Judy's Island Grill
Judy's Island Grill is open for takeout and delivery. Masks are mandatory and hand sanitizer is at the counter.
Judy's Island Grill is just one of the many spots along Eglinton West where you can find good Caribbean food. Classic dishes are made fresh every morning and fill the hot plate while other pasta and seafood options are also on the menu.
The takeout spot, which tends to draw lineups of hungry construction workers at lunchtime, features the rasta colours of red, gold and green on the walls and comes with just a few small tables.
It's the fourth location of a Caribbean chain that's been around since 2007. Three others are found throughout the States in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, a suburb of Baltimore, and Powder Springs in Georgia.
It's a family-run establishment with Sheryl Bryan running the Toronto operation while her sister Judy keeps busy with the other locations.
Right around noon every day, piping hot dishes of freshly made stews and chickens are brought out to fill the hot plate that'll continually be refilled right through to dinner.
When it comes to poultry options, jerk, curry, brown stew, barbecue and Island fried chicken, are all on the table. The crispy and well-breaded fried chicken tends to attract the eye coming with a light dusting of red spices for even more flavour.
A bit of tripe gravy will complete the meal that comes with two sides of either rice and peas, white rice, coleslaw and macaroni or green salad ($13.28).
Curry chicken (or goat) is another popular option. The creamy yellow curry is once again well balanced with seasonings and flavours and comes with your choice of sides.
And of course, no Caribbean hot plate would be complete without a tender (to the point of falling off the bone) oxtail ($18). Here, each piece of meat has a very decent ratio of bone to meat, so you really feel like you're getting your money's worth.
There is also a selection of pasta and seafood options that can be ordered off the menu to be made extra fresh. The jerk pasta in alfredo sauce is one of Bryan's specialties.
Get it with jerk chicken or shrimp ($20); either way, expect plenty of added parmesan on top to complement the already ultra-creamy noodles.
Kept in the fridge is a selection of homemade fresh fruit juices to choose from. I'm told the Island Blast ($6), which is like a tropical fruit punch made with a mix of fruits, doesn't stay on the shelf very long.
Mango lemonade is another top-seller providing another refreshing option for the hottest of days.