What to get at Sam’s Juices inside Scarborough Town Centre

Scarborough has no shortage of Caribbean eats and patty shops, but it seems long overdue that its largest mall and transit hub is now serving ice cold sorrel and soursop juice along with spicy stuffed patties.

Enter Sam’s Juices, a relatively new addition to Scarborough Town Centre, located on the upper level near the entrance to the transit station. The part Caribbean juice bar, part patty shop was opened by Samuel Walters last December.

“There’s a lot of Caribbean people out here and people who grew up grabbing a patty to-go,” said Walters, adding that his shop opts for patties from the nearby Allan’s Pastry Shop. “They already know the food and it’s been a long time coming.”

Coming here is a bit of an escape, especially from the usual chaos of the food court. Instead, you’ll hear upbeat tunes and even see a familiar face behind the counter who will likely recognize you upon repeat visits.

It’s an outlier at one of the busiest malls in the GTA. Not to mention, it’s an independent business opening at a major mall, a food business that isn’t a global chain at that — a rarity nowadays.

Walters got the idea four years ago after he spotted a Caribbean juice bar at the end of a day of hiking in California. Reminded of the pineapple-ginger juices his mother would make him as a kid, he decided to open one himself. (Yes, pineapple-ginger juice is on the menu at Sam’s Juices.)

He started with a food truck a year later, which eventually became part of the Street Eats Market, the food market on the edge of Scarborough Town Centre’s parking lot and Walters was then approached by mall management to take over a physical space.

The spicy beef patty, along with the tropical wave smoothie and best-selling passionfruit lemonade at Sam's Juices, located inside Scarborough Town Centre.

The menu right now has a range of fruit smoothies and juices, but it’s Walters’ mom’s sorrel, the Jamaican spiced hibiscus drink typically served at Christmas, that’s best for the incoming summer. Ginger and nutmeg are added to balance out the sweetness.

The shop’s soursop juice is mixed with lime, akin to a tropical limeade that’s also excellent for hot days. It’s a bit citrusy, tart and sweet with hints of apple, pear and berry. (Online descriptions of soursop, a fruit with a custard-like texture, also say it tastes of mango, pineapple, banana and coconut.)

Both the sorrel and soursop options aren’t listed on the menu behind the counter right now, but they’re there. Just ask for them.

Jamaican patties, the unofficial grab-and-go snack of Scarborough, can be ordered plain, but at Sam’s opt for the stuffed version: split open and filled with lettuce, tomatoes, corn, shredded cheese, hot peppers and choice of sauce (say yes to the jerk sauce).

It’s a messy, drippy, fiery and under $5 snack that’s more complex in flavor and textures than whatever burger option is at the food court.

The menu also has barbecue chicken and chickpea tacos and bowls, in addition to a bunch of “coming soon” items like grapenut and pineapple ice cream, along with jerk chicken roti.

For now, it’s nice to see that the mall is embracing being in the patty capital of Canada.

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