Doubles men in the East were put to the test this Saturday thanks to food-loving photographers David Wears and Nigel Reid who organized the inaugural Doubles Challenge: East vs. West. (Final results for the East part of the challenge are here!)
Always up for anything that involves food, we were thrilled to participate as judges with QD Ross of Bring It to the Table, TriniCooks‘ Joel & Mirella Villafana, blogger & DJ Cheyenne Baptiste, photographer Peter Lim Choy and Laura Dowrich from The Guardian’s Metro Magazine.
First up on Saturday, October 7th were Nigel’s doubles’ picks — Mohammed’s at the O’Meara Road Junction; Piely’s at the old Piarco Airport; Mamoo’s in Macoya across from the Centre of Excellence; and Frank’s Doubles near UWI (pictures from the challenge are HERE – link).
Mohammed’s Doubles was our first stop. We braved the long line and placed our orders – a few with no pepper, slight, and some with pepper and roast pepper. From the first bite, we fell in love all over again with Mohammed’s doubles. The bara is fried on the spot, rendering it simultaneously light and crispy, a doubles plus in our book. The curried channa in the middle did its duty too, perfectly cooked – no hint of wateriness and not overcooked. And the roast pepper was out of this world! “Allyuh doubles man should take a lesson from he on how roast pepper should be,” said one of Mohammed’s regulars.
Still on a Mohammed’s high, Piely’s at the old Piarco Airport was next. No line here, just two people getting their doubles and two men finishing up their food on a bench. As we snapped pictures, a couple arrived and ordered the longest alloo pie we’ve ever seen. Piely calls this pie the foot long or the Subway pie. Big is the theme here and that extends to the doubles, which featured two large “thickish” bara that could probably be used for sandwich bread. The channa was average, but Piely’s sweet mango sauce was downright wrong and had us shaking our heads. We ate half and with three more doubles stops ahead, tossed the rest.
Down the road we went to Mamoo’s Doubles in Macoya. Turning left off the highway, we immediately spotted Mamoo’s “line-up.” The chat started when we starting taking pictures with customers proclaiming that Mamoo’s was the best, “no need to go anywhere else.” High praise indeed, but these doubles did not live up to the hype. The bara was way too thin, the channa watery and the ill-matched watery coconut chutney/sauce did not help Mamoo’s cause. No high marks here, we all grumbled.
Frank’s Doubles in St. Augustine was the last stop on the East doubles trail and here we met the longest lines of the morning. The twin lines at Frank’s were so long we walked around the corner to peek at UWEE Doubles, which had no line. After a nearly twenty minute wait, Frank’s doubles were finally in hand and consumed within minutes. These doubles were nice, the bara was soft and the channa was topped with chopped cucumber and pieces of pommecythere. We had found our second place doubles winner.
Stay tuned for next week when David Wears picks the must-taste doubles in the West and tell us in the comments what doubles vendors in the West or East are worthy of the top prize!