Jamaican, Take Out

Riddim & Spice

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1945 Commercial Dr, Vancouver BC V5N 4A8
604.215.9252

THE JOINT

This all started because I decided I wanted to eat some Jamaican patties. Out of nowhere, for no reason. This has happened before and when it did I just made them from scratch. This time around I wanted to “support local restaurants” (read: I was also lazy and I didn’t want to do the work).

Enter Riddim & Spice – I’ve driven past this joint many a time while cruising Commercial Drive for food spots. I always chuckled at the name because it made me happy and was right up my alley (Beats + Eats vs. Riddim & Spice, see the parallel?) So I thought, instead of going to the same two Caribbean restaurants in Vancouver (The Reef & Calabash… I’m sure there are more), I’d give this a try.

We placed our order of oxtail, jerk chicken, fried plantain, and Jamaican patties directly with the restaurant over the phone. When we arrived 25 minutes later, our order was ready for pick-up. A very friendly man came out from the kitchen and chatted with us while we paid for our order. He was in good spirits and laughed at the restaurant set-up (chairs stacked up against the walls). We thanked him and the woman who manning the register and made our way out. As I walked past the empty tables, I noticed a Bob Marley painting on the wall. Consequently, he was played on repeat during the whole drive home.

When we got home, I immediately opened all of the containers and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a Jamaican patty. They were out of beef so we opted for chicken. It was large, flat, really flakey and had a light filling. It was easy to eat and I liked the tinged yellow crust (from tumeric). It wasn’t bright neon like I’ve seen in the pre-made hot food display in 7-Eleven. I would have preferred for it to have bit more filling and be less flat as it ended up being mostly dough.

The fried plantains were not my favourite – for some reason, I was expecting crispy, almost chip-style plantains but they were thicker and not that crunchy despite being fried and dark in colour. I had one and that was enough.

The jerk chicken portion was massive. It came with two huge bone-in pieces on a bed of rice and peas. The jerk flavour was there but was not overwhelming. I didn’t really enjoy picking through the chunks of bones but liked the braised skin that held most of the flavour. It was a pretty decent jerk, especially for the price point.

The oxtail was delicious! The pieces of meat that you could get off the bone were savoury and rich, the extra oxtail juice seeped into the rice making it even tastier. I really enjoyed this dish, and once again they did not skimp with the portion. I only wished there were more pieces of meat and less bone but that’s what you get with oxtail.

Let’s talk sides! I really loved the rice and peas – the rice was soft and fluffy, the peas (which are actually beans) gave it a bit of flavour and textural contrast. Not to mention, they served two giant portions underneath the meat dishes. I’m big on carbs so anytime I’m given rice, bread, or any carbo-heavy side, I’m pretty happy. The salad on the other hand was a basic iceburg lettuce and cabbage combo, nothing noteworthy.

End of the day, I’m glad I got my Jamaican patty fix. This meal was ridiculously cheap, I had leftover rice and peas for 2 days, and I got to enjoy some Marley music.

THE ORDER

  • Jamaican Patties, Chicken $2.75/each
  • Fried Plantain $1.75
  • Jerk Chicken, Large (w/ Rice & Peas, Salad) $11.95
  • Oxtail, Large (w/ Rice & Peas, Salad) $12.85

THE BARS
Eats: 3.5
Peeps: 4
Vibes: N/A
Bills: $
Beats: Is This Love – Bob Marley

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