There aren't a ton of West Indian restaurants in Boston, so if you rolled into Singh's Roti Shop expecting chicken tikka masala, saag paneer, and a mango lassi, well, you wouldn't be the first. "Some people don't know about the food, and think we're from India, but it's Caribbean flavors, and we start educating them." That education takes the form of hearty puffed-and-stuffed roti, fried doubles, and more Trinidadian classics you'd be remiss to pass up.
'roti' on Serious Eats
Lesser rotis can often be tough, dry and tasteless, but at Glenda's they're thin, well-seasoned, and perfectly tender.
On our recent trip to Sri Lanka (watch this video for a taste of our journey) we fell in love with the street food Kothu Roti, or "chopped roti." Vendors at small roadside (and beachside) stands across the country chop up already cooked roti and stir-fry it with various fresh vegetables, meat, or fish, then serve it alongside curry. Learn how to make it at home!
Roti is one of many restaurants located in the perimeter around the Sears—er, I mean—Willis Tower. But right now one of those streets, Adams St., is blocked off for construction, so it'd be easy to miss Roti, or so you'd think. When I got in there, way past the lunch rush, it was still paaaacked. That's always a good sign. Plus their logo has an "ō." You know, the ō with the line over it that I had to learn how to write just nōw?
We're not that interested in diets, but if you're looking for an area to load on lunchtime vegetables, downtown is a surprisingly good place to do so. In fact, though we may be famous for deep dish and overloaded hot dogs, one of the most common dishes to found downtown is a vegetarian dish. We speak of falafel.
Somewhat imposing lumps of food, the wraps from Feroza's Roti Restaurant could easily satisfy two hungry eaters. But they're good enough that sharing may prove difficult.
I love Jonathan Levitt's piece in the Boston Globe on his city's Indo-Trinidadian roti shops, where you can buy freshly-made flatbreads or wraps made from them filled with curried meat, vegetables and pickles. Rotis originated in India but have long been a staple in Trinidadian cuisine, a result of workers migrating from the subcontinent in the 1800s to the West Indies and Caribbean and bringing their foods with them. I usually avoid fusion restaurants like the plague because most of them to me feel like someone's haphazardly slapped Cuisine A together with Cuisine B, hoping that the resulting hodgepodge will bring yuppies seeking easy adventures through the door, but the cuisines of migration seem to me to always highlight...