Tropical Joe's has a long history in Toronto, serving out of this food court stall location for over a decade.
The menu is a melting pot of island styles fused with Canadian influences, with offerings like stuffed patties and jerk poutine.
A long queue snakes away from Tropical Joe's during a lunch rush, while other big chain stands rarely ever have more than one or two people lining up.
A giant mural and delightfully cobbled-together menu set the place apart as well.
Patties are sourced from Allan's, $1.75 for spicy or mild beef, $2 for goat, chicken or veggie.
Choose any of these and stuff with jerk chicken or pork, $5.75 for beef or veggie, $6 for goat or chicken. With a choice to add spicy pickled onions, ketchup, lettuce, hot sauce, mayo and/or tomato at no extra charge, these patties get seriously stuffed, the flaky pastry barely even able to contain everything.
Jerk chicken both in the patty and with rice and peas ($9.25 for a small order, $11.25 for a large, though all portions are relatively huge) is boneless and skinless but has some serious heat to it, marinated for a minimum of 24 hours and baked on high heat. Scotch bonnet and habanero are always used for spice here, a little cayenne occasionally.
Jerk chicken can also be had on top of poutine ($8.50 for a small, $11 for a large), really the starring element on top of decent fries, though the gravy really melds everything together and the cheese is nice and stretchy.
Meals can be had with rice and peas or roti, $9.25 for a small boneless curried chicken. Outsourced roti are dal puri style, served in round containers and slightly open-faced.
Pretty much anything can be made a combo with a pop, and for a dollar upcharge, you can make it a West Indian drink.
There really was a Joe once, who started this business in a flea market. Though other locations were taken over by different owners, this food court location stayed in the family. It's now run by Joe's son, Chris Boodhoo.