The Jerk Joint
Jerk Joint is a takeout stand that serves terrific Jamaican standards as well as some items with a little more of a twist. They do jerk chicken meals, patties ($2), roti, wings ($7.50 for 3) and the elusive Bolt burger ($8.25) which you're unlikely to get your hands on as they pretty much always sell out.
Proprietor Sharon Slacks seems to recognize many of her customers, calling them by name in conversation and offering hugs and fist bumps. She takes oral orders quickly, shouting them back to the kitchen. The restaurant is 100% halal restaurant and easy to miss as it's hidden away in St. Patrick's Square Market near Queen and McCaul.
Their jerk chicken ($7.50 - $9.50 for a meal) might be healthier than other Caribbean joints because it's cooked in a smoker right in the back of the stall, and this style of cooking means the fat falls off making the chicken entirely not greasy. It comes with any side you like, but most people choose rice and beans.
Something that's a little less authentic but surprisingly good is the jerk chicken wrap ($8). Salsa, cheese and jerk chicken are wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla, and the combination actually works. The zesty jerk goes well with the gooey cheese and the acidic salsa.
There are two rotis on the menu - a boneless chicken ($9.50) and veggie ($8). They're pretty standard here with curry sauce, potatoes and a medley of Jamaican spices. The small piece of sweet plantain garnish is a nice touch.
Wash everything down with a Ting, a Jamaican citrus soft drink Slacks will recommend to anyone unsure what to choose to accompany their jerk meal.
Photos by Hector Vasquez