Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BACCHUS ROTI SHOP: 1376 Queen Street West - (416) 532-8191

Outside Bacchus Roti
"Yeah.  I'm not going in there." my fiance Jessica said as we peered inside the window of a Parkdale restaurant that looked, well, less than reputable.  I think she may have been put off by the complete lack of patrons, the 5 year old boy sitting alone and staring at a TV, and the stacks of clear storage bins filled with clothing lining the walls next to the tables.

"Are you sure?" I said.

"Yeah, lets just go get some roti.  I'm starving."

I understood her completely.  The first casualty of hunger is adventure.  It's probably why hamburgers are so popular.  Alas dear readers, that intriguing (or shitty looking, depending on your point of view) restaurant will have to wait for another time.  Maybe I'll save it for a dinner with MT and ABM. 

So that's how we found ourselves at  little roti shop on Queen West called Bacchus Roti.  It was a darling little restaurant with over-sized lamps hanging above a single line of tables that led to the counter at the back.  It's the kind of restaurant where you order at the counter regardless of whether you're staying or going.  The menu was written out on the chalkboard to the left of the counter and you can peer into the kitchen and watch the cooks prepare the rotis if you're so inclined. 

The ordering counter
We were greeted by a lovely man who suggested a few dishes that the restaurant does best.  To start we ordered a plate of sweet potato fries because they were out of samosas.  For the mains I ordered the spinach, squash and channa (chickpea) roti and Jessica ordered the curried chicken roti with spinach, squash and potato.

Our entire order arrived super quick and looking fine.  The sweet potato fries were served with a honey mustard dip which was a bit of a revelation to us.  It pairs beautifully, far better than ketchup.  They were delicious with just the right amount of salt.  We gobbled them all up real quick.

Jessica's curried chicken roti
My spinach, squash and chickpea roti was ok at first but improved with each bite.  It didn't arrive as hot as I would have liked but aside from that it was pretty good.  Upon first and second bite I didn't strike me as anything special but I quickly realised that I was only getting the spinach and the chickpea.  On my third bite, when a big chunk of squash snuck in there, the flavours all came together reasonably well.  The roti wrap was ok but nothing special.  Definitely not as tasty as Mother India from a while back.  There was a distinct lack of crisp to this one.

Jessica's curried chicken roti was about the same.  Hers was pippin' hot, the chicken was nicely cooked, and the flavours blended well together.  It was actually a bit better than mine since the chicken cut that soggy and slightly fishy taste cooked spinach can often have if there's too much of it bunched together.  Jess really appreciated the fresh ingredients and it's speedy arrival to the table however she thought it was lacking a bit in the flavour department.  I completely agree!  But perhaps I've been unfairly biased towards Mother India's rotis since I enjoyed it so much...and those were just bursting with strong flavours!

Peanut Butter Star
For desert we ate a peanut butter star which is basically a peanut butter cookie with less sugar than usual and baked in a pastry.  It was fantastic!!!  Really dense and sweet and full of flavour.  Jess and I devoured it even though we weren't hungry at all at the end of the meal.  Also, I just wanted to say that I really appreciate inexpensive desert options!  To me, that's a huge plus.  Our peanut butter star cost two bucks!

So all in all a good meal.  I wouldn't say a great meal but a good one!  Mother India is still winning the Parkdale roti wars but there are still many competitors to come.

Rating: 3.5

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