It's not too often that I find myself in the vicinity of Eglinton Hill but when I was in the area last week I made a point of grabbing lunch at local favourite Irie Veggie.
The bare bones take-out spot located on Eglinton just east of Keele might not do the business of nearby Mainsha, but what it lacks in cheap goat and chicken meals it more than makes up for in hard-to-beat Caribbean-vegetarian eats.
The menu at Irie is pretty simple. Almost everything comes in two sizes - small (which is actually a decent size) and large (with is what you get if you haven't eaten for a week).
Beyond that there's usually a soup, porridge and natural juices like sugar cane and beet root, but the main attraction is the smorgasborg of fresh, hot sides and mains that can be mixed and matched at will.
On this day I order up a small ($8) and fill it with some rice and peas, okra, "veggie stew", callaloo and a mixture of chick peas, green peas, potatoes and carrots. I decide to pass on the stewed soya as well as the mixed green veggies which looked like your standard Caffe Brasiliano -esque mix of winter vegetables.
The result? It was tasty and filling but lacked the rich flavours and heat that I'd hoped for. The okra was among the best I've had in recent memory but the veggie stew and chick pea mixture could have benefited from a more complex and spicy curry IMO.
But I'm really just being a bit particular at this point. Overall, it was a good lunch and something I'd definitely order up again the next time I'm in the neighbourhood.