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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Michael's West Indian Flavor in New Toronto: "Take-Out Counter" Spots II

In true take-out counter spot style, Michael's West Indian Flavor is simplicity itself. A small spot, it has the food counter, a small counter you can stand at if you want to eat inside, and a very small menu of three regular dishes that is expanded with other options depending on the day.

But this basic simplicity belies the tremendous complexity of flavour of their dishes, all of which are some of the best West Indian food I have had in Toronto (and I have had a lot of it!). 

Jamaican style Oxtail, Curried Goat or Stewed Chicken with rice or rice and peas are always on the chalkboard menu, while Jerk Chicken and Spicy Fried Chicken are regularly available as well.

Everything is perfectly done, and I have tried the lot multiple times. The goat, chicken and oxtail are always done bone-in, with a different saucing for each, and are dreamily moist and fall-off-the bone cooked. I have spent years trying to duplicate the oxtail gravy at Michael's. It is simply fantastic. If you are lucky you will get a piece of seeded Scotch Bonnet hot pepper "skin" in your dish

All dishes can be had with an optional creamy slaw. They are also all available small, medium or large (and the large is really large) and range from $5-$12.

If it is a nice day you can take you food and enjoy at one of the neigbourhood's many parks. Colonel Sam Smith Park, one of Toronto's waterfront gems, is a short walk to the west. Michael's is also on the 501 Queen streetcar line. They are located at 3067 Lake Shore Blvd. W., which is about 4 blocks west of Islington Ave.

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