- Laura May 18, 2006 01:09 AM
I'm looking for the Roti of my youth in Toronto. I don't expect to find it here in Seattle so we're heading to Vancouver this weekend. But my favourite place closed last year! Any ideas on where to go? Laura
There are a couple of west indian places in vancouver- one is on Broadway in the Mt Pleasant area, near MEC. Unfortunately it's not Trini. There is nothing close to Toronto (outside of Port of Spain, of course- but nothing in TO can touch Uwee Doubles!!!)
The US is generally a wasteland for Trini food outside of Miami, Houston, NYC and DC, but maybe you've found that out...
If you're ever in Calgary be sure to check out the Trinidad and Tobago Organettes Social Club near the airport- there are also more roti places in Edmonton; in fact Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg all have roti places, one cuisine sadly lacking in Vancouver
Just so other posters know- roti canai is nothing like Trini roti, although dosti roti is more like roti canai than is more common roti made w/ dahl puri.
I just had a fantastic, authentic Trinidadian roti dinner... in the U-District of Seattle! It's called Pam's Kitchen and is on the corner of 50th and University.
The place is brand new and is bright and cheery. The menu is small right now--basically two different kinds of roti: Parantha or Dalphuri. And, they've got homemade apple achar and traditional Bajan pepper. I was in heaven! I haven't eaten so well outside of my own mother's kitchen since I was on the east coast in Florida.
I was impressed by Pam's upon a visit last week. The only other time I've had Trinidadian roti was at Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, a halal place (I am fascinated by the historical spread of islamic culture and cooking across the globe, but I digress) touted by the Village Voice as the best in NYC. While I loved the goat roti there, it was not as good as Pam's, which produced a magically succulent version of the bony goat meat, with an outstanding puffy roti. I had the "buss-up" arrangement, when the goat curry and potato and channa masala is served on plate instead of wrapped inside the flatbread.
The decor of the place is uncommonly atttractive amongst the typically utilitarian or divey spots on the Ave., and the scotch bonnet hot sauce bright and powerful. I am excited to try the traditional sides that french alligator mentioned above, plus others that are apparently new since that post.
The one caveat about Pam's, which was mentioned in a seattle times review posted inside, is its price. $9.25 for a roti is borderline absurd-I think Ali's was perhaps half of that. I have doubts, as the times did, that the student clientele on the Ave will pay that considering the abundant cheap food in the district. The vegetarian version, with just potatoes and chick peas, is $6.25.
Callaloo in Portland had a fantastic curry goat roti the first time we were there, wrapped in what I assumed was a house-made, thin, flaky flatbread. But on a recent (second) visit we got a jerk chicken roti that was made with two store-bought (and not good at that) flour tortillas. All of the rest of the food that second visit was good, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt that we were there late and they got lazy.
I have no reference for what Trinidadian roti is "supposed" to be, but that first visit was quite good.