I am on a mission to eat an authentic dish from every country in the world, right here in Toronto. You can find all past recaps here.
A couple weeks ago I had a lunch date with my coworkers at Drupati’s Doubles & Roti Shop, a Toronto restaurant chain that serves Trinidad and Tobago cuisine.
Trinidad and Tobago are two islands in the West Indies.
I know a bit about the country through Evan, as his uncle Stevie lives in Tobago (we have wanted to visit for a while now but hear it is getting increasingly unsafe for tourists so we’ve been putting it off — his uncle is actually moving back to Canada in a month mainly due to this), and Evan himself lived in Trinidad for about two years. He worked in graphic design at an ad agency and, side note story, he did not have a proper bank account while in Trinidad (something to do with his visa, he told me he kept receiving empty promises from his employer about getting the necessary documentation to get this done and it just never happened), so his work gave him a cheque once a month with his wages. He could not deposit this in a bank account so he would have to go to the bank and cash his monthly wages, hide the money all over his person, then nonchalantly walk home through the streets of Tobago. And then he hid the money literally under his mattress. I can’t imagine how stressful that would be. I’m still not sure how he wasn’t robbed. He looks tough I guess.
I dunno, pretty sure I’d rob him.
Anyway, one thing that Evan raves about all the time to me are DOUBLES!
Doubles are a popular street food in Trinidad and Tobago. Evan ate them all the time when he lived there and LOVES them. They are curried chickpeas in two bara (fried flat bread), and sometime topped with mango, cucumber, coconut, extra pepper sauce or other vegetables and herbs. Doubles are a fast food eaten any time — for breakfast, lunch, or a late night snack.
Evan is always on a hunt to find authentic tasting doubles around here, so I have tried them several times with him — at Friday Night live at the ROM…
And at the flea market…
They’re not very photogenic but they sure are delicious. I too am starting to love them. That soft, warm and stretchy bara is everything. I brought home Drupati’s doubles for Evan to try and he said the taste was spot on, just like the doubles he knew and loved.
Drupati’s is also known for having delicious Caribbean roti, another staple street food in Trinidad and Tobago — as well as the Indian Subcontinent. You may know that roti includes both Indian and Caribbean varieties. For example, a butter chicken roti would be an Indian roti, while a jerk chicken would be Caribbean. Roti specifically refers to the type of bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, and the traditional way of eating roti is to rip it by hand and use it to sop up the curry sauce and meat. But roti is also synonymous with a wrap filled with rich curries and stews, which originated in Southern Trinidad.
I ordered the boneless chicken curry roti and it was soo incredibly delicious.
This was weeks ago and I have been thinking about it every day since. I want to go back there and get it again. So good. This is one type of food that I do not eat enough and that needs to change! Highly recommend both doubles and roti.