Taste of the Caribbean: Is This the Best Roti Shop in Trinidad?
It’s Thanksgiving Week here in the USA, which means everyone is getting set to gorge themselves in the country’s preeminent annual orgy of overeating, over-drinking and, in general, over-stuffing ourselves with all manner of fabulous foods, booze and other assorted consumables.
I’m getting set to head back to the Caribbean in a few weeks for the Christmas holidays, book-ending 2012 in the same destination where my busy year of island adventuring began: Trinidad & Tobago!
During that January 2012 trip I had a great time re-connecting with family, experiencing unique attractions and enjoying some of the favorite foods of my youth. This next trip promises much of the same, and though the plan is spend most of our time hanging with my Dad in Tobago, I’m hoping for a few extra hours in Port-of-Spain just so I can stop in here…
The Patraj Roti Shop on Tragarete Road near the Queens Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain is reputedly among the very best purveyors of my all-time favorite food anywhere! More than a few folks I met during my January visit swear by the place, giving the impression that one has not really ever tried roti if one has not done so here.
So, how did I miss out on getting a taste of Patraj?
Well, like a lot of the missed opportunities of travel, it all boiled down to bad timing…
It was mid-afternoon, around 2:30pm when I arrived at Patraj. I had just inhaled a rather large lunch at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad and couldn’t imagine eating again just ahead of our safari adventure in the Caroni Swamp. There would be another time, I thought. After all, it was just the first full day of what would be a six-day trip. Certainly I’d have lots of time to sample and enjoy “the ultimate roti,” as one of my new Trini friends put it, right…?
Will I manage to find my way back to Patraj next month? Will the roti live up to the hype? If it does, will I have the willpower to return back to the States?
The answers to these, and other Trini food queries are coming this Christmas! In the meantime, if you have a favorite roti shop in Trinidad or Tobago that you think we should check out, let us know by leaving a comment below. I’ll happily put your favorite to the test versus Patraj to see who really does make the ultimate roti…