Lloyd’s Patty Plus – Calgary, AB
Lloyd’s Patty Plus
202-255 28 Street SE
What’s in a name? When you discuss a food-related strip mall in the East off 28th Street and Memorial called Short Pants Plaza, I will hazard a guess and say nothing. No matter how hard i’ve tried to research the origin of the name, it’s nonsensical designation continues to mock me. “You don’t get me”!
When it comes to Lloyd’s Patty Plus, located in Short Pants Plaza, the name means something. This establishment, run by the friendly Mr Lloyd and his lovely wife, Mrs Lloyd, make Jamaican Patties. Plus, they occasionally make coco bread and other Jamaican specialties. Lloyd’s Patty Plus. Appealing to the logical mind.
I remember when i was first introduced to him. He seemed larger than life in his sterile white lab coat, hair net, and big friendly smile. When you stop by, because inevitably, you will, take a bit of time to chat with him. He has some interesting facts and tidbits that are always interesting. He has a lot of thoughts on his home country of Jamaica as well. Stories i always love to hear about.
Jamaican Patties are the Caribbean equivalent of meat in pastry. Made with a distinct yellow color created by the addition of turmeric, these flaky pies are stuffed with a variety of fillings. In Jamaica itself, they typically carry a wide range. At Lloyds, it’s chicken, and beef, in regular and spicy versions.
Lloyd’s primary business is wholesale patties. They make fresh patties and box them up and freeze them, shipped to a variety of retail and wholesale outlets. Even though they do mostly wholesale, they are always more than happy to pull a fresh patty or two off the production line for a customer to take away. Herein lies the key difference between them and other places in town. Their patties are fresh – never having been frozen. All other places buy theirs frozen, and reheat them. This is an issue because the key to a good patty is in the crust. It should be rich and flaky, shortening being a key ingredient in the pastry. Once it has been frozen, the end result is never as good as if it was made fresh.
The filling is usually a slurry of meat and spices. Which, while it doesnt sound that appealing, is a nice contrast with the flaky crust. To be honest, especially with the spicy versions at Lloyd’s, it’s hard to differentiate between the chicken and the beef. When i was in Jamaica, I absolutely fell in love with some of the other common fillings that they made – curry chicken and curry beef, vegetable fillings, shrimp, fish, and especially the cheese. When asked, Mr Lloyd laughs and says it’s too difficult to manage all the different kinds. They would like to make curry some day (definitely the best flavour of all), but not anytime soon.
So how are the patties? Fantastic. I’ve had a tremendous number of patties around Calgary, and have to admit, these are head and shoulders better than the reheated versions. The pastry is an excellent flaky, though it has a tendency to make a huge mess. The filling is hot, and good. Nice flavour, not too spicy (lacking the distinct scotch bonnet flavour that a lot of Jamaican Patties have), but definitely an approachable filling for most people. And the best part? The price. $2.25 if you order a single fresh one. $2 each if you order 2 or more. And two is definitely a meal.
So what’s in a name? Sometimes not a lot. Sometimes, a little clarity. And if i was allowed a bit of creative license, Lloyd’s Fresh Tasty Patties but No Curry Filling, sometimes names would have a lot of meaning. Even if it meant a bit of whimsical silliness along with it.