Want to try some wonderful Jamaican patties and buy suspiciously cheap reggae CDs in one stop? Head to Randy's Take-Out, a classic Caribbean joint at 1569 Eglinton Ave. West in Toronto's Little Jamaica neighbourhood.
"We've been on this block since 1978," explains Jennifer, one of the shop's owners, in her soft Jamaican lilt. She's part of a Chinese-Jamaican family that runs the restaurant.
The vegetable patty is surprisingly tasty, and includes callaloo, a Caribbean leaf vegetable. The ackee and saltfish patty isn't on the menu, but it's worth asking for: the smooth taste of the ackee fruit and lip-smacking saltiness of the codfish make Jamaica's national dish a wonderful combination.
At the counter, make sure you clarify if you want one single patty or one box of patties—many of the customers here buy them by the box. Fresh patties are $13.50 a dozen or $13 frozen. In addition to the patties, curry goat and oxtail are also on the menu.
If the island food gets you in the mood to hear some great reggae tunes, you're in luck. During our visit, vendors speaking in thick Jamaican patois were peddling compilations of Jamaican tunes right inside the shop. At $3 a CD, you can't go wrong.
Randy's is located at 1569 Eglinton Ave. West at Oakwood. Hours of operation are Monday to Thursday 11am to 8pm; Friday 11am to 9pm; Saturday 11am to 6:30pm, Sunday closed. Randy's is cash-only and there's no seating.
Thanks to Tonya from What's on my plate for the tip.
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