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Restaurants

Danforth Roti Shop

Posted by Devon Scoble / Reviewed on April 19, 2009 / review policy

danforth roti torontoDanforth Roti, a nondescript shop in Toronto's east end, is an antidote to my patriotic concerns, a trip down memory lane, and a good spot for tasty nosh.

You see, my high school played a dual language version of "O Canada", leaving me forever in doubt whether it's time for "God keep our land" or "Et ta valeur". But now I know if I'm ever unsure about the lyrics again, Danforth Roti has, for some reason, posted them to their wall.

20090420-danforth-roti-o-canada.gifDanforth Roti also reminds me of elementary school. Mainly a take-out joint, this place has all the atmosphere of a grade six classroom. I'm serious. In addition to flags of the West Indies, the front wall features several sections of menu completed in marker and multi-hued construction paper. On the west wall, the laminated "O Canada" stands on guard next to a Scholastic world map. Although the room is not amenable to big groups or leisurely lunches (there's no bathroom), the decor inspires me to nostalgia, mostly about food and classrooms.

20090420-danforth-roti-menu.gif If only my classes had been more like this one. If only we'd had Roti Day instead of Pizza Delight Fridays. If only Pizza Delight had divided their party pizzas evenly.

20090420-danforth-roti-flags.gifIf my childhood had been like this: filled with gigantic nutritious rotis, instead of poorly divided pizzas, mine would be a mind free from visions of the lung-searing sprint to the portable, of the claw and scramble to the pizza box. If my elementary school had served rotis, I would have no memories of hastily completing my work to gain early release to lunch, my spelling skills the only antidote to slow, stumpy legs. I would spell my little heart out to gain that 30 second advance on my sportier classmates, but in the end we'd all face the inevitable: no one could get there before Mrs. C, and Mrs. C would always take the big corner pieces for herself.

20090420-danforth-roti-open.gifThings are different over at Danforth Roti PS. Not only are this shop's offerings tastier than Pizza D's meager fare, they're also big enough to feed at least a couple of 6th graders.

My grade school teachers always said you are what you eat. If that's true, I think I'm more like a Vena's roti: saucy, and prone to mess-making. Danforth Roti's version, on the other hand, has more in common with my former French teacher, Madame O: dry wit (merci, chick pea crumble), and a tendency to inspire fright (a cause de unevenly distributed hot sauce). Unlike Madame O, this roti also has a super stretchy outer shell, and comes with a variety of fillings. I opted for soft, sweet pumpkin, nutty spinach and nourishing potato.

danforth exterior.gif
Although nothing can erase my memories of Pizza Delight Fridays or my undying love for Vena's superior version, Danforth Roti has got a pretty good thing going. At $9.61 for roti and a bottle of Ting, this meal was definitely worth the price tag. But the chance to finally tell on Mrs. C? Delicious.

Discussion

12 Comments

Bill Cool / April 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm
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Ok, all the school metaphors were a little too much, I was a little confused following along with all the cryptic references.

I must say that the Danforth Roti Shop is great though! I have converted from my previous "go-to" roti spot. They have a variety of roti for all types of people - vegetarians included.

One thing I would not recommend getting from here is their Jerk Chicken...and I believe the reason is quite simple. It is a Trinidadian joint, versus a Jamaican place. Jerk isn't exactly a Trini dish. The Jerk Chicken is way over seasoned, and dare I say it, too spicy (and this coming from someone who eats quite spicy food).

What they lack in their Jerk Chicken, they make up for the availability of Double - which aren't often found at Jamaican roti shops as it is a Trinidadian dish (Indian inspired of course ;) ).
Jo replying to a comment from Bill Cool / April 28, 2009 at 12:20 am
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I totally agree with you. The emphasis on metaphors and elementary school talk just does not jive with this food review. Keep it simple Devon. Stick to the facts. Was the food good? Great? Better than expected?
Sham / September 23, 2009 at 01:26 pm
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Looking for the best Doubles outside of Trinidad..Try Roti & Double in the Flea Market @ Airport Road & Steels..My brother makes the best and he makes it right there in front of you so no guessing about quaality and style
mckenzie / October 24, 2011 at 02:41 pm
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danforth roti is horrible the customer service is horrible the food horrible am serious.
Brad / April 1, 2012 at 07:23 pm
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Great Roti! After the Real Jerk closed, we've been looking for a new place. The man who I presume is the owner was friendly and the food was delicious. Very tasty. This is our new Roti place
Caroline / November 13, 2012 at 02:54 pm
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Just had the most fabulous boneless chicken and spinach roti. When I lived in the west end, it was all about Bacchus but dang! am I ever happy to have found this little gem of a place out here on the Danny! Yum :)
Michelle / February 10, 2013 at 03:42 pm
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I finally tried this place! It was pretty good but I still miss Ghandi's/Mother India type of rotis. That being said, this place tasted like it had half the fat and half the salt than most roti - which is a good thing.

One thing that stood out was that the roti bread itself was superior to any other roti I've ever had! It tasted fresh with a nice chewiness.

Also, the service was really good.
AA / May 24, 2013 at 07:03 pm
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By brother-in-law's debit card was compromised after using it at this place. Good door, though.
TOBiff replying to a comment from mckenzie / September 12, 2013 at 05:11 pm
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I am pretty sure that you are not talking about the same restaurant my friend. We stumbled onto this place almost a year ago and I have NEVER EVER seen the service be anything other than fabulous. While I might say that I have experienced a little longer wait than I am used to it was always due to the place being super busy. I have engaged with customers who drove in from as far as Markham because in their own words "...dis is da best jerk place in da whole GTA mon..." Their food really is spectacular and although I am just a simple white boy I know good food when I taste it!
Mike / October 10, 2013 at 07:30 pm
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Just went here for the first time tonight. I agree with the earlier comment RE: the Roti shell, it is the best I have ever had and the filling was great as well. The price of a boneless chicken roti was a little steep at a little over $10 with tax but it was worth it to have a good meal. I'll return.
justanasshole / January 9, 2014 at 12:33 am
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Checked it out once...couldn't get service. Walked out, went to the Mr. Sub down the street... Mr. Sub had great service, and beer!
kristy / January 16, 2014 at 04:53 pm
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Well I can see your name says a lot about you @justanasshole. I have been around to many roti shops in the gta and I have to say that danforth roti shop is the best on the danforth. Their rotis are made from scratch and its always fresh. Their doubles are excellent and I will say its even better than trinidad doubles. I go there all the time to get my roti fix with boneless chicken, spinach, and pumpkin and a dash of hot sauce.

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