Blink, and it was gone. The Foodist Market, which itself had replaced the ill-fated juice bar Pulp Kitchen, opened and closed quicker than its detractors could mutter, “Expired Earthbound organic mixed greens?!” We hope Eadrey Hemmings has more staying power. Since 2004, the Jamaican expat has been whipping up her small-batch homemade hot sauces, marinades and rubs for other retailers. Now they share the folksy white shelves of Eadrey Foods, her soon-to-open Queen East shop, with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and other local and international goodies. The space is homey, in shades of chocolate brown and white, with a colourful painting of lush, red poppies on the walls. Hemmings isn’t a trained chef, but she has worked in kitchens since she was 15. Expect the display cooler to be brimming with grab-and-go sandwiches—made with breads from St. John’s Bakery—savoury pot pies, salads and roti. But not just any roti—Eadrey’s own jerk chicken roti with Trinidad-style roti shell. Oh, and in the fridge? Ting, of course.
Across the street from Eadrey’s is a sign bearing three auspicious little words: “Food, Liquor, Oysters.” Nikki Andriet and Dean Fletcher, co-owners of The Comrade, are branching out—albeit not too far from the tree—with Goods and Provisions, a new bistro and bar. Antique fair finds and salvaged treasures fill the charming 30-seat space, including original signage from the Big Bop, shabby-chic furniture, time-battered photographs of nameless, long-dead soldiers in uniform and a stunning marble bar. The menu, by 37-year-old chef Keith Hosein, promises to be as eccentric as the room. Born in Trinidad and raised in Winnipeg, Hosein has cooked his way up and down the West Coast in Seattle, Vancouver and California, but has spent the last three years honing his skills in Toronto, lately at Table 17. And though the owners are remaining tight-lipped, we can say that in addition to the aforementioned oysters, there will be bistro classics, such as steak frites, with idiosyncratic twists courtesy of their time spent travelling throughout Asia and their shared love of street food. Fletcher says, “We just want the place to be fun and the food to be amazing. It’s just a neighbourhood place…We plan to under-promise and over-deliver!”
Eadrey Foods, 1129 Queen St. E., eadreyfoods.ca.
Goods and Provisions, 1124 Queen St. E.