Journalist Sarah Efron explores strip malls and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in search of the city's best ethnic food

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jamaican patties by the dozen at the Patty King factory outlet

Want to stock up on Jamaican patties? A visit to the Patty King factory outlet might be in order. 

Located at 321 Progress Ave. in Scarborough, this restaurant and factory store sees a steady stream of customers coming in for their favourites. The exuberant cashier Judy, who hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica, knows every one of them. 

"Are you getting a patty for your mom?" she asks a teenage customer picking up a dozen patties in her slightly faded Jamaican lilt. "Don't eat and drive—it's hazardous," she sternly warns a workman dressed in coveralls. 

Despite having the same name as the popular Patty King take-out restaurant in Kensington Market, the factory and outlet are not affiliated with it: the factory sold them the name and supplies some of its patties. The factory's main business is wholesaling to coffee trucks, schools and to Gateway newsstands in subway stations. It's a family business run by a group of brothers and sisters from Kingston, Jamaica.

From Monday to Friday, the outlet serves full meals such as jerk chicken, jerk pork and oxtail. Small portions are around $4.50 while large ones are around $7.50. The main clients are industrial workers employed in the nearby factories. There's no seating here, but there are a few tables where you can eat standing up. "For $2.30 you can get a patty on coco bread and a pop. That's gonna gold you 'til dinner," says Judy.

You can get a warm beef, chicken or veg Jamaican patty for a $1. It's not the best patty in town but it hits the spot. The value proposition gets better when you buy in bulk. A dozen beef or veggie patties is $7.50. If you don't mind slight imperfections, such as the seams of dough not meeting perfectly together, go for the "bagged and frozen seconds"—just $5 for a dozen. 

Thanks to AutoShare for providing transportation for this food mission.
Patty King is located at 321 Progress Ave., in Scarborough; hours are 8-6 Monday to Thursday, 8-5 Friday, 9-3 Saturday, closed Sunday. Full meals are only served Monday to Friday. Parking is around the back. 

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  1. You should try Randy's, Michidean's or Allan's for patties. I like them all a lot better than Patty King :)

  2. We need good patties in the UK, we have crap ones here. Have to go to Jamaica for good patties, so come to the Uk with your patties.

  3. I *heart* British pasties just as much as Jamaican patties!

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