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New restaurant puts Caribbean fare on Penetanguishene's menu

'I love it': Northern Caribbean Restaurant has been embraced by the community since opening earlier this month
Marcia Glen is seen at the counter of the new Northern Caribbean Restaurant that opened earlier this month at 109 Main Street.

Residents and visitors can get a taste of the Caribbean all year long now that the Northern Caribbean Restaurant is open at 109 Main St.

Omar Williams, a correctional officer at Central North Correction Centre, has already been to the restaurant seven times since it opened earlier this month.

"I'm Jamaican so this is well received by me. It's very authentic Jamaican, so I love it," he said.

Marcia Glen is one of five members of the Allen family that operate the restaurant.

"It was so busy instantly," said Glen. "The community has been quite supportive — beyond expectation — so we would like to say thank you to the community."

Glen has family in the area and they've visited Penetanguishene a few times.

"And we see the need for something different in the community," said Glen, noting the Allen family had a restaurant in Brampton in the past.

The restaurant serves Caribbean food, with an emphasis on Jamaican, in both dine-in and take out styles. On the menu is jerk chicken, jerk pork, curry chicken, ox tail and curry goat. Those dishes are served with rice and peas or plain rice and coleslaw. Roti, a flatbread wrap with filling of meat, shrimp or chickpeas and potatoes, is also on the menu. 

On Fridays they expand the offerings. On Sept. 29 they made ackee and saltfish (cod), the Jamaican national dish. You can have it with rice or fried dumpling or festival dumplings.

For vegetarians they make, at times, curried chick peas with potato and there's regularly fried plantain and vegetable roti.

The beverages selection covers regular pop and ice tea but they also carry Grace beverages, such as Ting and VitaMalt, a variety of Island Soda fruit drinks, coconut water and peanut punch.

Hours are Tuesday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. except for Fridays when they stay open until 8 p.m. Sunday hours are 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and they are closed Mondays.

"There's quite a few people who are happy we are here because some of our customers are from Brampton and Toronto where they are exposed (to Caribbean food) and a lot of them travel and have these foods when they travel," said Glen.

For anyone who hasn't had Caribbean food before and is curious about it, Glen will provide samples.

To order take-out or for more information, call 705-549-6166.

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Gisele Winton Sarvis

About the Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Gisele Winton Sarvis is an award winning journalist and photographer who has focused on telling the stories of the people of Simcoe County for more than 25 years
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