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#1
Posted January 15th 2009, 12:52pm
Are there any places that do roti at all around here? I really love Trinidad style but I'd settle for anything that is closer that Toronto.
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#2
Posted January 15th 2009, 2:49pm
http://www.cafetrinidad.com/index.html

Search here too. No really recent posts, but plenty of older ones. I like the goat.
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#3
Posted January 15th 2009, 4:34pm
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#4
Posted January 15th 2009, 5:09pm
My parents were foodies back in the 70's and there used to be a Trinidad and Tobago cafe in Melrose Park (long gone). The savory goat stew in a split pita bread was wonderful.

I will have to check this place out!

Cafe Trinidad
557 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 846-8081‎

Edit: Removed Roti Mediterranean Grill due to reports they do not serve roti's.
Last edited by Panther in the Den on January 16th 2009, 11:26am, edited 1 time in total.
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#5
Posted January 15th 2009, 5:18pm
Panther in the Den wrote:My parents were foodies back in the 70's and there used to be a Trinidad and Tobago cafe in Melrose Park (long gone). The savory goat stew in a split pita bread was wonderful.

I will have to check these places out!

Cafe Trinidad
557 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 846-8081‎

Roti Mediterranean Grill
10 S Riverside Plz # 141
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 775-7000‎

I Googled the Roti Northbrook location without success.

984 Willow Rd
Northbrook
(847) 418-2400
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#6
Posted January 15th 2009, 6:13pm
Dave148 wrote:Roti Mediterranean Grill
984 Willow Rd
Northbrook
(847) 418-2400


Thanks!

I reGoogled with additional information and there was a minimal Google presence. It was there though (no address other than just Willow Rd).

For some reason low on the Google radar.
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#7
Posted January 15th 2009, 6:39pm
Panther in the Den wrote:
Dave148 wrote:Roti Mediterranean Grill
984 Willow Rd
Northbrook
(847) 418-2400


Thanks!

I reGoogled with additional information and there was a minimal Google presence. It was there though (no address other than just Willow Rd).

For some reason low on the Google radar.


Considering it's physical location, that makes sense.
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#8
Posted January 15th 2009, 10:41pm
I have a feeling Roti Mediterranean Grill, which has been described as some kind of faux Chipotle-like Middle Eastern most certainly does not have Trini style Rotis.
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#9
Posted January 16th 2009, 11:06am
Habibi wrote:I have a feeling Roti Mediterranean Grill, which has been described as some kind of faux Chipotle-like Middle Eastern most certainly does not have Trini style Rotis.


Exactly. I was scratching my head at the suggestion.

On the north side, a possible substitute you will like is a paratha sammy from one of the Devon Pakistani/Indian BBQ spots. Chicken bothi paratha from Hyderabad House or Khan are great sandwiches. Grab one at Hyderabad at 3 am if you want. Best post-drinking food ever.
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#10
Posted January 16th 2009, 2:58pm
JeffB wrote:http://www.cafetrinidad.com/index.html

Search here too. No really recent posts, but plenty of older ones. I like the goat.


i'll second the recommendation -- both the goat and the curry chicken are very tasty. and despite the address, it's actually a fine neighborhood (albeit poorly served by the CTA).
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#11
Posted January 16th 2009, 3:30pm
On the north side, a possible substitute you will like is a paratha sammy from one of the Devon Pakistani/Indian BBQ spots. Chicken bothi paratha from Hyderabad House or Khan are great sandwiches. Grab one at Hyderabad at 3 am if you want. Best post-drinking food ever.[/quote]
I love bothi paratha from khan(never been to hyderbad house) but another animal altogether. Maybe tonight. I'm saving Cafe trinidad for a special occasion. Thanks for the help everyone!
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#12
Posted January 16th 2009, 9:34pm
I drove by Cafe Trinidad last week and it looked like the sign said it was closed for the winter. Nobody answers the phone and the voicemail is full. If I'm down that way again in the near future, I'll try to get more detail and report back.

- I finally made it down there last week on my way back from Tropic Island. They are on vacation all winter and will return in April.
Last edited by bon2mic on February 20th 2009, 2:41pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#13
Posted January 16th 2009, 10:35pm
mrefjl wrote:On the north side, a possible substitute you will like is a paratha sammy from one of the Devon Pakistani/Indian BBQ spots. Chicken bothi paratha from Hyderabad House or Khan are great sandwiches. Grab one at Hyderabad at 3 am if you want. Best post-drinking food ever.

I love bothi paratha from khan(never been to hyderbad house) but another animal altogether. Maybe tonight. I'm saving Cafe trinidad for a special occasion. Thanks for the help everyone!


This is not a bad idea. I had rooster-stew roti in Port-of-Spain in 2007 (and where is the shark sandwich request?), and the most similar item I'd had in Chicago is Hema's Kitchen's chicken roll (2411 N. Clark). Not surprising given it's a "Hindu"* item on Trini.

*a cultural, rather than religious, self-identification. Contrast with Spiritual Baptists, who are religious but practice an Afro-Caribbean syncretic religion having nothing to do with the Christian Baptist movement. My favorite people on the island were the intermarried families, which have some perspective, and their food was the best, too.
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#14
Posted April 30th 2009, 9:27pm
FYI - Cafe Trinidad is open again. I guess they think winter is over! :)

And btw, if you go make sure to try the Ginger Beer. It's fantastic.
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#15
Posted May 12th 2009, 7:07pm
bon2mic wrote:FYI - Cafe Trinidad is open again. I guess they think winter is over! :)

And btw, if you go make sure to try the Ginger Beer. It's fantastic.


Have you been there this spring now? I would love to read a review!
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#16
Posted May 16th 2009, 11:50am
Made my first long overdue visit to cafe Trinidad this past week. Let me start out by saying that this was my first experience eating Trini cuisine. Its always been high on my list of food i know I will love. I had planned to take a trip to T&T specifically for the food and other things :lol: during my time in Jamaica but they didn't have flights from Jamaica. I would of had to fly back into Miami and then from MIA to Trinidad and back.

So I'm no expert on the wonderful flavor combination's of Indian/Caribbean that make up Trinidadian cuisine but I am a new lover of it. The homemade hot sauce here is some of the best I have had anywhere and it goes so well with everything. Next trip I'm going to ask if I can buy a bottle for my fridge.

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We started off with Caribbean boiled dumplings and chose the curry sauce on top (brown chicken gravy also available)

Since this was my first run in with trini food I felt the need to get the most signature items from the cuisine. Pelau is a Trinidad style stew (I think) that I imagine is made differently by people across the island. usually it consists of either beef or chicken which is simmered in rice, coconut milk and pigeon peas until it becomes dry. It was almost like a Carib version of fried rice to me.

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Trini Pelau: What cant be seen is the perfectly tender shredded beef in there as well as some potatoes. When doused with sauce this dish was really good. A dinner size is easily enough for two or two meals and a great price at $8.

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Oxtail with hot sauce on top and Trini style mac and cheese with roti

Oxtail was a nice size and again enough for two people or two meals with all the beans and rice and the choice of side. Another bargain at $10.

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and last but not least was the Caribbean style burrito aka Roti. In the West Indies they take roti bread and make burrito by folding a curry stew inside of a roti skin. Curry stew normally contains potatoes and a meat of some sort like chicken, goat, beef or shrimp. I had the chicken and loved it. What a lunch it was. Only disappointment was the fact it took me this long to get there. The people working inside were warm and welcoming and gave me much food advice for when I finally make it to T&T. Not sure when that will be (next winter maybe) but I will for sure be back to cafe Trinidad before then. Great food, great people and great prices is what your going to get on a visit here.

Cafe Trinidad
557 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 846-8081‎
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#17
Posted May 16th 2009, 12:14pm
The Roti I remember (30+ years ago?!) having at the place that used to be in Melrose Park served the Goat Stew in a split and opened pita type of bread. Kinda like a pita pocket. The stew, while savory, wasn't spicy as a curry might be.

While a long time ago I remember it vividly as it was my first time trying goat. It was great!
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#18
Posted May 17th 2009, 9:29pm
Thanks for the review! I had roti in Barbados and the "bread" was drier, very thin (so it was two ply, if that makes sense), and had little crumbles in between the layers, kinda like cornmeal, but I don't think it was corn. I also had "Trini doubles" when I was there, and those were like roti, but the bread was thicker, spongier, greasier and overall the "burrito" itself was smaller. I could eat two Trini doubles, but there's no way I could eat two roti!

I am intrigued now to go there. What was the neighborhood/parking like? Would you recommend it for a toddler?
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#19
Posted May 17th 2009, 9:56pm
Brown wrote:I am intrigued now to go there. What was the neighborhood/parking like? Would you recommend it for a toddler?

Brown,

Cafe Trinidad, the subject of Da Beef's terrific post, has plenty of street parking and is family friendly.

It's been a while since I was at Cafe Trinidad, but Da Beef's post has moved it to the top tier of my list.

Enjoy,
Gary
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#20
Posted May 20th 2009, 1:05pm
ZOMG. I gotta go...

About 7 years ago I worked in Trinidad for a bit, 4-5 weeks total, doing telecom software stuff. I was in San Juan (near POS) in the exchange (Imagine my shock... I was thinking as in "stock exchange", but no, it's more like an open-air market. Butchers and live poultry places (including the sounds of chickens being turned into poultry, audible while in the office), fishmongers (in the caribbean heat, so it didn't smell too good), lots of produce and fruit and such. In short, fascinating.). There was a roti shop a block or two away and I ate there damn near every day. My boss was in love with an indian restaurant near our hotel called Apsara (which I saw on some rachael ray show), but I was in love with the roti place. That and the shark & bake on the beach...

I haven't thought about roti in years, when I got back I was living in KC and poked around to see if there was anything like it, but there wasn't. Since moving to Chicago I never thought to look.

Now, if you can get a Carib with that, I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off work and going now.
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#21
Posted May 20th 2009, 1:55pm
barooo wrote:That and the shark & bake on the beach...


Rock on! The real question is, where can I get my shark sandwich (and the pumpkin ginger scotch bonnet soup from Asa Wright) in Chicago.
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#22
Posted May 20th 2009, 3:31pm
Santander--

Thanks for reviving a delicious memory. My childhood best friend married a girl from Trinidad and the ceremony was at Asa Wright, a former plantation in the Trini rain forest that is generally considered one of the top ten bird watching spots in the world. My wife and I stayed on for several days after the wedding and savored the wonderful homestyle food. I don't remember the soup you mention but everything we had was fresh and delicious.

Patrick
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#23
Posted May 25th 2009, 6:44pm
Just a head's up about Cafe Trinidad's hours, they're definitely more of a daytime place.

Closed Mondays, open Tues-Thurs 11am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday 11 to 8pm, and Sundays 12 to 5.

I really want to try this restaurant but unfortunately their business hours are essentially my work hours!
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#24
Posted July 7th 2014, 5:34pm
An update on Cafe Trinidad - they have moved to a new location since this thread was last active. They're now at 700 E. 47th Street. In addition to the delicious roti and ginger beer mentioned above, they have doubles on most Saturdays. I had never had these before going there a couple of months ago - they are delicious chickpea curry in a fried poori bread, apparently Trini street food. With hot sauce they are out of this world! I also recommend their Sorrel, another great drink that reminds me of Aqua de Jamaica.

Also, according to their website, the hours are different than they used to be. I'm not sure if these are accurate - I haven't ever tried to go outside of these hours.
MONDAY-THURSDAY
11am - 7pm
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
11am-8pm
​SUNDAY - Closed

Cafe Trinidad
700 E. 47th St.
Cafe Trinidad on facebook
http://www.cafetrinidad.com/
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#25
Posted July 8th 2014, 1:18am
I was just in NYC and staying at an Air-BB apartment in Bed-Stuy. There were many Trinidad roti shops around there, and the ones I happened to stop into had pretty spicy goat. The Goat Stew had lots of habanero spice, enough that would likely be considered too spicy for the average person. Just wondering if that was the case at Cafe Trinidad. I'm asking because nobody here has mentioned spice level at Cafe Trinidad.

Just for some visual comparison, here are some pics from one of the places by me in Bed-Stuy.

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#26
Posted July 8th 2014, 6:02am
laikom wrote:The Goat Stew had lots of habanero spice, enough that would likely be considered too spicy for the average person. Just wondering if that was the case at Cafe Trinidad. I'm asking because nobody here has mentioned spice level at Cafe Trinidad.


I think I can answer this - I have had roti in the Caribbean before and it instantly became a favorite of mine. I recently went to Cafe Trinidad to try their chicken curry roti wrap. The roti itself is decent - not amazing and not bad. IMO they could stand to use more spice in it (not heat, but spice). Of course, Cafe Trinidad has their scotch bonnet sauce on the side in a squeeze bottle that is good. This is the only place in town I know of to get this style of Roti though, which is a shame because Trini food is really good.

Their doubles, for the record are really good though. Like...super good.
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#27
Posted July 8th 2014, 1:34pm
I prefer the roti at Penang much more than what I've had at Cafe Trinidad. The Penang roti has a terrific chew
thread on Penang: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=38407

If Cafe Trinidad could take their fillings, produce a roti like Penang, and marry the two, WOW that would be a great meal.
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#28
Posted July 8th 2014, 2:48pm
marothisu wrote:
laikom wrote:The Goat Stew had lots of habanero spice, enough that would likely be considered too spicy for the average person. Just wondering if that was the case at Cafe Trinidad. I'm asking because nobody here has mentioned spice level at Cafe Trinidad.


Of course, Cafe Trinidad has their scotch bonnet sauce on the side in a squeeze bottle that is good


I would definitely agree that the heat comes from the sauce on the side. There is not a lot of heat in the roti without it. I use it quite liberally on whatever I'm eating there.
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#29
Posted July 8th 2014, 10:52pm
Sweet Willie wrote:I prefer the roti at Penang much more than what I've had at Cafe Trinidad. The Penang roti has a terrific chew
thread on Penang: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=38407

If Cafe Trinidad could take their fillings, produce a roti like Penang, and marry the two, WOW that would be a great meal.


Yeah, but roti in Malaysia is different but I do agree with you that it's better. But in the end - still different via the cuisines in general.
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