Trinidad & Tobego: Accidentally Roti

Tonight was a giant cluster of a mess.  It had been raining like Noah’s ark was coming soon for days.  We made plans for Panamanian food at a restaurant that apparently was closed on Monday and Tuesdays.  This is something we should of looked at before getting in the car and heading out.  Luckily the night ended with us eating Roti from Trinidad and Tobego on the dry warm couch.


After the plans got screwed up (twice) we were half way to Silver Spring and I had to pull over to find a new spot.  I rememebered there was a Trinidad and Tobego restaurant close to where I used to live, way up in north DC.  Just a hop skip away from the Maryland border.   Roti shops are now abundant in Trinidad and Tobago and the wrapped roti is a staple street food.  Teddy’s Roti Shop was the only Trinidad and Tobego cuisine I could find in the area and boy was it good.


There wasn’t much we knew about Trinidad and Tobego before today but we soon learned quite a lot.  We came to find out that their cuisine is a mix of Indian and African flavors with a little Caribbean mixed in.   Teddy’s had a wide variety of dishes but we went with a few national dishes: Roti and Buss Up Shut.  We also learned they closed at 8pm, 10 minutes after we arrived.  So that lead us to take a nice hot meal for “here” back to our house instead.

We started with a few drinks to try that were homemade.  (We came to find that everything in this little hole-in-the-wall was homemade.)  We split a Sorrel Juice and a Peanut Punch.  The sorrel was a sweet fruit made into a juice and the peanut punch basically tasted like a protein shake.

There were 2 dishes we wanted to try but apparently the most intriguing meat to us was the goat.  Bridget went ahead and ordered the Dhalpouri Roti with goat based on a recommendation from the owner. Roti’s main characteristic, no matter where it is enjoyed, is that it is unleavened bread (the Jews get this).  This cuisine is served wrapped in the roti with chick peas and meat (tonight’s was with goat).  Seasoned usually with cumin, garlic and a delicious curry.  It looks like a giant burrito from Moe’s but the insides were much better.


I decided to get something based off the humurous name and kept making me say “Shut Up”, the Buss Up Shut.  I’ve come to find it’s called “Busted-up Shirt” because the roti resembles a tattered and torn-up shirt.  Buss Up Shut is a dish served with curry goat, chick peas and potatoes.  You can just tell the goat had been stewing in the curry for hours, and the veggies were outstanding as well.  This can also be called Channa and Aloo (chick peas and potatoes).  On the side came a large amount of roti to be used to dip or eat out of.


The night started with us running through the rain to go out to a Panamanian restaurant that wasn’t even open, halfway across town.   I got annoyed that it was closed but was able to pull over and find a spot that we both happily enjoyed.  The fact we got to eat it on our couch in the warmth of our apartment (and dry mind you), might of been the best part of the meal.  I think the biggest disappoint came from the dogs as they were not allowed to have goat.



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