World Cup of Dining in Toronto 24: NigeriAAHH!

“Dis gonna be too ‘ot for ‘im”.

The servers confer about the dish I am getting – spicy beef with rice and plantain. The lady in the food service head cover raises a dubious eyebrow, and hands over the plastic container with a look that says “you asked for it.”

I’m at Lola’s Catering, on Jane south of Finch. It’s only big enough for a counter and a couple of seats. Friendly and boisterous Nigerians enter to pick up their orders – speaking in loud, lilting accents I barely recognize. I dig into my meal – good stuff….!

Through a river of tears and mucus, and breathing fire, I read the handmade postings tacked to the wall.  “Yoruba Community Beauty Pageant” says one. “They are prety (sic), gorgeous, beautiful, elegant & adorable.” Would be funny, but the top news coming out of Nigeria these days isn’t exactly female friendly. The antique-bottled Schweppes tastes of tonic water spiked with grapefruit juice – but it only provides temporary relief for my dragon-like mouth.

I pack up the leftovers for a later flame throwing session, and on my way out tell the ladies at the counter that Nigeria is number one in spicy.

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