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Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Real Jerk :: Jamaican

Insert annoying Jamaican Pun here
When I visited a friend in Barbados, one of my favourite treats were the late night street-eats. They put Toronto hot dogs to shame. Fully loaded burgers, bbq'ed & jerk chicken, the thickest fish steaks ever...it's not a mystery why McDonalds never survived in Bim.
Anyways, that is where I fell in love with Jerk chicken and I've been craving it ever since. Thought I'd start here:
 The Real Jerk 
Verdict:  Eh. Despite rave recommendations, I was underwhelmed. Okay for the price though.
Meal: Dinner
Price: $7-$13 + tax & tip

Location: 709 Queen St E Toronto, ON
Website: http://www.therealjerk.com/




The space is surprisingly big. There's a dining area upstairs and three more spots on the main floor. Everything was tacky-colourful but it seemed to work. They also sell their own brand of hot pepper sauce, which is quite different than the Bajan pepper sauces I have in my pantry. I wasn't a fan - while spicy, it didn't have the sauciness that I tend to prefer. It was more like a goopy jelly.




Jerk Chicken, Oxtail, Rice & Peas and Coleslaw ($12.75)

Not bad - the Jerk chicken could've been a little more jerk-y, and the chicken itself was decent. Not particularly fresh or moist, but not dry. I suspect it came from a massive bin of pre-cooked jerk chicken, as the dish arrived very very quickly. The oxtail was more glutinous than meaty, nothing to write home about. While tasty, I would not order it again. The rice and peas were not fresh  - in fact they were on the mushy side. I wished there was more oxtail sauce so I could smother the rice in hopes of masking the mushy-ness...but I suppose mushy rice is mushy rice.

Goat Roti ($6.50)
I'm always a fan of goat. This was just okay - a little overcooked and chewy and the wrap itself wasn't that great. I prefer Tropical Joe's goat and Ghandi's wraps. The potatoes weren't bad - but I wish I added chick peas for $1. The sauce was quite tasty, but I wouldn't go running back for this roti anytime soon.

The service was very friendly, and the food came very fast. Maybe a little too fast. I have the impression that everything is just slapped together in the back from a pre-cooked bin that may have been sitting around all day. However, considering the prices this actually isn't that bad of a deal. If it was close to work, I'd probably stop in for a cheap and filling meal once in awhile, but I think I'll look elsewhere for my Jerk Chicken fix in the meantime. Next up? Maybe Ackee Tree or Harlem. There was something missing...and I must find it.

The Real Jerk 
Verdict:  Eh. Despite rave recommendations, I was underwhelmed. Okay for the price though.
Meal: Dinner
Price: $7-$13 + tax & tip

Location: 709 Queen St E Toronto, ON
Website: http://www.therealjerk.com/


The Real Jerk on Urbanspoon

7 comments:

Div said...

There are a few places in Marlton, right by my moms office that have the best Jerk chicken ever ... They aren't sit down places though ... you just walk in, order, grab food and eat in your car kinda places ...
The roti place is called seemas ... and Jerk chicken place is Mr Jerk ...
Oh n next time you should try doubles ... if they have any ... I love love them ... and ask them for the pepper sauce ...

Erin said...

I loooove doubles!! I miss Barbados so much. The doubles I've tried in TO haven't lived up to that sweet sweet memory...

Marlton? As in New Jersey?! Quite the trek for Jerk chicken...haha. I want to visit NYC!!

Anonymous said...

For jerk chicken head to Rap's on Eglington West of the Allen after 6pm. If the drum is smoking you are in for a treat.

Erin said...

You're not the first to recommend Raps! It's out of the way, but has been on my radar for quite awhile. I think it deserves a special trip to satisfy my craving

Anonymous said...

The Midpoint bar on Queen used to have a BBQ on the sidewalk and would bbq THE. Tastiest. Jerk chicken. OH SO DELICIOUS. Even a chef friend couldn't get enough. If you had passed by there during the summer, you'd see everyone standing outside the bar eating their chicken. But I think they got in trouble so now they cook inside. You still might wanna try it though!

Erin said...

Ooh! That's not too far. noted!! :D I need to find great downtown jerk!

Anonymous said...

I order food from The Real Jerk once a week, I love the combinations. Service is great and great prices. I tried the ribs last week it was great but ask for them spicy

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