First Look: Roti Mediterranean Brings Shawarma To The Assembly Line Lunch Model

Today Roti Mediterranean Grill officially opens at the corner of Pearl St. & Cedar in the Financial District (their Web site says at 10:30 a.m.), but myself and many other Lunch’ers got a sneak preview on Friday when they were doing staff training.

There was an intimidating line out the door, but it went really quickly which bodes well for opening day. But what about the food? If you want meat and carbs, and to eat somewhat healthy food, you might want to check this place out. 

All of the options here are the same price of $8.45 whether you get a pita sandwich, laffa wrap, salad or rice plate. You choose chicken or steak roti (aka, shawarma), chicken kebab, falafel or roasted vegetables, a side (all come with hummus and roasted vegetables), a sauce and a topping of feta, olives or sumac onions.

I ordered the chicken roti rice plate, with Spanish eggplant, sh’ug sauce and sumac onions. The plate came with a mini pita, as does the salad.

I’m not going to judge my lunch here too much because it was a training exercise (and, full disclosure, free food), but all in all my rice plate was good. The chicken roti earns points for have a nice char and grilled flavor from the rotisserie, but I’d have to say the white meat kebab looked pretty great as well. I also got a falafel ball that was fresh from the fryer while waiting in line and enjoyed the flavor that was heavy on cumin.

The grilled vegetables included beets, carrots and, brussels sprouts and also had a smoky flavor. The Spanish eggplant I had was stewed, and a tad sweet but still tasty enough, and the hummus was not the best I’ve ever had, but perfectly fine. The only thing I didn’t like on the plate was the rice which was a bit undercooked despite being otherwise flavorful, but again, it was a day being used to train staff and work out any kinks. The pita was suitably fluffy and a better source of carbs in my opinion.

If you like heat, get the sweet-hot sh’ug sauce. If not, maybe stick with the red pepper aioli, tahini or dill yogurt sauces.

The blocks of Pearl St. just off Maiden Lane have become clogged with high-end chain lunch places, and I’m betting people will frequent Roti Mediterranean Grill if they don’t want to walk a block further for Pita Press.

Roti Mediterranean Grill, 100 Maiden Lane (entrance at Pearl & Cedar), (646) 494-3359



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    went today (5/15) for lunch. This place really kicks ass. I got the rice plate with chicken roti.

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    Went opening day and several times since – similar setup to “GRK” and a couple others down here – great energy/service – they seem to have their S*!t together – great/healthy lunch option.

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