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roti boti in JH - excellent

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not sure how to describe which one, but its the opposite side of sam's falafel on broadway, a block from roosevelt; it's open later than the other one and I had an excellent meal at 6am this morning: a most homely channa (soft yet each legume was intact, great flavors like a ginger, but not ginger, and some heat. also had the goat curry which was excellent, mostly meat, maybe 3 bones and a delicious marrow that I sucked through; I got half orders of both plus a naan ($3 + $7 + $1) for an excellent meal, great service, very clean, nice fresh salad with a couple chilis on top, very thick yogurt sauce; the naan was okay (I prefer kebab king) but when I went to talk to the guy at sam's, he had just closed and he prefers this roti boti to kebab king (my previous go-to, which, incidentally, has been sneaking me pre-made naan when I order it to go, so now I stand there and watch them make a fresh one). the naan at roti boti is a little boring, not puffy.

anyway, the goat curry was amazing, very meaty, very rich (I couldn't finish all that delicious sopping sauce) and rather spicy, although I definitely asked for extra chilis that I ate whole. the channa was very homely, very filling but really, a very different flavor. I ate most of it while sitting in a very plush pleather chair and the place was packed with people while MTV india played on the flatscreen. their other offerings didn't look that interesting but they had an impressive display of tandoori items (whole fish, quail, lambchops, etc.). I gotta say, it was one of the most pleasurable experiences I've had and I will now go to that place more often.

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  1. Thanks for the review. I've been wanted go to to that place for a while. I took a peak in the window and it looked like real honest food.

    1. just ate here again last night and, excellent. with a friend, we shared a free salad, two naan, an order of rice, an order of okra, an order of channa and one order of the tandoori beef behari kebab. more than enough food for the both of us, cheap at $31 including a sweet lassi and, the food just as good as last time. again this is the Roti Boti Restaurant (has two floors), not the Roti Boti Shaheen Restaurant across the street (not sure of their affiliations, but this one closes later).

      the channa I had last time seemed a bit different, blander but in a way that was very true to the taste of the legumes themselves; great texture again and really lovely to eat over rice or sopped up with the naan (tasted a little nicer this time, I think what puts me off a bit is that its perfectly circular, instead of rough edges but this time, very good. the okra was good; cooked through with chilis, tomatoes, onions; a bit overdone for my taste but nice flavor and great spice. the beef kebab (and the place offers many many different types) was AMAZING. incredibly smoky tandoori flavor, a heavy crust of spices, and the most tender beef I've had, possibly ever. does that even make sense for a kebab, which are usually tough and dry? I can't even imagine, but you just have to try it. make sure to ask that they heat it up very well (not sure if they put in the tandoor again) but, they somehow managed to butcher the meat so well that the grain, the way they put the meat on the skewer, everything, it just makes for a most tender, yet crunchy and crispy on the edges kebab. at $9 per enormous kebab, a large plate which fed us well. I highly recommend this partic kebab.

      they also had delicious looking lamb chops, 3 or 4 kinds of chicken kebabs and also enormous fillets of fried fish that, according to the menu, are marinated and then deep fried in a chickpea flour batter (YUM). maybe next time, I'll go for the fish (incidently, I was trying to go to Alauddin's Sweet Meat on 73rd but they were closed by the time we got there, around 9:30pm, and that place always has seafood).

      the only disappointing thing about this place is that they usually have very few vegetable choices; tonight it was only the okra and channa, whereas they had about 7 diff. meat curries, plus 7 or 8 different kebab choices. so if you're a vegetarian, you might not like the selection but yes, I'm definitely itching to try the lamb chops, the quail and maybe one of their spicy chicken kebabs too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bigjeff

        Great notes. I will have to try the kebabs.

        I feel like this place is a bit more quality than kebab king. cleaner tables, a bit more elegance, but i wouldnt call it elegant. eh, i guess i could... a bit more expensive I think, but still cheap - you're right, I shouldnt complain.

        also the food has a lot of taste to it and they have a very interesting selection. you can get some good heat here. I wouldn't hesitate to order anything here.

        I am not sure if they are affiliated either, but Shaheen has more vegetarian choices and also desserts.

        oh, and Alauddin's has been shut down due to health violations. they failed.

        1. re: Jeffsayyes

          ya I saw a bunch of violations when I was trying to look up alauddin's but I was in the area this past weekend (sunday) and I saw it was reopened so . . . eat at your own risk. I still want to go there of course, the seafood selection looked stunning.

          1. re: bigjeff

            I went in a couple of days ago. I don't know if they had remodeling done - I've never been there before - but the place looked pretty immaculate. looks like they've learned their lessons.

            in other news, as I was in the butcher shop next door, I was bumped on the shoulder by a fully skinned lamb brought into the shop from a supermarket shopping cart outside by 2 dudes. excuse me, fellas.