted on the side, and just assumed I needed salad… Yo, don’t shame me, bro!!!

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It ain’t no thing but a chicken wing, though! These lollipops packed a punch from the jerk marinade, but the pineapple salsa helped cool things down…although I had to scoop it up with a fork cuz it didn’t stay on top of the chicken. I could probably pound, like, 17 of these, but then I wouldn’t have room for crab cakes:

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While this sandwich does have all the necessary ingredients — bacon, lettuce and tomato — there’s no question that the crab cake is the star of the show. Breaded and deep-fried, it’s coming in hot and crunchy, with some added crunch from the slaw, and a soft bun to bring it all together. Hey, it’s no Maryland crab cake, but I still can’t complain!

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When it comes to beer, you won’t find any craft here…unless you like Mill St Organic. (And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.) But I prefer the nice, summery taste of a Hoegaarden wheat beer from Belgium. They don’t have the massive pint glasses you’ll normally find this beer in, but a couple of these brewskis will still hit the spot, son!!!

TORONTO’S TOP TAKOUT: Takin’ and bakin’ some real-deal Jamaican!!!

Now, I’ve never been to Patois before… but I did have their Jamaican patty double-down sammy at Union Market a few years back, so I knew their food’s legit. And when I found out they were delivering care packages of heat-‘n-eat Jamaican classics, you KNOW I had to get in on that, bro!

Now, their half pack was meant for two people, but if you’re stuck in self-isolation, there’s probably enough food here for two full meals — in fact, that’s just what I did.

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So, we’re starting off with a Jamaican takeout classic — jerk chicken with rice and peas and coleslaw. And lemme tell ya, there was more than enough coleslaw for two people here! Now, the chicken leg was alright ‘n all, but when I bit into the breast, that’s when the magic happened…

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Dude, this breast is the best! The meat was super tender and juicy, the skin gets a little extra char from being reheated in the oven, and there’s a little bit of spice, but not too overpowering. Of course, I washed it all down with a Jamaican ginger beer…

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And even after slaughtering a half-chicken, rice and peas, and at least a pound of crunchy coleslaw, you KNOW I still had room for dessert, bro!!!!

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Now, I’m guessing they don’t chow down on this dish in Trenchtown — but it doesn’t get much more Toronto than rum cake tiramisu! You’ve got cocoa, you’ve got marscapone…but instead of ladyfingers, it’s a real-deal Carribean rum cake underneath! I’ve had rum cake from the Bahamas, and this one was definitely on point!!!

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Now, since we went with the Jamaican classic dinner on Friday, tonight was more of a buffet of flavours from the rest of the delivery order. You’ve got stewed oxtail in a rich gravy, a couple itty bitty beef patties, Trinidadian-style mac pie, a side of plantain chips with garlic sauce…oh and some kimchi brussels sprouts. Yeah, I dunno how those got here, either.

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Now, even though I probably needed to reheat it longer than they suggested, the oxtail meat still came right off the bone — these are like little baby beef ribs in Flavourtown! The patties were nice ‘n hot after 15 min in the oven, the plantain chips with the garlic sauce was a nice, tasty snack and that mac pie, man…I wish I could have mac ‘n cheese shaped into a pie with every meal — there’s nothing wrong with that at all!

On the other hand, I wasn’t as much a fan of the kimchi brussels sprouts, a dish served cold like revenge. Now, I don’t mind kimchi with Korean BBQ, but the bitterness kinda clashed with the oxtail gravy and everything else — one of these tings was not like the other, mon!

Oh, and speaking of Ting…

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This Jamaican 7-Up goes pretty good with spicy food — although the only thing that was really spicy about tonight’s meal was the pineapple scotch bonnet sauce on the side. (I still got a bunch of it left to make some hot wings, or something…) For an extra 25 bucks, Patois will add a six-pack of Red Stripe to your order, but I gotta say, I’m glad I stuck with the Jamaican soda. Yeah, we be jammin!

Whole lotta jerk wings for 8 bucks @ Southern Accent

You know me–this is body by chicken wings, bro! And I’m all about finding the best deals on wings in the city, whether it’s hitting up a couple friendly neighbourhood bars on Bloor West, or destroying four pounds of AYCE wings at St. Louis. Now, I’ve been to Southern Accent before for some badass blackened chicken livers, so when I heard they had jerk chicken wings on special on Thursdays, for just eight bucks an order, you KNOW I was ready to get back on that horse, cowboy!!!!

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Now, normally when you’re thinking jerk chicken, it’s gonna put a little fire in ya wire. But that was definitely not the case here. On a scale of one to wingsanity, these were pretty mild. But the meat was nice and tender, and the seasoning was quite tasty… Let’s just say they go pretty good with a beer:

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Way up high in the atmosphere, it’s Elora Borealis, from the Elora Brewing Co in Elora, Ontario. This pale ale was light, not too bitter, with just a hint of lemony freshness. Now, while they also had specials on bourbon this evening, the beer was not half price–this pint cost me just as much as a whole order of wings, bro!!!!

My jerk chicken wrap brings the boys to the yard!

So, check it out. We’re chilling like a villain in the courtyard at Brookfield Place, where they’ve got this local, real-deal, farm-fresh summer market on Wednesdays. There’s these little stalls serving up sausage, veggies and cheese, but the one that everyone lines up for is the Jamaican stand. Not only have they got patties, but they’re funking it up with this double dose of deliciousness–the jerk chicken roti wrap:

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Dude, this is like Caribana in my mouth, bro! You’ve got a multi-layered blanket of cornmeal goodness with some thick chunks of chicken and potato on the inside. The bird is nice and tender, with a good kick, but not too spicy. Washed it down with a ginger beer, which didn’t really soothe my soul–the fizz from the bubbles only put more fire in my wire!!!

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Food Truck Feeding Frenzy Friday: Jamaican me hungry, Randy!

(Originally written January 13, 2014)

Wait, Toronto has a food truck scene?  I mean, I’ve occasionally seen a couple trucks parked on Front Street or at the Molson Amp in summertime (beats the hell outta Pizza Pizza), but shows like Eat St. and, well, Eat St. would have me believe that the mobile feeding units aren’t nearly as prominent in this city as in other major urban centres.

In any case, a recent surge of waterfront construction has brought the trucks out of hibernation to feed construction and office workers alike at the foot of Bay St.  Though they’re not exactly out in full force—they’re only setting up one per day, due to space constraints.  That said, I’ll be braving the (not-so-unpleasant) elements to line up for street food over the next few weeks because hey, it beats the slop in the office cafeteria any day!

First on the docket is Randy’s Catering, a truck offering Caribbean cuisine.  Unfortunately for me, they were all sold out of roti by the time I got to the front of the line (note to self: arrive sooner), so I settled for the “barbecue jerk chicken” as seen below:

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Of course, you can’t really go wrong with jerk chicken, especially when it’s served so cheaply at many Jamaican restaurants across the city.  On that note, Randy’s $10 price-tag was a little steep, but I was too hungry to haggle at this point.  The rice and peas had a good spicy gravy, while the coleslaw contained crisp cabbage and the chicken was nice and moist.  But I didn’t understand why they poured some squeeze-bottled barbecue sauce over top.  It just didn’t really jive with the rest of the dish.  I guess that’s putting the “barbecue” in barbecue jerk chicken, though…