Thursday, May 26, 2011

CHICKEN PLUS CURRY ROTI: 216 Close Avenue - (416) 516-0747

Kevin outside Chicken Plus Curry Roti
“I often cry during episodes of Glee” Kevin said while recalling a recent and saddening episode of the hit TV show.  There is a small chance I might have provoked such a statement by talking about the last episode where Sue Sylvester's sister died and the Glee club sang a Willy Wonka song at her funeral.  There is even a smaller chance that I might have mentioned how I choked up and got misty during the funeral scene.  But really, it most likely didn’t happen.  Really unlikely.  Like 97.8% unlikely.  The lesson here is:  anything you say or do during a Parkdale dinner with me can and will be used against you on the blog.  Lesson learned, eh Kevin?

Dinner guest Kevin Barry
Oh right, everyone meet Kevin Barry.  Kevin is the little brother of our previous dinner guest Chris Barry and he works at the best print shop in Ontario – C.J.Graphics.  I had just finished printing a small job with Kevin for my most recent targeted mailer campaign (rather than the usual promotional ejaculation widely sprayed over every Canadian art/creative directors desk) showing off the ridiculously good job I did photographing a difficult campaign for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Sick Kids Hospital when I suggested we grab some Parkdale grub.  Kevin, being a very tall man, accepted (and sorry ladies, he’s married.  And yes his wife is awesome and hot!).

The atmosphere at Chicken Plus Curry Roti
So we decided on a little place just off Queen Street called Chicken Plus Curry Roti.  We arrived and I immediately I liked it.  It's one of those little corner joints that I’ve been dying to try.  Located just up the street from the back of Parkdale Collegiate, you got the impression that the high school kids are their most frequent patrons.  The woman behind the counter also seemed to have a no-bullshit air about her personality.  The kind of person who’s either been through a war or has been serving Parkdale kids lunch and snacks for many years.  I’m not sure which is worse.

Speaking of war, this is now the third candidate in the great Parkdale Roti war.  So far Mother India is winning having beaten Bacchus Roti Shop.  The question now is...will Curry Plus Chicken Roti beat Mother Indias amazingly tasty roti???  Kevin and I were excited to know (well mostly me, Kevin was just hungry, still weepy, and doing a shaky impersonation of Rachel singing Papa Can You Hear Me?…..yeeeeesh!).

Kevin's goat roti
I ordered what I assumed would be the house specialty – a chicken roti with a side of creamy cole slaw.  Kevin got the goat roti.  No sides.  He’s like that.  The woman behind the counter said that it might be a few minutes since they make all their rotis fresh to order.  Score!!!

The atmosphere was just perfect.  Well not perfect, per se, but its imperfections make it perfect!  Its at this kind of restaurant that I love to eat.  Small, cozy, clean, homemade signs, old pictures, and for some reason I LOVE the tiles on the walls.  Can someone please explain that to me?

On side note, can someone please explain something else to me?  Baby-boomers and restaurants.  Why are they the worst combination ever?!  Has anyone else ever noticed that going out to dinner with a baby-boomer is like driving with someone prone to road rage?  The littlest thing will set them off and, instead of ignoring it or not considering it a particularly big deal, they will sacrifice the enjoyment of the entire evening by sulking, yelling, and being generally pissed off.  It's like...suppose a waiter happens to walk past your table at a moment when you want their attention and the waiter, god forbid, doesn't see you.  To a baby boomer that's the equivalent of the waiter having walked over to the table, thrown a cup of ice water in your face, and then moved on.  And the principles!!!  Oh god, don't get me started about baby-boomers who scream about the "principles".  A word of advice.  If you are out to dinner with a baby-boomer and they angrily demand to speak to the waiter/manager/owner and say something to the equivalent of "It's not the money, it's the principle!" just leave the table, wait outside 'til they're finished their chest thumping, and then sneak back inside and leave the server an extra tip.  Lord knows they deserve it!  Maybe I've just had some bad experiences but it seems like everyone I mention this to has very similar horror stories.  Has anyone else had any similar experiences with this generation?

Best to skip the cole slaw
Ok, thanks for that.  I needed to vent.  Now back to C.P.C.R.!!!  Our rotis arrived in less time than we thought (like 5 minutes) and they smelled great.  Wrapped in a paper foil and served on a foam plate, we opened them up to the warm steam that is the Parkdale roti.  Mmmmm…..  And they tasted pretty good too.  They were piping hot and full of flavor, the roti wrap was a little chewy but not too bad, and we gobbled it up real quick. Mine was a bit on the sweeter side than Kevin’s goat roti but both tasted pretty fine.  Perhaps there was not as much meat, sauce, and vegetables inside the roti as we might have liked but for $5.75/roti, it’s a pretty darn good value.  However it felt like more of a lunch than a dinner.  Well, that depends on your eating habits I guess.  I’m not sure if the coleslaw was homemade or not but I’m guessing not because it was not really up to snuff.  It was basically the same as KFC coleslaw.  So let’s just forget about that, k?

The dinner ended and Kevin and I parted ways.  I went home to my beautiful fiancé (soon to be wife in like 4 weeks) and Kevin went home to cry over his Chris Colfer poster pasted above his hope chest in his bedroom.  All in all, we both liked Chicken Plus Curry Roti and I’d go back.  However, I’m sorry to say that Mother India is still in the lead!  I actually went back to Mother India a while ago for lunch and updated its score to a 4.  Its a really fucking good roti!  Chicken Plus Curry Roti did make a very nice roti and I would recommend it but I wish it had been bigger and filled with more flavor and roti goodness!  But a respectable roti it was indeed!

Rating:  3.25

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