I did not know a reggae cover of the country music classic, “The Gambler,” existed until my son and I sat down to have lunch at ILand Vybes, a new-ish restaurant downtown that, you guessed it, offers some Caribbean favourites.
Both of us love jerk everything, so ordering from the menu was easy. He got the jerk chicken sandwich, wrapped in pillowy coco bread. I got the dry ribs with jerk sauce.
As lunch deals go, you won’t be sold short. My son’s sandwich required him to go through multiple napkins, as the sauce was, ahem, generous. Cole slaw is used as a topping, so there’s a lot going on — and a lot of messy eating to enjoy. The bitterness and heat that are trademarks of good jerk sauce came through. And it was substantial. My son is 15. This is the age where a boy can leave a refrigerator empty just 24 hours after grocery-shopping day. No foodstuff is safe. And yet, he had to ask for a take-out box, because he couldn’t finish all of the food in front of him. ILand Vybes 1, Tate Sandor 0.
As well, this is a great lunch option if you don’t want to go for a full jerk-chicken meal — though ILand Vybes does have it on the menu, so fear not if you want something you can attack with a fork and knife.
My ribs would make for a great lunch or snack. They were meaty, and kissed with just enough sauce to make them interesting, but not burn my tonsils to a crisp.
Was this a high-end gourmet meal? Of course not. ILand Vybes offers honest food, done well — with portions that are generous. And, if you’re looking for a spot for a downtown bite, it’s a good destination for a quick meal without a lot of pretence. It also sells its branded jerk dips and sauces, so you can also cross something off that grocery list.