Location: 3412 Weston Road, North York
It’s not often that a dish really blows me away — but the pachownee at Caribu West Indian Cuisine did. It’s an entirely offal-based dish, consisting of tripe, stomach, liver, and heart, and it was perfectly cooked to an almost improbable extent.
The liver and the heart had a nice meaty bite, but weren’t tough at all; everything else was amazingly tender. Silky, even, which certainly isn’t a texture I’d normally associate with something like tripe. I don’t know how they did it, but man, it was good.
It was also quite tasty, with a rich, curry-infused meatiness and none of the overt funkiness you might associate with offal. It’s got a bit of a kick, which is amped up by the bottle of vinegary hot sauce they have on the table.
It comes with plain white rice and a bowl of dhal (creamy lentils) to make things a bit more interesting.
Ordering it was kinda funny. The waitress looked at me with bemused skepticism and asked if I knew what the dish was. “It’s a whole bunch of innards,” she explained. She smiled when I confirmed that I still wanted it, as if I had passed some sort of test.
I also tried the chow mein with pepper shrimp, which was tasty enough, with a nice balance of savoury, sweet, and heat, and some very well prepared shrimp. But the noodles were mushy and the veggies were undercooked; it definitely couldn’t hold a candle to the amazing pachownee.