Have you ever been in this scenario?
Picture this: you’re sitting in class trying to focus on the lecture being delivered in front of you, but your stomach keeps growling. You glance up at the clock; there’s 45 minutes left until class is over. You keep thinking of what you’re going to eat after class to nourish your exhausted body but what should you get? The options at the GH Café are getting boring and repetitive and you’ve bought pizza from the Humber cafeteria twice this week. Oh we’ve all been there– every student’s age old internal battle of deciding on where to go and what to eat for lunch.
You want something different. Flavourful. Delectable. Succulent. Satisfying.
What would you say if we had the answer for your growing hunger-induced woes?
Have we piqued your interest yet?
How about a roti? A roti is all of those adjectives above and more. There are multiple different roti shops near the University of Guelph-Humber but which restaurant will give you the best roti for the best value?
Fear not and look no further; we have already done all the hard work for you.
We are here to help you the next time you are in dire need of something to satisfy your cravings for a hot and spicy meal without breaking the bank.
We figured it all out and found the best roti so you don’t have to!
WHAT IS ROTI?
In its most simple terms, West Indian roti is a type of flatbread, primarily made from flour, baking powder, salt, and water. It is then cooked on a tawa, a round flat pan. Certain types of roti are made with butter or ghee (clarified butter) like paratha roti or otherwise known as ”buss up shut.” Traditional rotis that are used for the uber-delectable and irresistible roti wrap are stuffed with ground, seasoned split peas which is called a dhalpuri.
Roti is very simple to make and you only need a couple ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen! The secret to getting velvety soft roti is to let the dough mixture sit for at least a couple of hours before cooking it. The longer the dough rests, the softer the roti!
A roti is traditionally eaten alongside various curries and stews, usually by breaking off pieces of the roti by hand and using it to pick up the sauce and pieces of curried meat. The stew usually contains potatoes and a protein like chicken, duck, goat, beef, conch or shrimp. Vegetables can also be added including potato, pumpkin and spinach as well as a variety of local condiments to spice it up; pepper sauce (hot sauce) and mango chutney are the most popular amongst roti enthusiasts.
A wrap roti is a popular street food item in the Caribbean. The roti is folded around a savoury filling in the form of a wrap, similar to a burrito.
CURRY IN A HURRY - THE MAP
CURRY IN A HURRY: THE TASTE TEST
We judged four different roti shops and ranked them according to price, taste, quality and transit time to help you choose the most scrumptious roti near the University of Guelph-Humber.
HISTORY OF ROTI
In the 1960’s, many Indo-Caribbean families immigrated to North America and moved to cities like Toronto and New York, opening their own roti and Caribbean cuisine shops. Today, roti restaurants are scattered across the Greater Toronto Area and there are plenty of choices for hungry hordes eager to try and sink their teeth into this satisfying dish.
Roti is eaten widely across the West Indies, especially in countries with large Indo-Caribbean populations such as Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana. Originally brought to the islands by indentured labourers from India in 1845 under the British colonies, roti has become a staple in Caribbean countries. Wrap roti has become a beloved Caribbean street food dish and for many brings about memories of the place they call home.
Roti Roti Family Restaurant is located at 979 Albion Rd, Etobicoke, ONT. M9V 1A6.
Roti Roti is a charming family-run restaurant serving up hot and delicious roti and Trinidadian street food favourites such as doubles (curried chickpeas sandwiched between two fried baras, aloo pie (fried potato pie) and pholourie (spiced and fried dough balls). They have been in operation for over 25 years and continue to work to satisfy hungry Torontonians.
Location: Roti Roti is located in a small tight knit plaza with other West Indian and Afghani shops and grocers. Out of the four locations we visited on our roti adventure, Roti Roti was the furthest from campus, so keep this in mind if you’re trying to get your curry fix in a pinch!
Parking: Crowded. It was a near disaster trying to enter and leave this plaza with far too many cars for such a small space. Novice drivers beware– you may want to either commute or let a more experienced driver take reign during this trip.
Price: A medium boneless chicken paratha roti wrap is going to set you back $8.84 before tax. Only medium and large sized roti are available, so bring a friend or bring a hefty appetite. Roti Roti Family Restaurant only accepts cash payments; however, there is an ATM available if necessary.
Wait time: On a moderately busy Friday afternoon, the approximate wait time for our food was 15 minutes. Take this into consideration if you are placing a larger order or are in a rush.
Service: Roti Roti’s customer service was luckluster and average overall.
Indar’s Roti and Doubles Restaurant is located at 1152 Albion Rd, Etobicoke, ONT. M9V 1A8.
Indar’s Roti and Doubles started over 40 years ago back in their native Trinidad. The restaurant is keeping their legacy alive and well in Etobicoke by offering affordable, delicious and authentic West Indian eats. They serve a wide variety of traditional Caribbean fare and offer catering services. Vegetarian options are available and everything they sell is 100 per cent halal.
Location: Located in a small plaza across a row of residential apartments, Indar’s is surrounded by dozens of other West and East Indian shops and restaurants. The restaurant is well kept and offers many other West Indian delicacies to satisfy your tastebuds!
Parking: Limited parking is available, so you may have to wait for another customer to pull out to snag yourself a spot. It is also worth mentioning that there is a sharp turn to enter the plaza so be extra cautious when driving.
Price: We tried a small boneless chicken paratha roti for $5.49 before tax. Indar’s Roti and Doubles Restaurant was the most affordable option out of our list of roti restaurants and is a solid choice for students on a budget.
Wait time: We waited approximately 7 minutes for our roti, but the soca music playing in the background and conversation with other patrons in the dining area made the time go by much quicker.
Service: The man working the front cashier area was an absolute joy! He was so friendly and welcoming– he even threw in some free doubles for us to munch on in the car!
Drupati’s is located at 35 Woodbine Downs Blvd #3A, Etobicoke, ONT. M9W 6N5.
Drupati’s has three locations in the greater Toronto area– Scarborough, Etobicoke and Brampton, as well as a location in Ajax, Ont. Drupati’s has been serving hungry Torontonians for over 20 years and they offer catering for all types of events. They are well-known for their wide variety of authentic West Indian favourites and for hosting some of the best boat parties in the city!
Location: Arguably one of the more well-known roti shop chains in the Greater Toronto Area, Drupati’s is located in a strip mall within walking distance from Guelph-Humber. It is a decent choice for those looking for a quick and satisfying meal between classes or study sessions. Drupati’s is also the only restaurant we visited that sells alcohol.
Parking: A perk from being located in a strip mall means there is a ton of parking space available. Drupati’s is also one of the easier locations to commute to with both Brampton Transit and the TTC running close by.
Price: We tried a small boneless chicken paratha roti for $8.00 before tax.
Wait time: There was a decent wait time of around 10 minutes for our food, luckily the restaurant had ample seating for hungry and patient guests.
Service: Needs improvement- we weren’t exactly impressed with the customer service here.
Alima’s Roti and Pastry is located at 13 Kenview Blvd, Brampton, ON L6T 5K9.
Alima’s started out in 1990 as a small, private roti business and have since then expanded their operation to include all types of different Caribbean breads, pastries and curries. They have counter-serve hot food available as well as an assortment of baked goods, frozen and pre-packaged West Indian stews and breads for easy and quick meal options.
Location: Alima’s Roti and Pastry is housed in a large industrial building close to the University of Guelph-Humber, near the border of Etobicoke and Brampton. A hot-food counter and store is situated in the front of the building while factory productions and office operations happen in the back.
Parking: There is lots of parking available at Alima’s and it is extremely easy to find and hard to miss!
Price: We opted for a large boneless chicken paratha roti wrap for $11.50 before tax because paratha only comes in one size at this location. For smaller appetites, dhalpuri roti is available with an array of different protein.
Wait time: Alima’s offered the most efficient and quick service; we were able to get in and out of the store within 5 minutes of placing our order. Alima’s is a gem for those wanting a scrumptious meal option while on a time crunch!
Service: Customer service was also great; the ladies in the front were welcoming and professional. Gloves and hairnets were also worn to ensure cleanliness and safe food handling.
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO ORDERING THE PERFECT ROTI
Ordering something new can be a daunting task when you don’t know what to expect.