There’s a saying in business that applies to finding a niche. “Do one thing and do it better than anybody else”. This is something that can be taken too far and in the food business must be applied carefully. I’ve seen small places that made just a few dishes of a very specific ethnic food that were not able to attract the numbers they should have because they only served such a limited menu. Despite being great at what they did make they are now out of business.
Sometimes though the extreme application of this can make for success. Case in point would be Lloyd’s Patty Plus located in Short Pants Plaza(yeah, that’s the name) in Calgary’s NE. This place only makes Jamaican Patties, and has been quite a success. Okay you can pick up a few other Jamaican baked items such as coco bread as well – hence the “Plus”, but it’s all about the patties.
Jamaican patties are the meat filled turnover type pies you can often find at C Stores and in the deli section at supermarkets and are quite a popular snack. They’re recognisable by the yellow pastry which is a result of the egg yolk and turmeric used in the dough. You’ll only find beef or chicken filled ones in town although in Jamaica the fillings can include vegetables, shrimp, lobster, fish, soy, curry or cheese. I’ve loved them for years but have only ever had the reheated ones with the soft pastry. I always wanted to sample freshly made ones with crispy crust.
I heard of Lloyd’s by reading a post about them on Foodosophy and being someone who really likes hot Jamaican patties I had to make a point of dropping in to try their offerings.
Short Pants Plaza is a goldmine of small ethnic places and I’ve made a mental note to go back and investigate further the stores around Lloyd’s. This is a strip mall but it’s not in a residential area like one would expect. A very odd location in my view.
When you enter Lloyd’s you’ll see that it’s not a restaurant or lunch counter, there are a few tables, a cooler and the counter where you can order your patties. As it turns out I’ve likely had Lloyd’s patties before as this is a wholesale bakery which makes and packages Jamaican patties for sale by others in the city, the retail side is a small part of what they do.
Lloyd’s offers only chicken and beef patties in either spicy hot or mild varieties and in as large a number as you want. You can buy ready to eat/hot out of the oven patties or ones to cook at home. I bought fresh hot ones and was in too much a hurry as is evidenced by my burnt tongue.
The patties are terrific. I tried both the spicy and milder versions of the beef filling and they are without a doubt the best I’ve tried. I would love to sample one with real scotch bonnet pepper but I can understand why they offer this at Lloyd’s. The scotch bonnet is third in scoville units of heat behind the bhut jolokia and red savina habanero peppers so most would not appreciate the addition of it to their food.
What more can I say? these are outstanding patties and I’ll be returning for more on many future dates, you can bet on it.