I’m pretty surprised that it took us so long to try Trinidadian food, but since we are such fans of Caribbean food we knew we were in for a treat. One of our favorite Caribbean foods – after lechon of course – is the humble roti. Rotis are Indian-derived flatbreads filled with any number of toppings, and they are one of the staple of Caribbean street food. Taste of Trinidad (2045 Howard St, Chicago, IL) got high marks for it’s Trini-style rotis and since it was in our hood (before we moved at least) we knew we needed to give it a try.
Taste of Trinidad is a humble operation, with no air conditioning, and it is often closed during its stated hours, so be sure to call ahead. But don’t worry, this extra effort will be worth your while. We chatted a bit with who we presume is the owner and he was happy to offer his recommendations and tell us a little about Trini food. Beyond rotis, they also have curry goat, jerk chicken and the ever-popular macaroni pie. On the weekend they even have doubles, an emblematic dish made of fried flatbread filled with chickpeas!
We started out with an order of pholourie, a dish of fried chickpea dough fritters served with mango chutney. These reminded us of the Italian panelle and were a very addictive snack! For our lunch entrees we ordered a veggie roti and a chicken curry roti, which came out in short order. We appreciated that these rotis were not greasy at all, and both of the curries were flavorful and gently spicy. It was also nice to have a vegetarian option. To up the ante you can slather on some house made habanero/Scotch bonnet hot sauce, which got a hearty thumbs up from M. Neither of us were able to finish our rotis – but they were certainly delicious. Taste of Trinidad put out a high quality roti that definitely merits a future visit. We are especially looking forward to visiting on a weekend to get our doubles fix!