3229 17 Avenue SE
Blending two food cultures cannot be an easy thing. With the restaurant industry in any major city comprised of a large number of immigrant cuisines, they face a tough challenge. Trying to accurately balance authentic native cuisine with the tastes of their newly adopted country. If the purpose is to service people from their birth country, then they have less to be concerned about. But from my own observations, this typically fails to work – most restaurants need a fairly diverse clientele to succeed in the long term. This is a challenge very much in evidence at the Green Grato.
Green Grato serves Carribean and Canadian meals. Ignoring the pizza, wings, and other Canadian dishes, their primary focus is on classic Jamacian dishes. Jerk, brown stews, roti, ackee and salt fish, rice and peas. A lot of Jamaican food is quite approachable for the general masses – with the actual spicy “heat” level of each dish being the only real issue for the general populace. For me though, Jamaican food is all about bold, punchy flavours. Big flavour, lots of happiness in one place.
Located in a large strip mall just off 17th Ave SE, the location leaves a lot to be desired. During the day, it is a long way from the high worker density areas of downtown, and NE. At night, the area often slows down – shops close early, and many people avoid the general vicinity. It’s too bad really, as some of the more interesting restaurants in the city are in the area.