Street Food review: Trini ‘doubles’ in Barbados

Doubles a treat and a half for any Trini or anybody who enjoys a good curry. What are they? I’m so glad you asked. ‘Doubles‘ are a popular savoury pastry filled with curries peas, originating in one of the Caribbean culinary capitals that is Trinidad & Tobago.

Tucked inside two flaps of soft yet supple fried flat bread called “bara,” are curry channa peas (chick or garbanzo peas) topped with delicious garnishes of spicy cucumber, tamarind chutney, and pepper sauce if you ask. Wooo-weee!

Wrapped in wax paper, before you get to the (ideally) warm bara and delicious filling.

If you get ‘doubles’ from a really generous doubles man or woman, the channa will be in a small river of sauces. No plate of fork needed; it’s a napkins-only hands-on situation. I could eat ‘doubles’ and dahlpuri  with butter daily, left unto myself.

Growing up with a Trini mum, Godmum and tanties has many culinary benefits, like: arepa with melted cheese fah breakfast, pholourie and vegetarian pastels fah de Christmas, and ‘doubles’, roti, pak choi, aloo pie, callaloo, chow and kurma as often as possible. The list could go on.

100% doubles bought in Trinidad (2022)

The journey

A few years ago, Trini ‘doubles’ were introduced to Barbados. Known for fried fish stalls at Baxter’s Road (in town) and now more so Oistins (on the south coast), this curried vegetarian finger food has slowly but surely established a place in the tummies of many.

Food fans

Not only are they an extremely affordable food in general – between Bds.$3.50 – $4.00 (a few dollars more than in T&T), the channa and bara are kept warm and wrapped (and topped) while you wait. It’s now customary in Barbados (and standard in Trinidad and Tobago) to see a small line of patient patrons patiently lining up for ‘doubles’ during lunch breaks, supermarket stops, bank errands, and road trips.

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You’re likely to see someone dressed in a fancy suit, someone gliding in on a skateboard, and someone balancing two children lining up for this hands-on culinary delight. ‘Doubles’ fans come from all walks of life, street food or no street food. When it’s good, it’s good!

When it comes to ‘doubles’ and roti, I can be a bit tough where authenticity in flavour and ingredients are concerned, but I enjoy them so much still, and remember not to compare but to appreciate.

IMG_4851
Turmeric -yellowed bara overlapped to make a bowl that’s then wrapped (close to burrito style). Inside: medium channa (not too pappy, not too crunchy), “slight” pepper for me, splash of tangy chutney and signature spicy cucumber goodness. Wooo-weee! The wax paper takes care of the slight soupy consistency, and you’ll need a napkin or two for those fingers and elbows.

De vibe

In Trinidad, ‘doubles’ stands are in abundance from morning til morning in some areas. From the moment you land at the airport, on the outside, ‘doubles’ stands are literally around the corner. It’s expected that you’ll eat at least one ‘doubles’ while waiting for your full order to be completed. They’re that delicious! No one’ll judge you for snarfing down a sample while you wait.

Where to find ‘doubles’ in Barbados:

Christ Church: Mac Dee’s (in Oistins on the front road close to the stage at Bay Gardens), Rendezvous Main Road, Quayside Mall and outside Kooyman complex on the highway by Kendal Hill)

St. Michael: Wildey Main Road (opposite the supermarket and at the turn to go to The Pine)

St. Philip: Six Roads (in the car park obliquely opposite the gas station entrance)

St. James (ish): Warrens carpark behind the gas station

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Thanks to the sunshiney ‘doubles’ lady on Wildey Road at “Trini Doubles” for her service, smile, and for taking this picture.

The top ones to me are the one in Wildey and the one in Oistins, taste and service wise (up to mid 2022.) If you’ve tasted some ‘best’ doubles in Trinidad & Tobago, you might be picky about authenticity too when it comes to getting them anywhere else and what might be a first try for someone is probably a no for you so those are my recommendations so far. I’ll refresh this post if any new ones pop up and if you find or try any new ones, please share here.

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